Arsenal resumed their Europa League campaign with an away trip to Portugal to face Sporting Lisbon. Arteta made a few changes from the side that played at the weekend. It was also the first chance for Arsenal fans to see Poland defender Jakub Kiwior, signed in January from Italian side Spezia.
Arsenal dominated the early parts of the match and took the lead through William Saliba after 22 minutes. The lead seems to slow the team down. Sporting began to play better and were level 12 minutes later. Arsenal’s poor defending contributed to the equaliser. The hosts continued to dominate the rest of the first half but they were not able to score a second. The first half ended evens.
The home started better in the second half better, but it was Arsenal that created a clear chance to retake the lead. Martinelli’s chance was saved by Sporting keeper and Vieira’s hit a shot that went wide. Sporting took the lead 10 minutes into it through Paulinho. Arsenal’s poor defending contributed to the second goal. A Sporting shot was parried by Arsenal keeper into the path of Paulinho, who tapped the ball into the net. Sporting had a chance to extend their lead but the shot by Paulinho was high.
Arsenal equalised in the 62nd minute through an own goal. A speculative shot by Xhaka was turned into his own net by Japanese midfielder Hidemasa Morita. Both sides created further chances but neither side was able to convert and the game ended 2-2.
Arsenal will have to play better at the Emirates to make it through to the quarter finals of the competition.
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