Arsenal was knocked out of the Europa League at the last-16 stage in a penalty (Agg 3-3; 3-5) on pens shootout defeat by Sporting Lisbon at Emirates Stadium.
The match ended 1-1 after extra time, with Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka scoring the opener and Pedro Goncalves equalizing with a sensational long-range chip from 46 yards.
Arsenal defender Gabriel came close twice in the final minutes of extra time, but his header was tipped over the bar and then he had an effort cleared off the goalline.
In the penalty shootout, Gabriel Martinelli’s spot-kick was saved by goalkeeper Adan before Nuno Santos netted the winner to spark celebrations among Sporting’s players at full-time.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta made five changes to the starting lineup for the match against Sporting despite the score being 2-2 on aggregate, as he sought to use his squad to the fullest during a Premier League title race.
The match saw the return of Gabriel Jesus, who had been out injured since December. However, the team suffered early injuries to defenders William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Sporting controlled possession and created numerous chances throughout the match.
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Although Granit Xhaka gave Arsenal a narrow lead, Sporting equalized with a stunning goal from Pedro Goncalves and had chances to win the game. Despite Arsenal’s European journey coming to an end, Arteta will be concerned about the impact of injuries and 120 minutes of gruelling action on their Premier League campaign.