Atletico dump more misery on Wenger
Diego Costa struck the only goal as Arsenal's hopes of winning one last trophy under departing coach Arsene Wenger ended with a 1-0 defeat against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals yesterday.
The second-leg result also means that Arsenal will not qualify for the UEFA Champions League for a second straight season.
Atletico advanced 2-1 on aggregate thanks to Costa's goal in first-half injury time. The Madrid club will meet Marseille in the final on the 16th of this month, following their 3-2 aggregate win over Red Bull Salzburg.
Diego Simeone's team is already certain of a Champions League place next season because it is second in the Spanish League.
Atletico was demoted to the Europa League after failing to get past the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in five seasons.
Arsenal is sixth in the Premier League and needed to win the Europa League to qualify for Europe's leading club competition.
Wenger, in his 250th UEFA game as a club coach, announced two weeks ago that he was standing down after nearly 22 years with the London team.
Costa, the scourge of Arsenal several times during his three seasons with Chelsea, picked up a perfect pass by Antoine Griezmann and strode into the area before fending off a defender and lifting the ball over goalkeeper David Ospina.
Arsenal tried to rally but struggled to break through Atletico's stout defence, creating few scoring opportunities.