Arsenal 1-1 Sporting CP (3-3 agg, 3-5 pens): Martinelli miss sees Gunners exit
Arsenal crashed out of the Europa League after a penalty shoot-out defeat to Sporting CP in the Europa League round-of-16 at Emirates Stadium.
Granit Xhaka handed the Gunners a first-half lead but that advantage was cancelled out in spectacular style by Pote’s long-range effort that sent the tie into extra time.
Adan ensured the tie went the full distance with crucial saves to deny Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Magalhaes, though Sporting finished with 10 men after Manuel Ugarte’s dismissal.
Adan’s heroics came again in the showdown from the spot, denying Gabriel Martinelli’s attempt before Nuno Santos scored to send Sporting into the quarter-finals.
The Gunners took the lead after 19 minutes, with Xhaka playing a superb ball over the top for Martinelli to force Adan into a save but the Switzerland international was on hand to smash home the rebound.
Sporting started the second period on the front foot and found the equaliser in stunning fashion shortly after the hour mark, Pote spotting Ramsdale off his line and lobbing the England international from 46 yards out.
The Gunners stopper redeemed himself 10 minutes later, charging off his line to block Marcus Edwards’ effort with his face after the former Tottenham youngster was fed through by Ricardo Esgaio.
Trossard was gifted a golden opportunity in extra time when Youssef Chermiti sloppily gave the ball away but Adan denied the Belgian and deflected his effort onto the post.
The Sporting stopper was again on hand to deny Gabriel’s powerful header, the Brazilian then seeing another attempt from the following corner cleared off the line before Ugarte saw red after a second booking due to clattering into Bukayo Saka as the game headed to penalties.
With the first seven penalties of the shoot-out scored, Adan thwarted Arsenal again, diving low to his left to deny Martinelli before Nuno Santos comfortably dispatched his attempt to seal a spot in the last-eight.
What does it mean? Gunners focus now on Premier League
Five points clear at the summit of the Premier League, it is clear where Arsenal’s priorities will lie this season and an exit from the Europa League will matter little should Mikel Arteta’s side go the distance.
The Gunners’ inability to take their chances will be a cause of concern though, with Arsenal having four Opta-defined big chances over the course of the game compared to one for Sporting, with Adan’s saves being the difference.
Emirates shoot-out debut
Arsenal’s shoot-out against Sporting was their 23rd in all competitions but only their second all-time at home – and first at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners’ last shoot-out at home came in the EFL Cup against Rotherham United at Highbury in October 2003, a 9-8 victory.
A flurry of saves from Adan ultimately proved to be the difference over the course of both legs, with his performance in north London particularly impressive.
The experienced Spaniard made seven saves to keep the hosts at bay, compared to the solitary save made by Ramsdale at the other end.
Key Opta facts
– Sporting have reached the quarter-finals of a major European competition for the first time since 2017-18 in this very competition.
– Arsenal have failed to win any of their last five knockout stage games at Emirates Stadium in the Europa League (D3 L2), since beating Valencia 3-1 in May 2019.
– Sporting won their first ever penalty shoot-out in Europe having lost each of their previous two (vs Dinamo Minsk in November 1984 and Napoli in September 1989).
– Xhaka has scored five goals in all competitions for Arsenal this season, making 2022-23 his best scoring campaign for the Gunners.
– Ugarte’s sending off was Sporting’s fourth in Europe this season, more than any other side (excluding qualifiers).
Arsenal welcome Crystal Palace to Emirates Stadium on Sunday, while Sporting face Santa Clara Azores after the international break.
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