Sporting stun Arsenal in Europa
Sporting Lisbon sent Arsenal crashing out of the Europa League with a penalty shoot-out triumph after Pedro Goncalves’s stunning equaliser, while Manchester United and Juventus eased into the quarter-finals on Thursday.
Sporting trailed when Granit Xhaka put Premier League leaders Arsenal ahead at the Emirates Stadium.
But Portugal midfielder Goncalves forced extra-time when he caught out Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale with a breathtaking strike from 46 yards out.
With reality television star Kim Kardashian and her Arsenal fan son Saint among the spectators, the match ended level at 1-1 on the night and 3-3 on aggregate, requiring penalties to settle the tie.
Sporting emerged with a shock 5-3 victory in the shoot-out as Gabriel Martinelli’s effort was saved by Antonio Adan and Nuno Santos dispatched the winning kick.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said the result was “a huge blow” and blasted his side for wasting chances.
“There were moments in the first 75 minutes where we weren’t at our level. We gave every ball away and we didn’t have the capacity to take the game,” the Spaniard said.
“There were chances to win it in extra-time. There was a lot of uncertainty with the pens. It was a very difficult game.”
It was a far calmer night for Manchester United as Marcus Rashford’s swerving strike from distance earned a 1-0 win at Real Betis and a 5-1 aggregate success.
Joaquin hit the post for Betis and Juanmi spurned two clear chances for the hosts as they started well, desperately trying to overturn their three-goal deficit at the lively Benito Villamarin stadium.
However Rashford’s brilliant goal early in the second half killed off the tie.
“Once you score the first goal the game is gone, and they don’t have the belief anymore,” said Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag.
“That is another step (forward) we made mentally, a winning attitude, to deal with that.”
Three-time champions Juventus earned a 2-0 win over 10-man Freiburg to progress 3-0 on aggregate, with goals from Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa.
Juventus, leading Freiburg by a goal from the first leg, thought they had taken the lead when Vlahovic struck from close range, but it was ruled offside by VAR.