Arsenal romped towards the Europa League semi-finals with a 4-1 thrashing of CSKA Moscow on Thursday in a match devoid of any of the political tension that threatened to overshadow the tie due to frosty relations between London and the Russian capital.
Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey and France striker Alexandre Lacazette scored two goals each for Arsenal, cancelling out a superb free kick by CSKA's midfielder Aleksandr Golovin at the Emirates stadium.
However, CSKA coach Viktor Goncharenko encouraged the Gunners' support and England fans travelling for the World Cup in June to visit Russian Federation.
Atletico are the favorites for this season's Europa League, alongside Premier league outfit Arsenal and Italian side Lazio, and looked the part during a solid opening.
"Arsenal" in the home match with "CSKA" for the first time since 2004 in the competition for one half and scored four goals.
However, the Welshman did open the scoring by rounding off a fine team move on nine minutes by firing Hector Bellerin's cross into the roof of the net.
Arsenal got the slice of fortune they needed when Ozil was controversially awarded a penalty as he fell theatrically under Georgi Schennikov's challenge.
Europa League favourites Atletico Madrid eased past Sporting Lisbon 2-0 in the first leg of their quarter-final.
Ramsey then doubled his tally for the evening in style with an audacious flick over Igor Akinfeev with the outside of his foot to give Arsenal some breathing space from a teasing Ozil cross.
Lazio also stayed on course to progress after an action-packed 4-2 home win over Salzburg in their quarter-final first leg and upstarts RB Leipzig will head to Olympique de Marseille with a 1-0 advantage.
A defensive howler from Sebastian Coates saw Atletico surge into the lead just 22 seconds in, Diego Costa intercepting the former Liverpool man's sloppy pass to feed Koke, who finished finely for the game's first goal.
RB Leipzig lead French giants Marseille 1-0 as German worldwide striker Timo Werner got the only goal for the Bundesliga side.