Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Arsenal are pegged back by halfway line wonder goal and exit the Europa League on penalties

The Europa League last 16 tie between Arsenal and Sporting CP went all the way to penalties, with the Portuguese side eventually winning courtesy of an Antonio Adan penalty save against Gabriel Martinelli.

It finished 3-3 on aggregate, as Arsenal couldn’t get the job done in normal time or extra time, before their fate was decided from the spot.

After the 2-2 result of the first leg, the Gunners got off to the perfect start in London when Granit Xhaka fired them in front on the night and in the tie after a short period of pressure that saw a flurry of attempts on goal from Arsenal.

The first half was not all good news for Mikel Arteta, though, because he saw both William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu leave the pitch with injuries.

That would prove to affect the game as Sporting CP began to get a bit more joy as they went forward in the second half.

They would not have expected to draw level in the manner they did, though, as Pedro Goncalves spotted Aaron Ramsdale off of his line and lobbed the Englishman from 46 yards out. The goal sparked wild celebrations in the away end and on the pitch with just under half an hour still to play.

Neither side could find a winner in the final half hour of the 90, even though both teams had chances, meaning the fans at the Emirates were getting some extra time.

The tie goes to extra time and penalties
Early on in the extra 30 minutes, Leandro Trossard was gifted a one-on-one chance via a poor back pass, but his shot was saved by Adan and bounced off the post, much to the despair of the home fans.

Rob Holding had another good chance, but couldn’t direct his header on target from a corner, meaning it remained level at the midway point of extra time.

In the second period, Gabriel tested Adan once again, with the Gunners pushing and pushing for the winner, but they couldn’t find one and the tie went to penalties.

After the first seven were converted, Gabriel Martinelli had his spot kick saved by Adan, before Nuno Santos fired in to send the Portuguese side through and the Premier League leaders out.

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