CSKA 2-2 Arsenal: Iwobi avoids Barca debacle against Musa

Europa League By: Ambrose Udeme | 12/04/2018

Danny Welbeck, Arsenal FC

After the Barcelona catastrophe against Roma earlier in the week, a similar scenario was on the cards in the game involving Arsenal and CSKA Moscow until a Danny Welbeck second-half superb finish ensured Alex Iwobi edged Ahmed Musa 6-3 on aggregate in the UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg fixture at the VEB Arena to reach the semi-final.

While Musa started and played the entire duration of the game, Alex Iwobi came off the bench to replace Alexandre Lacazette straight after Welbeck had reduced the deficit.

GOALS

Konstantin Kuchaev's cross from the left met Kirill Nababkin's head and despite a decent low save by Petr Cech, Fedor Chalov tapped home from close range to put CSKA in firm control at half-time.

CSKA had a second after the break and it was from another Petr Cech parry off a long-range effort by Aleksandr Golovin and Kirill Nababkin was on hand to slam the rebound home.

Danny Welbeck booked Arsenal's semi-final spot after being picked out by Mohamed Elneny's first-time pass. The England international guided the ball home with the inside of his boot before Aaron Ramsey's added time finish to put the game beyond the Russians.

OTHER EUROPA RESULTS

In other Europa League match centres on Thursday, two-time champions, and current favourites, Atletico Madrid secured qualification to semi-finals but were made to work for it in Portugal against Lisbon (2-1 agg).

A Dimitri Payet-inspired Marseille battered RB Leipzig to complete a comeback of their own. From 2-0 down on aggregate after two minutes, the Ligue 1 outfit turned it around to win 5-1 on the night and sail through to the last four(5-3 agg).

Red Bull Salzburg secured the final semi-final spot after overturning a first-leg defeat to go through to the Europa League semi-finals. Trailing 4-2 in the first leg at Lazio, the Austrian side won 4-1 on the night thanks to a whirlwind four minutes in the second half which saw them score three goals to win 6-5 on aggregate.

SETTING THE SCENE

Arsenal were without midfielder Granit Xhaka as the Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger made two changes from the side that beat the Russian outfit 4-1 in the first-leg, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan replaced by Welbeck and Granit Xhaka out for Mohamed Elneny.

Xhaka was out due to illness while striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was once again ineligible. Elsewhere, Alexandre Lacazette and Danny Welbeck started together in attack for the visitors.

With Henrikh Mkhitaryan ruled out for Arsenal’s next three matches after limping out of the 4-1 win over the Russian outfit at the Emirates last week, Iwobi who impressed against Southampton was expected to come in for the Armenian but Wenger opted to keep out the Nigerian.

Petr Cech remained between the sticks with David Ospina, the usual choice for the Europa League, remaining an injury concern.

Full-back Kirill Nababkin was back from suspension for the hosts who will have to upset their visitors who are in a strong position to progress after winning the first leg 4-1 as they looked to avoid another shock European night after Roma dumped Barcelona out of the Champions League on Tuesday.

More to follow...
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