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Koscielny’s mistake against Atletico highlights Arsenal’s defensive problems

The notion of Arsenal winning the Europa League to earn a Champions League qualification spot and bidding farewell to manager Arsene Wenger with a trophy is the ending that all the club’s fans want.

However, Laurent Koscielny could have potentially played a part in that dream crashing down following his costly blunder in the first leg of the semi-final against Atletico Madrid on Thursday night.

Wenger’s team put in a decent performance at the Emirates as Alexandre Lacazette gave the hosts the lead not long after the hour mark.

Arsenal played against 10 men for the majority of the encounter and it appeared as though they were going to see out the match with their slender lead, but a lapse in concentration cost them.

Koscielny – valued at £18m by Transfermarkt – failed to clear the ball, which allowed Antoine Griezmann to latch on, manoeuvre himself around goalkeeper David Ospina and slot the ball home to gain a crucial away goal.

Koscielny stats vs Atletico

It was a disappointing night for the defender as he managed to make just two clearances and one interception.

Even though he won the second-most aerial duels on the pitch, his error could end up being the moment when Arsenal threw away their chance of reaching the final.

The Gunners hopes of playing Champions League football rest on winning the second-tiered competition as they currently sit 11 points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with four games left to play.

Meanwhile, the fans have been deliberating over who the club should appoint as Wenger’s successor this summer.

Article title: Koscielny’s mistake against Atletico highlights Arsenal’s defensive problems

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