Sporting shocks Arsenal on penalties to qualify for the quarter finals

Sporting CP beat Arsenal in the Europa League after Goncalves worldie helped take the match to penalties, where they won 5-3 in the shootout
Sporting cause a major upset by knocking out Arsenal

(Football news) Sporting beat Arsenal in a dramatic penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw at the Emirates in the second leg to advance to the quarterfinals. The tie was level on aggregate after a 2-2 draw in Lisbon. Granit Xhaka struck in the first half, before Pedro Goncalves scored the goal of the tournament  from just past midfield to draw things level and send the match to extra time..

Arsenal started the match on the front foot as they scored a crucial first goal on the 19th minute mark when Gabriel Martinelli’s shot was saved by Antonio Adan, but the rebound fell perfectly to Xhaka’s path as he swept it home with his first touch to give the Gunners a lead in the tie. Mikel Arteta was forced to make two injury substitutions in the first half as Ben White came on for Takehiro Tomiyasu on nine minutes and Rob Holding replaced William Saliba shortly.

In the second half the visiting fans roared them to life just as just past the hour mark Pedro Goncalves sent a shot sailing over Aaron Ramsdale’s head from almost 50 yards away to level the tie. Arteta’s side were stunned after that long-range leveller. Oleksandr Zinchenko gathered the Arsenal players at midfield before the restart as they looked a bit clueless after that wonder goal. Ramsdale then made a superb save in the 72nd minute after taking a Marcus Edwards shot to the face. Neither team could find a goal in regulation and the game went to extra time level at 3-3 on aggregate.

In stoppage time, Adan made a brilliant save from a Gabriel Magalhaes header and then late on Manuel Ugarte was sent off with a second yellow for his rough tackle on Bukayo Saka as the match went to the penalties. Both teams were 3 out of 3 from the spot until Adan saved Martinelli’s spot kick and then Nuno Santos hit the winning penalty to send Sporting through to the final eight. Arsenal will shift their focus to the Premier League as they are five points ahead of Man City in the table, and are back in action on Sunday against Crystal Palace.

“I think we did enough in some periods of the game, but for most of the game we were not at the level that we should be,” Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard, who converted the first spot kick of the shootout, said after the match. “Part of the game we did well, but we didn’t play our best football. It was a tight game and it could have gone both ways. It is a big blow to go out of this competition, it was a big goal for us. But now we have to come back stronger and make sure we finish well in the league.”

Also read: Gareth Southgate continues favouritism in in latest England squad


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