Now the departing Gunners boss fears his last chance of lifting a European trophy has been destroyed by Antoine Griezmann’s late semi-final equaliser.
He complained: “Of course this leaves us with a bitter taste because we had the chance to be in the final tonight and the whole thing went wrong in the end.
“At 1-0 up it was the perfect result at home and our only task was not to be caught on the long ball.
“The only chance for Atletico to score would be with a long ball. It was down to us not to make a mistake and we have only ourselves to look at for their goal.
“I feel like we produced the performance we wanted but the result was not in line with the way we played.
“But it’s a story we have seen before. Against Manchester United we had 33 shots and lost. Tonight we had 20 shots and only drew.
“We were not clinical enough and gave away an unfortunate goal that puts in a difficult position for the second leg next week.
ARSENAL 1 ATLETICO 1 Griezmann sucker punch gives 10-man Spaniards the edge
“We have created an anti-climax by giving the goal away and the only advantage of this result is that we know exactly what we have to do in Madrid.
“We have nothing to lose now. We have to go there and play to win.
“This is the worst possible result for us and now we have to recover from the disappointment and recover for the next game.
“We have to go there with absolute belief. It will be a special game and I am confident we can score.”
Atletico were forced to play for 80 minutes with ten men after full-back Sime Vrsaljko was dismissed for a second yellow card before coach Diego Simeone was sent-off for abusing French referee Clement Turpin.
But Wenger insisted: “We started well with good pace and desire, but once they went down to ten men it destroyed the flow of the game and that was not to our advantage.”
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