Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Report: Arsenal 1-1 Sporting Lisbon (3-5 Penalties) (Inc. Goals)

Result: Arsenal 1-1 Sporting Lisbon (3-5 Penalties)
Competition: Europa League
Date: 16 March 2023
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Jorginho, Xhaka, Vieira, Martinelli, Nelson, Jesus.

Subs: Turner, Hillson, White, Holding, Kiwior, Tierney, Partey, Smith Rowe, Ødegaard, Saka, Trossard.


Arsenal crashed out of the Europa League on penalties, at the hands of Sporting Lisbon.

In a costly night that took its toll physically over 120 minutes, including two two first-half injuries to Tomiyasu and Saliba, Arsenal were sloppy and nervy. But credit where it’s due, Sporting looked a very well drilled side and you can’t say they didn’t deserve it.

It remains to be seen how Arsenal react to the loss and potential damage report, but one thing is crystal clear: the Gunners are now all in on the Premier League title race.


Mikel Arteta wasn’t afraid to shake things up for this return leg, after a chaotic 2-2 draw in Lisbon last week. The most notable changes came in defence, where Aaron Ramsdale replaced Matt Turner in goal and an all-but first choice back four was named (bar Takehiro Tomiyasu at right back in place of Benjamin White).

Arsenal’s lord and saviour, Bukayo Saka, was given some much needed rest, whilst Jesus was handed his first start since rising again at Fulham.

Gabriel Martinelli was the only starter who was at risk of a suspension if he received a yellow card during the game, whilst Kieran Tierney was in the same situation from the bench.

First Half

After a fairly quiet start at the Emirates, Tomiyasu lost his footing – fouling his man in the process. Although the free-kick came to nothing, Tomiyasu clearly injured himself as he overstretched and had to be replaced by White, nine minutes in.

Sporting once again looked a very well coached side and were comfortable in possession, passing the ball with confidence and interchanging to great effect. Their first real chance came down Arsenal’s left-hand side as Trincao found enough space to let fire from the edge of the box, but it fizzed wide.

Arsenal’s first effort on goal came 17 minutes in, from a Nelson cross which found Jesus in the middle, but it was an awkward height for the Brazilian – who still managed to force the keeper into a save.

Then a few minutes later, the Gunners broke the deadlock. A brilliant clipped through ball from Jorginho, eluded the Sporting defender and sent Martinelli on his way, and although his effort was saved, Xhaka was there to thump home the rebound. 1-0 to The Arsenal.

But soon after the goal, a sight no Arsenal fan wanted to see: Saliba signalled to bench and limped off the field to become the Gunners’ second casualty of the night. I was unclear what the issue was, but it looked as if he could have felt something in his back. The Frenchman was replaced by Rob Holding.

On the half-hour mark, Jesus reminded us what he’s capable of as he did incredibly well to shrug off a couple of defenders with some step-over magic before firing the ball through another’s legs toward the near post, but the keeper did well to save.

A worrying moment with 40 minutes gone as St Juste was given a free run down the heart of the Arsenal midfield and defence, luckily Gabriel managed to get across with a last-ditch slide – although it was the Sporting man’s wild effort, rather than the brazilian’s attempted block,  that sent the ball sailing high and wide in the end.

Second Half

Arsenal made one further change at half-time, with Trossard replacing the returning Jesus. Although it seemed part of the plan to bring Jesus off at some point, this may have been moved forward as Arsenal only had one sub window remaining for the second half.

Sporting came out firing, piling pressure on a nervy, sloppy looking Arsenal, in and out of possession. Paulinho nearly connected with a venomous cross from the right hand side, but Ramsdale did brilliantly to bravely get there first.

The hairband-wearing Holding also proved his worth in the opening ten minutes of the second period as he made a fantastic block to deny Paulinho’s effort, then he cleared the ball well moments later. The Italian headwear clearly giving ‘Holdini’ superpowers.

For all Sporting’s pressure, it was a one-in-a-million effort that brought them back into the game. Goncavales saw Ramsdale off his line and tried an audacious shot from near the halfway line, which was so well placed that it almost grazed the crossbar on it’s way in. Wow – 1-1.

Arteta reacted with two substitutions on 65 minutes. Partey replaced Jorginho and Saka replaced Nelson. Given how the night had unfoldedm some fans might’ve been more concerned with the risk of the two coming on getting injured, rather than the impact they might have in terms of winning the game.

Ramsdale made a huge save to keep the game level at 72 minutes. Former Spurs man Marcus Edwards was slipped through on goal, but his shot was incredibly saved by Ramsdale’s face.

Arsenal actually tested the Sporting keeper as the game approached the final ten minutes. Martinelli was fouled to win a free-kick in a dangerous area. Vieira took it decently enough and forced a parried save.

In the closing stages, a small waterfall started to cascade from the roof of the stadium, forcing a patch of supporters to take refuge amongst their fellow Emirates faithful. Hopefully just a simple plumbing issue and not a symbolic metaphor of Arsenal beginning to leak beyond repair…

Extra Time

Arsenal started the first period of extra time sharply, Saka forcing the issue down the right, finding Trossard who found Vieira, but the latter’s silly little back-heel found no-one but grateful Sporting boots.

Trossard was then gifted a golden opportunity as a poor pass found him one on one with the keeper, but Adan made a great save to push the ball onto the post. Agonisingly close.

Arteta made one final roll of the dice on the 100 minute mark, as Vieira made way for Ødegaard. It wasn’t Vieira’s best night, but he was far from alone in that department.

A funny moment as Gabriel made a heavy, but fair, tackle and the Sporting player left in  a heap was vigorously and repetitively waved to his feet by the Spanish referee as if he was Arsenal’s steely midfield general. Peak Lahoz.

A brilliant Saka corner met Holding’s head(band), but the defender got too much power behind it and sent it high and wide. End of the first period.

The second half of extra time nearly started with a bang as Partey’s long range effort looked good to the naked eye, but whizzed off target.

Another glorious chance for Arsenal as Gabriel met a free-kick with his head, but the keeper was once again equal to it.

Not long after, Saka got the ball on the break and was victim to a disgraceful challenge by Ugarte, who was shown a second yellow and sent packing. Full time in extra time.


Sporting: 1. Goal 2. Goal 3. Goal 4. Goal 5. Goal

Arsenal: 1. Goal (Ødegaard) 2. Goal (Saka) 3. Goal (Trossard) 4. Saved (Martinelli)

Sporting win. Arsenal are out of the Europa League.

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I honestly don’t know what the point of that was. Playing with half a team with half the effort for most of the match, and then only actually starting to play properly in extra time. Were we actually trying to win or not? I can’t tell.

And I don’t know what it is about Arsenal keepers, but I’m not sure I can remember a single one who was even remotely convincing at penalties.




Szszesny would like a word… (with you and Ramsdale)


Didnt the goalie who won the last world cup play for Arsenal?


I think both him and Szczesny became good at penalties only after they left us


Don’t let facts get in the way of a good bleat.


Martinez played, realistically, about half a season for us, and I’m not sure he saved a single penalty in that time. I’m talking about penalties being awarded against Arsenal and having a keeper between the sticks who looked at least somewhat confident in keeping the ball out of the net.


It kinda says something when you refer to Szczesny who played his last game for us in 2015…


In fairness, we haven’t been in that many penalty shoot outs since…or before even


I’m referring to penalties in general, shoot outs or otherwise. When an opponent gets a penalty, quite honestly, the only hope I have is that they miss the target because our penalty save rate is nothing short of atrocious.


You’re talking shite… If a keeper saves a penalty he is the hero, if he doesn’t, no one cares because it’s advantage to the taker anyway.


I mean you have to give opportunities to squad players to prove themselves, get them ready for action in case called upon and give some rest to the first 11. Unfortunately it didn’t work, most of the lads who came it played badly. You can’t say it was pointless to try tho, none of them are talentless hacks. Except for Holding maybe.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

The Manager would have taken bricks if he didn’t rotate. Manager made the right decision to rotate, rotated and subbed players didn’t impose themselves and control the game. That being said they won the game by small margins.


Yeah, i really don’t get what the downvotes are meant to express here. Would most fans here really have wished we kept the same team we started a few days before and will start a few days later vs Palace? Or are they just taking their anger out?

Martin R

Ramsdale wasn’t bad at all. He went the right way for all the penalties including one which nearly saved.


Reminded me of Nayim from the halfway line 😪

Eric Blair

Thanks for the re-trauma.

Cliff Bastin

Szscney definitely saved a penalty that racist mcbitey dived to win.


Ironically, Almunia – despite his frequent incompetence – was actually very decent at penalties for us, particularly in shootouts. Compare, say, Čech… 😿

Emi Rates

What frustrates me the most about this is that we’ll never hear the end of it from shit cunt pundits like Neville et al.

Emi Rates

That said, that ref was shocking. Even by already low PL standards he was something else. Blocking balls and waving thorough any nastiness from Sporting. The red card at the end was a fucking travesty.

Tomaury Bischfeld

But we will hear less from the BT Sport pundits which is a blessing


Just having to hear shit cunt pundits is enough of a cross to bear in general


Don’t worry about that fucking Manc weasel.

A win against Palace and if Liverpool can maybe do us a favour against City on April Fool’s Day, then that should be sufficient to put the “Manchsunited” twat back in his box.


Gutted, but I’ll console myself with the Premier League trophy. Thankfully, hopefully the squad stays fully fit and Vieira never gets to start a game from the off again. Nelli’s final ball has been off for some weeks now. Has he put in a cross that found a man recently? They always get blocked or he misplaces them. He doesn’t even try to take players on at all anymore. Everything that happened starting from the second half until they equalized seemed disastrous. Hopefully, Saliba and Tomi getting substituted was precautionary. This was a bad day against a determined opponent. Let’s… Read more »


I totally agree with everything you’re saying👍


I agree with the ppint on Fabio Viera. I don’t want to see him at all in the remaining 11:games. But I. am afraid MA will mot grant us that wish. It has shades of Willian all over it. Viera has been played in attack left, right, and through the middle, as wel as replacement for Xhaka and evem as a defensive mid. He constantly failed to produce anything barring that assist for Martinelli against Aston Vila. He has got talent but can not play anything good enough in Artetas system. This Today, trxing to play 10 was by far… Read more »

Just beat Palace on Saturday and all is forgiven.




There’s no forgiveness. We played great tonight.


We were shit, all over the place.

It didn’t help matters that the ref was just the latest in a conveyor belt of cunts, but we couldn’t keep possession for toffee.

We were awful and I’m just glad we’re out of what is and always will be a second rate competition fit only for the likes of that deluded lot up the Seven Sisters road.

There’s really nothing to forgive.


No this team can do no wrong at this point tbh

Man Manny



Anyone really cut up by this result? As long as it doesn’t knock any of the players mentally, kind of not a terrible scenario. Big Willy will be fine.


As long as it doesn’t derail us in the league I don’t care. Injuries and 120 minute midweek games is the last thing we need.


By the result, no, but the manner of it, yes. We had players getting injured, we played 120 minutes meaning players are tired, we ended with most of the first XI on the pitch and of course we lost meaning that our confidence will have taken a knock. As far as how well today could have gone vs how it went, it was not great.


It was a disaster


A tsunami is a disaster. An earthquake that knocks buildings down is a disaster. This was a shitty day, tomorrow the sun will rise again and the shit will have been flushed down the toilet.


For me it’s a distraction, I would rather have liked if we played a heavily rotated team, and got out in 90 minutes


Exactly this. Play a pretty much fully rotated team and let the chips fall where they may; even if we lost it won’t affect the first team too much and the second string get the minutes they want. Instead we wasted energy on a group of already tired looking players. It just wasn’t the right approach imo.

Eric Blair

I agree. If our squad players are not able to come in and play a EL game at home to Sporting Lisbon then we need a whole bunch of new squad players.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

We need a whole bunch of new squad players.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Always important to know your level as a squad.


I warned about all this happening weeks ago.

I said we should have gone with a starting XI of Turner, Tierney, Tommi, Holding, Kiwior, Jorginho, Xhaka, Vieira, Nelson, ESR and Trossard.

And, of course, I was downvoted out of town.

How do you downvoters feel now?

Saliba on the treatment table out for God knows how long?

Saka and Martinelli kicked to kingdom come?

Partey, Odegaard, Zinchenko, Ramsdale, Xhaka, White, Trossard and Gabriel barely escaping with all their limbs intact?

Fuck the Europa League.

Eric Blair

In footballing terms it couldn’t have gone much worse, it was a disaster.


For one game yes, in a competition we don’t care about immensely. There are much worse things in life, even just in footballing terms.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I don’t think this will affect confidence at all.

There may be slight fatigue but Palace have also played this midweek so there’s arbitrage there.

Hlebs socks

thoroughly enjoyed that. proper knockout game. we were shit they were good. no worries there.
i would like to declare that if ospina is the one dubbed chocolate wrists then i would say ramsdale is probably teabag wrists. nothing done nothing undone NOTHING WRONG COYG LETS SPANK PALACE ON SUNDAY!!!


Aaron — love him, — but he is terrible at penalties. The same issue City have with Ederson. Would be nice to have a second choice GK who is a specialist at PK for days like this.


Our second choice GK actually is a specialist at PK’s. Might discount the competition but Turner has saved 10 of the 23 competitive PK’s he has faced.

dr Strange

The only thing I’m worried, and care about right now, are the injuries on Saliba and Tomi and why we subbed Jesus at half time.

Of course I want us to win the tournament but the EL is just a strain on the resources so I’m not bothered going out.

The iceman

Saliba just looked like a lower back, so he can play, fingers crossed (injections, painkillers etc, if needed) and recover over the break.

Think Jesus was always gonna be taken off early, maybe had a niggle or kick also.

Lets see and hope it not bad with Tomi.


I think the only thing almost as frustrating as this match has to be those nerds in on bt sport commentary going on about ‘the excitement and drama’ of the game, when literally every Arsenal fan just wanted this shit over with asap to avoid any more injuries. Will NOT be missing this competition in the slightest. What a bland shit-show it’s been these past several years. Wasn’t expecting to be thinking this before tonight, but a response against Palace may just end up being one of our very biggest moments of the season. COYG

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I certainly won’t miss the Europa League theme music.

Whoa oh oh oh ohhhhh… oh oh oh oh.. oh oh.


A point not raised nearly enough imo. Not just the worst football theme I’ve ever heard, but quite possibly the worst theme song I’ve ever heard on television. Fingers crossed Spurs experience just a slight premier league downturn rather than a massive free-fall, so that their fans will get to enjoy that tune at the toilet bowl again next season.


Viera was on the field too long for how little he was doing…really poor from us in both legs…We are most definitely still in phase 3.


Picking up two injuries didn’t help. But vieira was poor after the first hour of play.


Phase 3 finished with Endgame didn’t it. I want Saka lifting Odegaard’s hammer and swinging it into Haaland’s testies


Still waiting for success in Europe. For a club this big. Frustrating.


Cheer up mate.

Champions League next season.

Proper European football.

Hard luck lads, it is what it is.

We’ll grieve, we’ll get over it, and we’ll beat Palace in 3 days.

Goes without saying hopefully Saliba isn’t too serious. We should be able to see off Palace and Leeds at home without him but we’ll certainly need him back for Anfield on April 9.

Up North

Some lessons learned also here. We’re not good starting with second tier players and upgrade, better do the opposite. We were extremely sloppy with the ball. Holding and Reiss Nelson does not have the technichal ability to play Arteta-ball. Ødegaard is our most important player by far, when Vieira didn’t get the fouls he was screaming for, he didn’t cope with the game. Let’s dig deep and get three points against palce , then interlull with time to heal and recover. Let’s focus on PL, but Arteta & team need also to think next season regarding players and how to… Read more »


Martinelli and Vieira were more hopeless and wasteful than Nelson. At least, he created chances for Jesus.

Martinelli can’t even take players on anymore and Vieira is Mesut after the big contract. Runs up to opponents and simply guides them towards our goal. Can’t get stuck in.

But you call Nelson.


Good. I’m glad we’re out. Fucking second rate tin vase. Was it worth 120 minutes of watching our lads getting kicked up in the air? Losing Tommi? Losing Saliba? Nearly losing Saka and Martinelli as well? Was it fuck. Now perhaps we can move on from this farce, get our walking wounded fit, count our lucky stars that Saka, Odegaard, Partey, Gabriel, White, Martinelli, Jesus, Trossard and Ramsdale all managed to survive and actually concentrate on something that is actually worth winning? COYG (Down vote all you want, I couldn’t give a shit. Even less than going out of that… Read more »


I agree. Could have been worse ant it rained!!

Man Manny

I am more concerned by Saliba’s injury, Jesus’ halftime withdrawal (unless news comes out it was pre-planned), and fatigue (because of the tough game on Sunday against Crystal Palace) than the result tonight.
The starting front six was always going to find cohesion hard to come by. But we can understand why Artets did that except the absence of ESR. How Jesus becomes match fit before Rowe is beyond me.
We have to do everything to win the EPL from here.


It was planned but had to come at half time otherwise we would have to make 3 subs in one go

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Another curious point was we had already used 5 subs when Ramsdale took the shot to the face and Turner started warming up. He wouldn’t have been allowed to come on until extra-time when we get an extra sub allowance.


Head injury substitute?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Touche, spot on mate.


If you think about it Jesus’ has been injury free longer than ESR who had a niggle recently. If Arteta thought ESR would be effective he’d play him.


Arteta talked it up before the game but obviously the players weren’t up for it. Abysmal performance against a very ordinary team. So sloppy and arrogant. I don’t think a goalie should ever be beaten from that distance and all that dancing during the penalties no wonder he couldn’t save any. 120 minutes and what for? I don’t know why we bother in Europe because we’re bloody awful as our record shows. Dangerous situation now off all our eggs in one basket.


Best comment here.


I hope Ramsdale liked the way his hair looked, because he’s gonna be on highlight reels for the rest of time.

Tomaury Bischfeld

Genuinely don’t give a toss. More focus on the league. We are not going to be at our best when we leave out our key players to begin with so this means very little. Not convinced by Fabio Vieira at the moment -, dispossessed far too easily and is trying too hard. Reiss Nelson can really be something special if he irons out his mistakes. Shame about the injuries and length of the game played, hopefully nothing serious.


A pathetic Arsenal performance that got exactly what it deserved.

We were absolutely awful, especially in the second half. I lost count of the number of times that we gave the ball away. The players looked like they’d never played together before.

Ramsdale badly at fault for their goal and should have done better in the shootout. His worst ever Arsenal game.

But I’m glad we’re out. This competition was a massive distraction. Our season is now 11 Premier League games. LET’S GO AND WIN THE TITLE!!!


Was just thinking. At least Fats will be happy. In a kind of fats way. Harsh on Ramsdale. It’s a one in a thousand shot. Agree on pens though.


Seamen in 95 v Nayim from the halfway line was a mistake much worse than Ramsdale tonight, and costlier too.


Spot on mate. 👍🍺

djourou's nutmeg

hows that a mistake from ramsdale? should he stay on the line the 90 minutes just in case somebody makes an inch perfect, 0.01 xG shot? the ball went right between his hand and the wood, very very lucky goal, can’t see how he was “badly” in fault. and he saved like two 1v1s later on in the match. but yes, he did awful at the penalty kicks, sadly for him. being that young i’m sure he’ll improve at them soon after tonight

Spot on mate. When you play a high line, you can’t have your keeper just patrolling the goal line. Those who blame him for that goal seem to forget how many times Ramsdale has to play sweeper match after match.

Peter Cechs helmet

I agree with you Mr Domino in some ways. We lost it in the second half but it happens, we’re all human in the end and without Ode we were wobbly. Good enough to win the whole game tho. It was that tittin around looking for the perfect goal that pisses me though.
daft passes in the penalty box when all you gotta do is put your foot through it.
RIP shitty cup. Winning it is like pulling the ugly sister in the end.


What does Fabio Vieira exactly do?


Whatever the opposite of pressing is, he does that pretty well.


He needs to beef up and chin up if he wants to play in the PL. this was also one of the worst games played by zinc. They exploited our left flank, he hit lucky a couple of times , but defending is not his job


I’m amazed more teams don’t exploit our left side when he’s playing as he really isn’t a defender. Also, he makes it harder for Martinelli because there’s no overlapping full back on his side. Zin always cuts inside. And he tries too hard sometimes on “the pass”.


Hide, avoid the ball and lose his duo’s. Just kidding, but seriously, Vieira was bloody awful today. Off the ball he’s horrible and reminds me a bit of Ozil. He has to go on loan.


We will win the league, say we will win the league!


If Citeh get to both finals then they will play 6 more games than us before the end of the Premier league, that could make a big difference. Any other season I would be gutted losing tonight, but I really do think it is for the best. In recent years we would usually think of winning the Europa league as our best way of getting into champions league but even the most pessimistic gooner must think we are coming no lower than second surely,?

I’m not sure if 6 extra matches in 11 weeks makes a dent in a squad the size of City’s.

Time will tell.


But 5 extra in our team would have made the difference


Xhaka can play with TP5 and MO8. Vieira probably can too. Jorginho as well. Just don’t expect to win anything with Vieira, Jorgi and Granit as your midfield.Didn’t happen in Lisbon. Didn’t happen tonight. Won’t happen.


Zinch Jorginho xhaka vieira only irks if you are assured 70% possession




Besr comment on here spot on. Play either partey or odegaard or both and we win that game. Jorginho sits so deep vieira is a nothing player skillful enough on occasion but so lightweight but so anonymous and built like a twig. So obvious the change when first partey came on wrested back more control of the game and then controlled it even more with martin on. Arteta got the balance wrong tonight he should have worked that out from the 1st leg. Add nelson to the equation of vieira and jorginho and we were always going to struggle against… Read more »

Arsenal knight

Arteta to be blame for these lost, what is the point of resting players. We could have start our first team players and close the game first half and substitute them second half. You keep resting players for league you are 5 point ahead. This won’t be funny if we didn’t win the league and go trophy-less this season. Most all team start their first eleven. Viera, Nelson and Joghino are very poor in today match. We bearly even get a draw at sporting stadium last week. Very painful match. FA Cup we are out Europa league we are out… Read more »


😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂


In the US they call this kind of comment “Monday morning quarterback”. I’m going to call it “Thursday evening Gary Neville”


Saturday Night Fever.

The iceman

In one word, to summarise both legs: Lackadaisical


Losing Saliba and Tomiyasu in one fell swoop is a disaster. I’m more concerned about that than getting knocked out tonight.

cereal killer

-Arteta wrong team selection for both first and second leg.
-some players flipping and backheeling as if they already win the game.


Agreed, but the flips and backheels will piss him off


Should have started with holding and Tierney instead of saliba and Zinchchenko…

Would have avoided the injury and from the guardian mbm it seems Zinchchenko was sloppy in possession (something which blogs has pointed out in the last player ratings I think)

Also should have started trossard instead of martinelli and brought him on for Jesus at half time

Whatever happens from here it’s still been one hell of a season so let’s enjoy it for what it is


Holding had a very good game bar one mistake. Zin had a few bad passes and not much else. Tierney would give Martinelli more freedom as an overlapping full back than Zin does because Zin always stays inside. And Tierney is a better defender. Zin is a midfielder pretending to be a defender. Tierney is a proper left back.


It’s quite clear this squad can be improved drastically. Which is encouraging. I don’t think Arteta and Edu are done yet. More players to come and the level will keep improving.


A weird one.

I can partially agree with the idea that getting out of the Europa League boosts our hopes in the league – however, to watch us getting knocked out of another cup competition with yet another very tame performance is concerning now…

The players just don’t seem to have the same desire or focus in cup competitions than what they have in the league and I can’t understand why?

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