Sporting Lisbon knock out Arsenal in Europa League Round of 16
Arsenal, the Premier League leader hanging on to 3rd in the Portuguese Championship (2-2, first leg) a week earlier, did no better – admittedly with a revamped team (Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Thomas Partey, Leandro Trossard on the bench) – during his round of 16 second leg of the Europa League (1-1, ap), Thursday evening. Even worse, he was eliminated after the penalty shootout (3-5).
The Gunners had however quickly proved effective, scoring on their first opportunity. Granit Xhaka took the ball back from Antonio Adan (19th). Only, in the process, William Saliba, scorer in Lisbon, had to go out, obviously muscle affected (21st)a few minutes after a first injury, that of the Japanese right side Takehiro Tomiyasu (9th).
So greatly diminished, the English had to suffer and, clearly dominated in the second half, bowed to a stroke of genius from Pedro Gonçalves who, in the center circle, lobbed Aaron Ramsdale (62nd).
The extension, logical, saw Arsenal dominate, but Sporting goalkeeper Antonio Adnan made a few high-flying saves, including one on a header from Gabriel (117th), who then saw Ousmane Diomandé replace him in front of his goal line (118th).
He was finally decisive in the series of shots on goal, repelling Gabriel Martinelli’s attempt, while his teammates managed a clear round. A qualification far from undeserved for the Lisbon people.