Before Thursday night, all talk was about Arsenal winning the Europa League for Arsene Wenger to have a fairy tale ending.

But after 90 minutes at the Emirates, the reality of why Arsenal has been a European failure under Wenger stared everyone in the face.

After playing 80 minutes against a coachless and one man less Atletico Madrid team, Arsenal managed to concede an away goal and drew 1-1.

Making that final is now considered a tough task for the London team as Atletico has proven to be a hard nut to crack at home.

Wenger, during his post-match briefing, was smart enough to admit the fault. But really, he had no choice on a night when all major officiating decisions went in his favour.

“We can only look at ourselves and tonight’s result because one needs a perfect result at home,” he said about the disappointment of giving a goal away and not being clinical in front of goal.

But he seems to have some glimmer of hope that they can still qualify.

“The whole team is very disappointed, but for us to have a chance to qualify, we have to get the disappointment out of the way and rebuild the desire and the confidence to go there and qualify,” he said.

Antoine Griezmann rescued a draw for the visitors with eight minutes remaining after Alexandre Lacazette's 61st minute opener.

Atletico Madrid, reduced to ten men after nine minutes, had barely been able to get out of their half for much of the game as Arsenal controlled the game but failed to convert their chances.

The return leg will be played in seven days’ time, and Arsenal will need to beat Atletico Madrid or get a higher scoring draw if they want to play in the final.

FOR MORE FRESH STORIES, DOWNLOAD BOUNCE NEWS APP HERE

WATCH: Nigerians speak about Buhari's second term plan