Arsenal‘s hopes for a major European cup were shattered after a penalty shootout draw in the Round of 16. Sporting CP. The visitors made a brilliant start to the game offensively, but Arsenal failed to create anything noteworthy entering the game.
Not long after, the Gunners started making chances and at 19 minutes Gabriel Martinelli was sent to the back of the defence. Antonio made a good save from Adan, but the rebound went straight to Granit Xhaka, who then gracefully kicked the ball into the far corner.
But Sporting equalized with Pedro Goncalves, also known as the Pote, and scored an ugly goal almost from the midfield line – the midfielder looked up, saw Aaron Ramsdale outside his line and threw an excellent lob to the goalkeeper just inside the Arsenal half.
As the match went into overtime, Arsenal began to dominate the pitch with many of their first choice players. Leandro Trossard was unlucky to hit the post, and Adan made two excellent saves towards the end of extra time as the draw led to a shootout.
Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka scored and Trossard tightened his sentence under Adan, only for Gabriel Martinelli to miss the key penalty for Arsenal, who could only watch Nuno Santos transform to send Sporting. Here are the player ratings for the match:
Aaron Ramsdale, 7
Maybe a bit wrong for the goal, but he made an excellent save from Edwards in the 70th minute and looked as confident as ever.
Takehiro Tomiyasu, 6
In ten minutes he was removed from the game due to injury, so there is no time to leave any traces in the game.
William Saliba, 6
Unproblematic despite the early Sporting threat. He took off at twenty minutes, just after the first goal and just ten minutes after Tomiyasu.
Gabriel Magalhaes, 7
He looked a lot less solid without his usual partner on Saliba, but with a few good fights, blocks and distances he fell apart and won their duel.
Oleksandr Zinchenko, 7
A sharp pass into the box (despite the referee hitting him) followed by excellent follow-up and blocking demonstrated Zinchenko’s talent and importance to this team. The Ukrainian was perfect from start to finish; It is determined on the defensive and always offers another point of attack.
Fabio Vieira, 6
The Portuguese player remains a promising player but has been stifled tonight and hasn’t had any notable chances despite frequently entering good positions. He tried a flick into the box early in extra time, when a simple pass would work better, and summed up his night.
January’s signing looked calm and serene in midfield, but lacked the steel of Thomas Partey and was replaced by a Ghanaian after Gonclaves’ goal. Passing is accurate as always, but lacks the ability to dominate the game.
Granite Xhaka, 8
The Arsenal captain continued his renaissance at the club with an excellent goal. Partey could not dominate the midfield even as he entered the game, but he made a guaranteed performance both offensively and defensively.
Chief Nelson, 6
He always tried to move forward and looked promising in the opening stages, but never had a chance to make his mark on the game. He took off for Saka after Sporting’s first goal.
Gabriel Martinelli, 7
A constant threat when getting the ball in front of or behind the defence. He made a good save from Adan leading to Xhaka’s goal, mingled nicely with Jesus and consistently made the right decisions. It’s a shame he missed the penalty.
Gabriel Jesus, 7
He looked alive in his first start since his injury. He made an excellent save from Adan and was making good runs in the back while threatening the ball in front of the defence, like Martinelli. He was unlucky to be kicked out in the first half, the substitution certainly not because of his performance.
Ben White 7, Rob Holding 7, Leandro Trossard 6, Thomas Partey 6, Bukayo Saka 6, Odegaard 7
Ada 8, St. Juste 6, Diomande 7, Inacio 6, Esgaio 7, Ugarte 7, Goncalves 8, Reis 6, Edwards 6, Trincao 6, Paulinho 6.
Subs: Chermiti 6, Essugo 6, Santos 6, Gomes 6, Tanlongo 5
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