Arsenal crash out on penalties after hard-fought battle with Sporting

Arsenal crash out on penalties after hard-fought battle with Sporting

Arsenal have been eliminated from the Europa League by Sporting CP after a two-legged battle that had to be settled on penalties.

The Gunners should have expected a tough battle after the 90 minutes of excitement last week, and the night didn’t disappoint.

We tried our best to settle things in the opening 45 minutes, with both of Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus causing a right nuisance to our rivals, but it was Granit Xhaka who made the difference going into the break.

The Brazilian winger broke down the left before getting played in behind the defence, with his strike being parried into the path of our stand-in captain to place us into the lead.

Things seemed to turn after the break however, with us struggling to break into the final third, and we paid the price when Pedro shocked Aaron Ramsdale with a long-range strike which left him scrambling back to his goal.

The boss attempted to throw his big guns into play off the bench to try and make sure the result went our way, but Sporting refused to lie down, and I admit that I was a little relieved to make it to extra time.

Both sides had efforts going wide of the post, while the most exciting incident of extra time came when Bukayo Saka was taken out, prompting the red card for Sporting’s Ugarte.

Naturally, this frustrating yet exciting fixture was to be settled by the penalty shootout, and we started on the Backfoot after losing the toss, and we were forced to shoot second.

After seven successfull pemalties, with Ramsdale coming close twice, it was Habriel Martinelli who faltered first.

Sporting delivered their fifth from five to reach the next stage of the competition, and we can all pretend that we only care dabout the Premier League from this poknt onwards.



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