UEL: Sporting CP Edge Out Arsenal On Penalties To Reach Quarter-finals

Following a 3-3 aggregate stalemate, Sporting CP are into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League (UEL) after Nuno Santos emerged a hero to give his side a 5-4 success via penalties, after an almighty long-range effort from Pedro Gonçalves saw this last-16 tie go the whole distance.

Victorious in both of their previous two-legged UEFA ties against Portuguese clubs, Arsenal were clear pre-match favourites to progress but suffered an early setback when defender Takehiro Tomiyasu was forced off, with Ben White coming on in his place.

This didn’t perturb the current Premier League leaders though, and they took the lead on the 19-minute mark when stand-in skipper Granit Xhaka fired home on the rebound after Gabriel Martinelli’s shot was saved.

However, Arsenal’s strong start was then further marred by injury just two minutes later, and this time it was William Saliba who couldn’t continue, for a second defensive casualty in quick succession.

Ultimately there was nothing to separate the sides, despite a point-blank save from Adán against Gabriel in the dying moments of second-half ET that had the Emirates on its feet, leaving an almighty war in the capital to be settled by a dreaded penalty shootout.

With the shootout standing at 4-4 after Martinelli sickeningly saw his effort saved, it was down to Santos to keep his nerves, and he made no mistake to secure a memorable success for the Portuguese side, while extending Arsenal’s wait for continental silverware to 29 years.

Categories: Uncategorized

Tagged as:

Leave a Reply