Arsenal Vs Sporting CP: Arsenal Europa League Hopes Dashed as Gunners Crash Out After Losing On Penalty Shootouts [Video Highlights]


    Arsenal Europa League hopes halted on Thursday, March 16, after they lost via penalties following a dramatic 3-3 aggregate draw with Sporting CP at Emirates.

    Arsenal Europa League

    It was a favorable coincident with the stats favoring the Gunners as they went head-to-head against Sporting CP at Emirates Stadium.

    The Gunners have lost only one of their nine matches against Portuguese clubs, winning 7 and drawing 1. Sporting CP, on the other hand, were winless in their last nine games away to English clubs.

    The first leg ended in a 2-2 draw and the Premier League title hopefuls needed a win to book the quarterfinal ticket.

    Mikel Arteta cut a swathe of big changes to the squad that defeated Fulham by 3-0 in the Premier League.

    Gabriel Jesus returned to the starting lineup for the first time after returning from months on the sidelines.

    Arteta benched Thomas Partey and Martin Oddegard for Vieira and Jorginho in the middle of the park.

    Arsenal: Aaron Ramsdale; Takehiro Tomiyasu, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Reiss Nelson, Granit Xhaka, Jorginho, Fabio Vieira; Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli.

    Arsenal Europa League

    Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim also made some changes to the squad that smashed Boavista 3-0 in the Premeira Liga.

    Adan and Juste started the game with Inacio, Paulinho, and Trincao all bundled into the starting lineup.

    Sporting CP: Antonio Adan; Ousmane Diomande, Jeremiah St. Juste, Goncalo Bernardo Inacio; Ricardo Esgaio, Pote, Manuel Ugarte, Matheus Reis; Marcus Edwards, Paulinho, Trincao.

    Arsenal Europa League

    As expected, Arsenal controlled proceedings as the game get underway but the Gunners were struck with an early injury concern just 8 minutes into the game.

    Tomiyasu sprawled to the ground after twisting his leg and Arteta was forced to bring on Ben White to replace him.

    Arsenal Europa League

    Sporting CP were making headway upfront and had come close to pulling an upset but the Arsenal backline were equal to the task.

    In the 18th minute, Gabriel Martinelli took a tumble on the ball and Sporting players screamed, signaling for a penalty but it was turned down by the referee.

    A minute after the penalty call, Xhaka put the Gunners ahead in the 19th minute, boosting Arsenal Europa League hopes. Martinelli would have dropped the curtain-raiser but Adan stopped it before Xhaka hit home the rebound to give the Gunners a deserved lead.

    Arsenal Europa League

    The Gunners went 3-2 up in aggregate but needed to do more to stop the niggling counter threats by Sporting CP.

    The host looked set to grab another goal but Sporting held on to tame the fiery Gunners.

    After the half-hour, the game lulls down in pace from the rush of the early minutes as both sides seem to effectively read the others and curtailed excessive possession and dominance.

    The first half ended with Arsenal maintaining their narrow lead.

    Arsenal Europa League

    Porto headed into the second half with renewed energy trying to come back into the game, but they had to do more when launching attacks.

    Arsenal seemed more deadly upfront despite losing an initial dominant display in the first half.

    In the 62nd minute, Arsenal gave away a cheap goal that saw the home draw the game level. The Gunners lost possession in the midfield and were punished by Concalves’ spectacular strike which saw Aaron Ramsdale sprawled helplessly to the ground.

    Mikel Arteta made swift substitutions to chisel the game back in favor of the Gunners after the equaliser. He took off Jorginho and Nelson for Partey and Saka, respectively.

    The visitors continued to hold the momentum after the equaliser and were causing problems for the Gunners’ defense.

    In the 70th minutes, Arsenal began to find their way back into the game, trying to return to the lead, but Sporting CP held on to settle for the 1-1 draw after regulation time.

    The match went into extra time after both sides settled for an aggregate 3-3 draw after regulation time.

    Arsenal were the better side in first and second halves of the extra time but could not break the goal deadlock before they finally settled for penalty shootout.

    Gabriel Martinelli missed his penalty as Arsenal Europa League hopes came to an end, losing 4-5 on shootouts to crash out of the competition.

    Video Highlights


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here