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Diego Costa comes back to haunt Arsenal one last time

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As Wenger’s time as Arsenal manager ends in a predictable whimper

Atletico Madrid v Arsenal FC  - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Second Leg Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Arsène Wenger, once known as a visionary who revolutionized Premier League with his new brand of football, diet and training sessions, has regressed to being nothing more than a meme in recent years. Gone are the days when Wenger’s Arsenal were described as “Invincible”. Nowadays, Arsenal are mostly described as “Invisible” and “Miserable”. Too bad ‘Les Miserables’ is already taken as a book title.

The decline of Wenger can be seen from the fans’ reaction to his dismissal as Arsenal’s manager, after being at their helm for nearly 22 years. While Arsenal fans rejoiced at the thought of not having Wenger manage their team, the opposition fans were equally despondent and heartbroken. In fact, Wenger’s considered so harmless these days, he was jointly (jointly!) honored (honored!) by Sir Alex Ferguson (SAF!) and Jose Mourinho (TSO!) at Old Trafford (Old Trafford!) the other day, as the locals launched into “Arsene Wenger, we want you to stay”.

Memes aside, Arsenal did win three FA Cups in the last four seasons — including, sadly, by beating Chelsea in the final last season — but after they were knocked out at hands of European giants Real Madrid Nottingham Forest, 4-2, in their very first match of this year’s competition, the only trophy that remained available to them was the Europa League.

The only people who like the Europa League are the ones who actually win it, but it would’ve been a nice way to send off a legendary manager. However, that send-off turned even more fitting thanks to the one and only Diego Costa, who scored the winning goal to send Atletico to the final with a roar and Arsenal back home with a whimper.

Costa had scored 3 times in his previous 6 appearances against Arsenal (and Wenger) prior to his appearance in tonight’s second leg of the Europa League semifinal. Of course, all those games were for Chelsea and not Atletico, and this was, in fact, the first time Diego was facing Arsenal as an Atletico player, after sitting through the first leg as an unused substituted.

Not even Wenger’s all-seeing eyes could miss Costa’s impact and historical bullying of Arsenal and so he devised a special plan to stop him.

Did it work?

Did it ever! Take it away, Diego.

Classic Diego, muscling off the defender (Xhaka) and slotting coolly past Ospina. Great vision by Griezmann on the pass, it should be noted, but that confident finish is something we (and Wenger) are quite familiar with.

Diego, you’re a gift that keeps on giving, especially when we don’t have to deal with all the other associated shenanigans alongside all the crucial goals.