Our event of the day is the return leg of the Europa League semi-final between Atlético Madrid and Arsenal at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid. This competition is the last chance for a trophy this season for both clubs, but also the only remaining opportunity for Arsenal to qualify for next season’s Champions League as Europa League winners, since they’re sixth in the Premier League. Atlético have already achieved this through La Liga, where they sit in second place, behind new champions, Barcelona. The first leg in London ended in a 1-1 draw as the Gunners failed to capitalize on a Madrid side going down to ten men early on. Alexandre Lacazette put the hosts in front, but after a number of wasted chances, Antoine Griezmann punished the Arsenal defence to put Atlético in a great position for the second leg at home.
Atléti entered the Europa League knock-out stages from the Champions League and this is their first appearance in the competition in five years. They seek their third victory, having won the trophy in 2010 and 2012. The Arsenal players are desperate to go all the way and present a perfect send-off to their manager Arsène Wenger, who leaves the club at the end of the season after 22 years in charge. The hosts haven’t conceded a goal at their new stadium since January, in 11 matches in all competitions. They will be without suspended Šime Vrsaljko who received a red card in the first game, and Juanfran who is likely to miss the game with a hamstring injury. Arsenal’s missing players are Santi Cazorla (Achilles) and Mohamed Elneny (Ankle) whilst Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is cup-tied. It’s going to be a thrilling match at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the opening day of the Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte. Brian Harman of the United States is the defending champion at the 16th edition of the PGA Tour event. The World Championship in snooker sees semi-finals action at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. In the Indian Premier League, the Kolkata Knight Riders face the Chennai Super Kings at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. In the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Washington Capitals at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, while in the NBA Playoffs the Toronto Raptors face the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. It’s Day 4 of the ATP World Tour BMW Open at the Tennis club MTTC Iphitos in Munich. In the NRL, the Broncos host the Bulldogs at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by UEFA
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