Arsenal boss Wenger upbeat on Mkhitaryan return

Arsene Wenger

Despite holding a 4-1 advantage from the first leg, the nervous Gunners were rocking after the hosts hinted at the week's latest European revival with goals from Fedor Chalov and Kirill Nababkin.

The Gunners did a pull goal back with 15 minutes remaining as Danny Welbeck combined with Elneny before calmly slotting past the on-rushing Akinfeev.

"Maybe we were a bit surprised by the intensity of the game and were not at the races, in the first half especially", he told BT Sport.

"When they scored their second goal we were a bit on the ropes but it was a good response from us".

Arsenal survived a scare at CSKA Moscow before advancing to the Europa League semifinals, where they'll be joined by Atletico Madrid, Marseille and Salzburg.

"We tried to improve the game level and improve our performance thanks to the substitutions but after 75 minutes, the tempo of the match began going down and down".

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Down 2-0 and on the verge of a shock defeat, Welbeck received the ball on the touchline and deftly lost his marker courtesy of a slick turn, before a give-and-go with Mohamed Elneny gifted the England striker a wonderful finish to give the Gunners a 5-3 lead on aggregate.

But how did the Arsenal players perform in Russian Federation? "Once we scored the 2-1, it was a big blow for them, and they didn't recover from that".

On reaching a European semi-final, Wenger continued: "It should be every year, never enough, could see in Europe a lot of turnovers, we need to be focused".

"Let's just play well against the team we get", he added.

The draw for the semifinals will take place alongside the Champions League semifinal draw on Friday.

Leipzig hit back through Jean-Kevin Augustin, and at that point they would have progressed on away goals, only for Dimitri Payet and Hiroki Sakai to score and make sure of Marseille's progress via a 5-3 aggregate success.



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