Granit Xhaka says ‘nothing is finished’ despite a frustrating evening at the Emirates that saw a dominant Arsenal pegged back by a late Atletico Madrid equaliser.
Alexandre Lacazette’s header on 61 minutes looked to have broken the resistance of Diego Simeone’s side, however, despite being down to ten men for most of the game, the visitors struck back to make it 1-1 when Antoine Griezmann took advantage of some woeful Gunners defending.
Arsene Wenger’s players now know they must score in the second-leg in Madrid if they are to make the Europa League final in Lyon on 16 May.
“I think we played a great match,” Xhaka told Arsenal.com.
“Atletico had one shot on our goal and scored. It’s unbelievable because we didn’t want that today, we wanted to have a good result at home. But it’s 1-1 and now we must focus on next week.
“We had a lot of chances. We were a bit unlucky with the amazing match of the goalkeeper of Atletico. A 1-1 draw isn’t the result we wanted but nothing is finished.
“We know we must score one goal. We must play like we did today, we must focus over 90 minutes, because you can see it’s always dangerous against Atletico.”
Having had over 76 per cent possession and 28 shots at goal*, Xhaka admitted that he didn’t really have an explanation for how the Gunners didn’t secure a win.
“I’m not one who has an explanation for it now,” he went on.
“Just after the game it’s very disappointing. I think today we were clearly the dominant side over the 90 minutes. We made chances and I think other teams would have struggled to make as many as we did against Atletico.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t get the result – a 1-0 would have been enough – but we conceded a silly goal and now we have to go to Madrid and play exactly as we did today… if you look at the game today, you can see that we can compete against Atletico.
“OK, we had a man more, but we created chances even before the red card. We just need to approach the game in the same way, try to score and then win the game.”