The soccer news starts with a familiar story. Arsenal is out of Europe, exiting the Europa League at the semifinal stage after a 2-1 aggregate loss to Atletico Madrid. Following the 1-1 home draw, Arsenal lost 1-0 at Atletico. The result isn't necessarily surprising, continuing a streak of disappointment for the club in European competition. The last time Arsenal won a European competition was the 1993-94 Cup Winners' Cup, a competition that didn't make it into this century.
In a normal season, this would only compound Arsenal's issues. For manager Arsene Wenger's swansong, it's almost appropriate. Arsenal underachieving is the story over several seasons, something any club would want to shake.
"I’m like the team, very sad and very disappointed," Wenger said. "Overall I’m even very frustrated as well. When you go out of a competition and give the performances we did over 180 minutes, it’s very difficult to take. Now for the club, they’ve got some time to think a out what to do for next season. I think there are some good ingredients in our team and they will bounce back. These players have quality and with the right additions in the summer, they have the ingredients to compete next year."
Arsenal management already shifted the focus to next year when they made the decision to announce that Wenger would leave at the end of the season. The timing was something Wenger himself questioned, and he's got a point. This isn't a transition with next season's manager already in place. It's a disruption that was highly unlikely to help Arsenal right now.
Moving to Liga MX, the 2018 Clausura playoff first-legs continued. Jose Torres was on the bench for Tigres' 2-0 home shutout of Jorge Villafana's Santos Laguna. Hugo Ayala opened the scoring in the 22nd minte with Andre-Pierre Gignac converting a 79th minute penalty. Nahuel Guzman kept the clean sheet. Villafana subbed out in the 35th minute. In the other game, Morelia and Toluca drew 2-2.
MLSsoccer.com's Scott French with the Galaxy trying to figure out where to play Gio Dos Santos. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jonathan Tannenwald looks at the Union's schedule. The Washington Post's Steven Goff also has a look at the schedule, with DC United taking a lengthy road trip in advance of their new stadium opener. Rangers announced that former Liverpool and LA Galaxy player Steven Gerrard will become their new manager for 2018-19.
Inside World Football's Andrew Warshaw outlines the European Leagues issues with FIFA's plans for the Club World Cup and new global league.
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