CSKA Moscow 2 Arsenal 2
Chalov 39, Nababkin 50 Welbeck 75, Ramsey 92 (3-6 agg)

Arsenal came thorough a tough examination of their Europa League credentials despite an initial scare in Russia. Having been down 1-0 at half time to CSKA in Moscow, they fell further behind, before eventually coming through to reach the last four with goals from Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey to level 2-2 on the night. Having had a 4-1 lead from the first leg at the Emirates, the Gunners should have been out of sight, however they conceded when Fedor Chalov and Kirill Nababkin strikes threatened another shock European comeback. At 2-2, Arsenal not only rallied but held off the Russian side with Mohamed Elneny having his best game for the Gunners. His two assists and combative midfield game provided the catalyst for his side’s turnaround. Arsenal were drawn to face Atletico Madrid in the Europe League semi-finals, with Marseille facing Salzburg in the other tie.

Arsene Wenger admitted that his side were “in trouble” when the home side started brightly and scored twice. Chalov reacted the quicker as Shkodran Mustafi stood still to score the opener after Petr Cech saved Nabakin’s header.

Cech was at fault when he could only parry Golovin’s strike from 25 yards. Again the Gunners defence seemed to look on as Nababkin reacted first to double the hosts’ lead. CSKA went close to drawing level on aggregate and leading on away goals but this time Cech saved Aleksandr Golovin’s free-kick with Sergei Ignashevich shooting narrowly wide.

Jack Wilshere seemed all at sea with his inability to pass or tackle allowing the hosts to regain possession in dangerous areas. Elneny was instructed to join the central defence, but with Wilshere now making way for Rob Holding, Elneny returned to midfield where he would impact the game. Welbeck turned his marker on the left wing, and played the ball to Elneny. The Egyptian spotted Welbeck’s follow up run to put a peach of a pass in his path. The England man finished without breaking his stride.

That seemed to sap the energy of CSKA who fell further behind when Ramsey raced onto Elneny’s pass before clipping the ball over Igor Akinfeev to seal the draw on the night and a 6-3 aggregate win.

“We were in trouble in the first half. In the first half the distances were too big. At 2-1 we looked good to get to 2-2 and we did,” said Wenger.

“They scored the second, had a chance for the third. It was a good response from us after the break. After moving to a back five we were more stable and didn’t concede as many chances. Their second was from distance, but in the box we didn’t give anything away.

“We have players who can always score. Once we got to 2-1 it was a big blow for them and they didn’t recover.”

The Gunners will hope to keep their winning run alive in the Premier League for Sunday’s trip to Newcastle United.