In a tense Europa League last-16 second leg tie, Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Sporting Lisbon, meaning the aggregate score was 3-3, but Arsenal progressed to the quarter-finals on the away goals rule. Granit Xhaka opened the scoring for Arsenal before Pedro Goncalves produced a stunning equaliser from near the halfway line to give Sporting Lisbon a lifeline. However, Arsenal managed to hold on to their lead and progress to the next round of the competition.
Arsenal were dominant throughout the first half and their pressure paid off when Xhaka scored in the 25th minute. They continued to dominate possession throughout the game but failed to capitalise on their chances. Sporting Lisbon scored an incredible equaliser in the 68th minute, but Arsenal held on despite intense pressure from the Portuguese side. The result means Arsenal progressed to the quarter-finals, where they will face either Roma or Sevilla.
Sporting Lisbon started the match without their captain Sebastian Coates, who was suspended, and it showed. They struggled to get going in the first half and failed to create any clear-cut chances. However, they came out stronger in the second half and began to put pressure on Arsenal’s defence. They eventually got their reward when Goncalves produced a moment of magic to score from long range.
Overall, it was a tough match for both sides, but Arsenal will be relieved to have progressed to the next round of the competition. They will be hoping to build on this result and push for a place in the final of the Europa League. However, they will need to improve their finishing if they are to go all the way. The Gunners will now turn their attention to domestic matters, as they face a tough Premier League fixture against Manchester City on Saturday.