Sporting Lisbon book their place in last 8 as Arsenal crashes out of UEL

London [United Kingdom], 17 March : Nuno Santos’ fifth penalty secured Sporting Lisbon a place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League. Arsenal broke the deadlock with a goal from Grt Xhaka within 20 minutes of the game to go 3-2 on aggregate.

Arsenal lost the momentum they had gained in seconds in the first hour of the game. The goal in the 62nd minute became the highlight of the whole game. 24-year-old Portuguese striker Pedro Goncalves produced a goal of the season contender just before half-time, beating Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale in a 3-3 aggregate.

Visitors all over the London side spent the rest of the half hour running for their money. During this period, Lisbon fans made enemy territory their home. Arsenal fans were too stunned to react to the situation unfolding right before their eyes. The green took over from the red and gave London a new hue.

After the end of the first 90 minutes of the second leg, the game went into 30-minute overtime. Antonio Adan and Ramsdale have been challenged on more than one occasion during this period. The match eventually went to a penalty shootout. Lisbon scored all penalties but Gabriel Martinelli failed to convert the hosts’ fourth penalty. This was enough to stage Arsenal’s demise as they exited the competition in a 5-3 penalty shootout defeat.

In the post-game conference, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reflected on the game: “Yes, a big blow. We really wanted to come through the competition and fight and try. Today we tried for 120 minutes and with penalties and that was it it.” “Not enough. First of all, congratulations to Sporting Lisbon. If we look at ourselves, it started to be difficult to lose Tomi and Saliba and that made it difficult to manage the game because we only had one window to make the substitutions reach, and some players couldn’t play 90 minutes.”

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“Nevertheless, we didn’t find our rhythm and flow, left too much space, were too late, didn’t dominate there and often, sometimes repeatedly, gave the ball away. Then in the last 20 minutes we got our flow, we got the momentum, we deserved a lot more,” continued Arteta.

The only trophy available to Arsenal this season is the Premier League. They’ve been eliminated from all competitions and are now solely focused on the Premier League. They now face Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Disclaimer: This post was automatically published from an agency feed with no edits to the text and has not been checked by an editor

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