Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey, left, celebrates with Danny Welbeck after scoring his side's second goal.
Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey, left, celebrates with Danny Welbeck after scoring his side's second goal.

Welbeck rescues Arsenal to end Moscow’s Europa miracle

ARSENAL advanced to the Europa League semi-finals after a 2-2 draw at CSKA Moscow handed Arsene Wenger's side a 6-3 aggregate victory.

CSKA was looking to become just the second team to overturn a three-goal first-leg deficit in the Europa League knockout stages, and gave themselves hope at the 50-minute mark when Kirill Nababkin added to Fedor Chalov's 39th-minute opener.

One more unanswered goal would have sent CSKA through, but Danny Welbeck sprung up with Arsenal's first shot on target in the 75th minute to quell the comeback before Aaron Ramsey scored an equaliser after the 90th minute.

Arsenal will discover their semi-final fate on Friday, with Atletico Madrid, Marseille and RB Salzburg joining them in the pot.

Leipzig's Guinean midfielder Naby Keita, centre.
Leipzig's Guinean midfielder Naby Keita, centre.

Looking to build on last week's first-leg double, Alexandre Lacazette went closest in the opening half-hour with an attempt that was blocked behind for a corner.

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey, center, and CSKA's Bibras Natcho, second right
Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey, center, and CSKA's Bibras Natcho, second right

CSKA gave themselves hope when Chalov reacted quickest to tap in the rebound after Petr Cech saved well from Nababkin's header.

With the wind in their sails, the hosts pushed for a second before half-time, and went within a metre of doing so when Kristijan Bistrovic's powerful long-range effort sailed narrowly wide.

Five minutes into the second half, CSKA moved within one goal of a semi-final spot when Cech parried Aleksandr Golovin's dipping effort into the path of Nababkin.

Cech palmed away Golovin's low free-kick moments later, while Arsenal remained without a shot on target down the other end as Laurent Koscielny flashed a shot over.

Arsenal's Danny Welbeck celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal
Arsenal's Danny Welbeck celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal

Arsenal's sole flash of brilliance put the tie beyond CSKA's reach, as Welbeck played a tidy one-two with Mohamed Elneny before slotting his effort beyond Igor Akinfeev.

Welbeck's goal deflated the hosts, and Ramsey piled on the woe with an injury-time leveller as the Gunners reached a first semi-final in Europe since the Champions League in 2009.

Arsenal reverted to its strongest possible XI in Europe, making seven changes from the side that beat Southampton on Sunday. Mohamed Elneny and Danny Welbeck in for Granit Xhaka and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were the only two changes from the first leg. CSKA, meanwhile, made three changes from the first-leg loss.

Atletico's players celebrate at the end of the Europa League quarterfinal second leg
Atletico's players celebrate at the end of the Europa League quarterfinal second leg

Europa League quarter-final, second leg results on Thursday:

Salzburg (AUT) 4 (Dabbur 56, Haidara 72, Hwang 74, Lainer 76) Lazio (ITA) 1 (Immobile 55) Salzburg win 6-5 on aggregate

Sporting Lisbon (POR) 1 (Montero 28) Atletico Madrid (ESP) 0 Atletico win 2-1 on aggregate

CSKA Moscow (RUS) 2 (Chalov 39, Nababkin 50) Arsenal (ENG) 2 (Welbeck 75, Ramsey 90+2) Arsenal win 6-3 on aggregate

Marseille (FRA) 5 (Ilsanker 6-og, Sarr 9, Thauvin 38, Payet 60, Sakai 90+4) RB Leipzig (GER) 2 (Bruma 2, Augustin 55) Marseille win 5-3 on aggregate



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