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Arsenal to face Atlético Madrid in Europa League semifinals

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The Gunners were probably going to have to beat Atléti at some point to win the Europa League.

CSKA Moskva v Arsenal FC - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final Leg Two
Next up for the Gunners: Atlético Madrid
Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images

Arsenal earned a hard-fought draw in Moscow against CSKA in the second leg of their quarterfinal matchup, winning the tie 6-3 on aggregate. Their reward, Atlético Madrid in the semifinals. Atléti are the toughest possible opponent remaining, but at this point, none of the matchups would have been easy, and Arsenal were likely to have to play the Madrid club at some point.

Atlético survived a second leg scare of their own in the quarterfinals, holding Sporting Lisbon to a goal in the return leg to advance 2-1 on aggregate. Atléti entered the Europa League for the knockout stages after failing to advance from their Champions League group. They cruised past F.C. Copenhagen and Lokomotiv Moscow in the previous rounds.

Arsenal last reached the semifinals of a European competition in 2008-09, when they went out 4-1 on aggregate to Manchester United in the Champions League. Arsenal’s most recent European final came in 2005-06 when they lost to Barcelona in the Champions League.

The first leg of the semifinal tie will be played on April 26th at the Emirates. The second leg will be on May 3rd at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid. The matches will be the first two competitive meetings between the clubs.

The other semifinal tie features Marseille and FC Red Bull Salzburg.