Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta described his side’s Europa League round of 16 exit at the hands of Sporting Lisbon as a “huge shock” but called on his players to quickly regain their composure and focus on chasing the English Premier League title. Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon sealed their eight-finalist deal in the European Football League Championship last evening after a 5/3 win on penalties over England’s Arsenal in the second leg of the round of 16 of the continental competition.
After the two teams tied the home and return legs 3/3 on aggregate, they played half an hour of extra time, split evenly into two halves as per match regulations. The first leg in Portugal’s Lisbon last week ended in a 1/1 draw at the original time of the return leg at London’s (Emirates) Stadium. 2/2 in balance.
Arsenal took the initiative with a shot from inside the penalty area in the 19th minute when he followed up his Brazilian teammate Gabriel Martinelli’s shot which deflected off the hands of visiting goalkeeper Spaniard Antonio Adan. In the second half, Sporting Lisbon equalized in the 62nd minute with a wonderful shot from the middle of the field by Pedro Gonçalves, where he laid the ball down (lob), taking advantage of Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdell’s progress. Unnecessarily his own goal.
Matters did not change in extra-time in the 119th minute when Sporting Lisbon’s Uruguayan Manuel Ugard was sent off for receiving a second caution, forcing both teams to resort to penalty kicks, which eventually got the laughs. In favor of Portugal. When asked about the extent of the shock he feels, Arteta replied, “Yes, it’s a big shock.” He added, “We really wanted to progress in the competition and compete for the title. We tried during the 120 minutes and the penalty shootout and it wasn’t enough.” He pointed out, “Looking at us, it started off tough with Tommy (Takehiro Tomiyasu) and (William) Saliba missing efforts, and the lack of changes made it difficult to tackle the match as some players couldn’t participate throughout the 90 minutes.”
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