Arsenal and Sporting have all to play for at the Emirates after a 2-2 draw in the 1st leg

Arsenal look for the unprecedented Premier League and Europa League double while Sporting look to cause an upset
Arsenal face Sporting at the Emirates Stadium in the second leg

(Football news) Arsenal and Sporting played out a  2-2 draw in the first leg of their Europa League tie as they both faced each other at the Emirates Stadium. Both teams enter the second leg on the back of 3-0 league wins as sloppy and set-piece goals were the themes of last week’s first leg at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

William Saliba put Arsenal in front before Goncalo Inacio equalised for Sporting with a header from a corner. Paulinho scored a tap in 10 minutes into the second half but then Arsenal got lucky as Hidemasa Morita scored an own goal. It was certainly not number one priority for Arteta as they continue to make waves in the Premier League, still five points clear at the summit. 

Mikel Arteta’s side will most likely make their long-awaited Champions League return now but an unprecedented Premier League and Europa League double is still on the cards for the Gunners are aiming to end a three-game drought without a win in Europa League knockout games at home. Sunday’s performance at Craven Cottage saw Arsenal score at least two goals for the fourth game in a row while they have posted four clean sheets in their last four Europa League home matches against Villarreal, PSV Eindhoven, Bodo/Glimt and Zurich in the process.

Paulinho would be rueing those missed chances that would have put his side out of sight in the second half. Thursday’s entertaining stalemate gave them a lot if confidence as they got the response domestically goals from Nuno Santos and a Salvador Agra own goal helped Sporting beat Boavista comprehensively before Paulinho came off the bench to score a third goal in injury time, but Amorim’s team remained 15 points behind Benfica in the Portuguese League standings.

Sporting are seeking a first Europa League quarter-final berth since the 2017-18 season, when they were eliminated by eventual winners Atletico Madrid. Sporting going to the clash will take a seven-game unbeaten run in all competition. Amorim’s men boast five successive away wins domestically but Sporting have not managed to come away with a win on English soil since 2005. The visitors have failed to win in nine games on English soil ever since defeating Middlesbrough in the 2004-05 UEFA Cup as they ended up reaching the final before losing to CSKA Moscow.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:

Turner; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney; Jorginho, Partey, Vieira; Nelson, Trossard, Smith Rowe

Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:

Adan; St. Juste, Inacio, Reis; Esgaio, Ugarte, Goncalves, Santos; Edwards, Paulinho, Trincao

Also read: Potential Manchester United owners Sheikh Jassim and INEOS to visit the club

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