Arsenal out of Europa League after shootout loss to Sporting Lisbon

A 2-2 draw in Lisbon a week ago ensured this round of 16 was well balanced and it would go all the way to the end at the Emirates Stadium, with Sporting going on 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw after extra time .

The visitors were perfect from 12 yards but Martinelli’s tame effort was saved in the Emirates’ first-ever shootout.

As Kim Kardashian watched, the reality for Arsenal is that all their trophy hopes this season now rest on their Premier League title win, which continues at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Granit Xhaka’s first goal since October had put Arsenal ahead but they failed to extend that advantage before conceding a spectacular equalizer reminiscent of the goal Nayim scored against the Gunners in the 1995 Cup Winners’ Cup final when Pedro Goncalves hit from over 49 meters.

Substitute Leandro Trossard saw a shot at the woodwork in the first half of extra time before Manuel Ugarte was sent off and shown a second yellow for a lunge against Bukayo Saka.

The pressure mounted in the penalty shootout as the opening seven shooters all converted before Martinelli didn’t, allowing Nuno Santos to head home the decisive shot.

Mikel Arteta named a strong XI despite struggling on two fronts, with the Premier League title race no doubt his top priority as the Gunners hold a five-point lead at the summit – Gabriel Jesus was back in the for the first time since his return Starting lineup of knee surgeries.

Arsenal - Sporting Lisbon - UEFA Europa League - Round of 16 - Second Leg - Emirates StadiumGranit Xhaka was on target to fire Arsenal forward (John Walton/PA)

He lost Takehiro Tomiyasu to injury with less than 10 minutes on the clock as he limped away to be replaced by Ben White.

Jesus saw Sporting’s goal for the first time after 15 minutes but failed to deflect a Reiss Nelson cross into the net

Arsenal went ahead within 20 minutes, Jorginho with a fine pass to Martinelli whose shot was saved by Antonio Adan but Xhaka made no mistake as he turned the rebound home.

While things were going well in front of goal, Arsenal lost their second player through injury in the first quarter of the competition when William Saliba limped off and Rob Holding came on as a substitute in central defence.

Jesus was again prevented from making his comeback with a goal when Adan made a brilliant low stop after the half-hour to ward off the Brazilian’s attempt.

The striker was replaced by Trossard at half-time but Arsenal’s game was still not quite as it had been in the Premier League and the tie was soon leveled in remarkable circumstances.

Sporting won the ball in midfield and Goncalves spotted Ramsdale off his line, who brilliantly lobbed the England goalkeeper out of the Arsenal half.

Arteta responded by bringing on the big hitters when Saka and Thomas Partey were introduced immediately after Sporting’s goal.

Ramsdale will have been unlucky to concede such a goal but braced himself to keep Marcus Edwards away when the former Tottenham man broke through one on one as the visitors began to dominate.

However, neither side could find a winner in the 90s as the tie went into extra time giving Arsenal another 30 minutes of football that Arteta would have wanted to avoid.

Trossard forced a clever save from Adan, who deflected the Belgian’s shot to the post as the hosts tried to turn the tide.

Arsenal - Sporting Lisbon - UEFA Europa League - Round of 16 - Second Leg - Emirates StadiumGabriel Jesus made his comeback from injury for the Gunners (John Walton/PA

Skipper Martin Odegaard was introduced, his first role as a de facto cheerleader, as he whipped the home fans into a frenzy for the closing stages.

Adan was on hand again to theatrically cover a Gabriel Magalhaes header, with the Brazilian defender seeing his shot from the resulting corner chopped off the line.

Sporting was getting tired and their duels became more desperate. Ugarte received a second yellow card after clapping against Saka, while Arsenal were the side pushing for the win.

The tie would ultimately be decided by a penalty shootout, Jerry St Juste was the first for the visitors and fired his penalty past Ramsdale who guessed the right way.

Arsenal - Sporting Lisbon - UEFA Europa League - Round of 16 - Second Leg - Emirates StadiumMiguel Nuno Santos celebrated his team’s win (John Walton/PA)

Odegaard then came on for Arsenal and calmly pushed home, Ricardo Esgaio then restored the lead before Saka was the next Arsenal man to hide from 12 yards.

Ramsdale got a close look at Goncalo Ignacio’s attempt but couldn’t stop it as Trossard continued the goal run to make it 3-3.

Arthur Gomes’ penalty crept in as Ramsdale came close to saving again and Martinelli saw his saved by Adan to put Sporting on the cusp.

Santos made no mistake in hitting home to put the visitors through 5-3 on aggregate, with Arsenal still without a home KO victory since May 2019 in Europe.

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