The Associated PressMOSCOW (AP) — Arsenal overcame a scare against CSKA Moscow Thursday to reach the Europa League semifinals, while Salzburg staged a stunning comeback to knock Lazio out with four goals in a 20-minute burst.
Played at a time of growing political tension between the Russian and British governments, there was no sign of trouble on the streets outside the VEB Arena in Moscow.
CSKA went 2-0 up to put Arsenal under pressure but the London club hit back to draw 2-2 on the night and progress 6-3 on aggregate.
Lazio seemed poised to clinch a place in the last four when Ciro Immobile struck in the 55th minute to give the Italian team a 5-2 advantage on aggregate. Salzburg, though, produced a spectacular recovery to become the first Austrian team to reach the semifinals of the competition in its current form.
Marseille also qualified after losing the first leg, beating Leipzig 5-2 to win 5-3 overall, while Atletico Madrid lost 1-0 at Sporting Lisbon but scraped through 2-1 on aggregate.
Thursday’s Europa League fixtures continued a week of dramatic Champions League comebacks, after Roma beat Barcelona and Juventus came close to knocking out Real Madrid.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said it was a sign European competition is becoming more evenly matched. “The games are very open and everything is possible in every game,” he said.
The Europa League semifinal draw will be on Friday.
Arsenal had to show some second-half grit to help Wenger move within three games of winning his first European trophy.
Wenger’s team initially struggled on a cool spring night in Moscow, going 2-0 down after 50 minutes following goals from Fedor Chalov and Kirill Nababkin.
Danny Welbeck came to the rescue with a 75th minute goal before Aaron Ramsey went charging through the middle of the defense to grab Arsenal’s second goal in stoppage time and extend his team’s unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions.Speech