The current Premier League toppers, Arsenal faced a shocking defeat by Portuguese giants Sporting CP on penalties and were knocked out in the Round of 16 fixture in the UEFA Europa League 2022-23 on Thursday night. Sporting midfielder Pedro Goncalves scored a stunner from the half line to force the penalties, where the Portuguese side defeated the English club by 5-3 at the Emirates Stadium.
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The Gunners took the lead in the starting 20 minutes when Granit Xhaka opened the scoring for his team with the rebound from Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli's strike. However, Arsenal dealt with a double injury blow in the first half against Sporting as defenders Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba were substituted in the 9th and the 21st minute into the game.
The second half started well for Mikel Arteta's side until the 24-year-old Portuguese midfielder caught Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale off his line. Goncalves hit an absolute stunner just ahead of the half-line that perfectly chipped the goalkeeper and equalised Sporting in the 62nd minute.
Watch Pedro Goncalves' half-line goal:
Both the teams failed to score the winner at the full time whistle while the 30 minutes into the extra time also remained goalless as the match was forced to the penalties. In the penalties, Sporting defender Jeremiah St. Juste scored the first penalty followed by Arsenal's Martin Odegaard. Midfielder Arthur struck the fourth penalty for Sporting as Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli failed to score and Sporting winger Nuno Santos confirmed his team's qualification in the UEL quarterfinals.
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Sporting CP joined Manchester United, Juventus, Roma, Feyenoord, Sevilla, Bayer Leverkusen and Union Saint-Gilloise in the quarterfinals. The draw for the quarter-finals will be held on March 17, while the first legs will be played on April 13.
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