Pedro Goncalves of Sporting Lisbon scored an unbelievable equalizer on Thursday, and the Portuguese team defeated Arsenal in a 5-3 penalty shootout to eliminate them from the Europa League.
Arsenal took the lead after Granit Xhaka did so in the Premier League. During the first half at the Emirates Stadium, Sporting was down.
A Portuguese midfielder, Goncalves beat Aaron Ramsdale of Arsenal with a spectacular shot from 46 yards out, forcing overtime.
A thrilling match watched by reality television star Kim Kardashian and her son Saint, an Arsenal fan, ended tied at 1-1 on the evening and 3-3 overall, necessitating penalties for breaking the tie.
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Sporting surprised everyone by winning the game after Antonio Adan stopped Gabriel Martinelli's shot and Nuno Santos scored the game-winning goal.
It's a significant blow, of course. Throughout the first 75 minutes, there were times when we weren't performing at our best. We lost every ball, and we couldn't win the game, according to Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal.
"We had excellent opportunities to win the game. We need to examine our shortcomings to see why we failed".
In the first half, as Arteta made five adjustments to safeguard his core players, defenders William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu went off hurt, compounding Arsenal's difficulties.
After winning the Cup-Winners' Cup in 1994, Arsenal has yet to bring home a major European trophy, and they still have another year to wait.
In the Premier League, Arsenal leads second-place Manchester City by five points as they pursue their first championship since 2004.
There are still 11 games left. It's a final when we play Palace next. "All of our current efforts must now go against Palace. We must outperform this match", Arteta stated.
Ben White, Thomas Party, Leandro Trossard, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, and Ben White were rested in favour of Sunday's Premier League match against Crystal Palace by Arteta, who had fielded a strong team in the first leg in Lisbon.
- Confused Ramsdale
Gabriel Jesus, a Brazilian forward, was given his first start following knee surgery as part of Arteta's one concession to Arsenal's bid to advance to the round of eight.
Jesus, who made his first appearance following the injury on Sunday against Fulham, came close to scoring as he reached to grab Reiss Nelson's cross, prompting Adan to make a full-stretch stop.
Adan parried a shot from Gabriel Martinelli in the 19th minute, but Xhaka pounced on the rebound and scored from 12 yards out to give Arsenal the lead.
Moments later, when Saliba hobbled off the field, the joy over Xhaka's fifth goal of the year was muted.
To protect his star scorer, Arteta substituted Jesus at halftime after having had enough of Arsenal's injury woes.
But, Sporting put up a spirited fight in the second half, and their pressure paid off spectacularly in the 62nd.
As soon as Jorginho lost control of the ball in the centre circle, Goncalves pounced on the opportunity. He looked up to see Ramsdale leave his position before unleashing a spectacular lofted shot from just inside the Arsenal half that soared past the goalkeeper and dipped under the crossbar.
After Paulinho's header narrowly missed, Ramsdale remained perplexed in his own goal as shell-shocked Arsenal nearly conceded once more.
In the 118th minute, Manuel Ugarte of Lisbon collided with Bukayo Saka and received a second caution, earning him the penalty kick; Sporting's Marcus Edwards and Arsenal replacement Trossard both missed beautiful chances to win it.