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Guillem Balague predicts Arsenal v Atletico Madrid in Europa League semi-finals

14 Avril 2018

Lucas was replaced at half-time after suffering what Atletico described as a "strong facial trauma" in a 1-0 defeat away to Sporting CP, Diego Simeone's men heading through 2-1 on aggregate.

"Arsenal rode their luck against CSKA and there was a chance they could have gone out".

Torres has made 150 appearances for Atletico since returning to the club in January 2015, initially on an 18-month loan deal from AC Milan.

Atletico also beat Liverpool in the Europa League semi-finals in 2010 before going on to lift the trophy.

In the other semi-final tie, Olympique Marseille face FC Red Bull Salzburg, who both advanced following fine comeback wins over RB Leipzig and Lazio respectively.

In the Champions League we have of recent years been knocked out by Europe's elite, Bayern and Barcelona quite regularly. If they win the cup, they'll jump that phase and be in the group stage. Therefore, any possibility of paying for breaking the contract is nearly impossible and neither is the player looking ready for the task of leaving the club of his life.

The return match is May 3 in Madrid. "Whatever happens in the season, winning or losing, they deserve my respect for what they have done".

Currently, 13 points behind arch-rivals Spurs who sit in fourth spot, a Champions League spot looks highly unlikely meaning the Europa League is their last resort for success.

Atletico were 2-1 aggregate winners against Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon in the quarter-finals to reach the semi-finals.

Guillem Balague predicts Arsenal v Atletico Madrid in Europa League semi-finals