English Premier League table toppers Arsenal were eliminated from the Europa League last night following a full-time draw of 1-1. Arsenal were knocked out after a 3-5 score of penalties shoot-out at the Emirate Stadium.
Arsenal, despite the early lead in the first half, were held 1-1 at the Emirate Stadium to Sporting CP, who dragged the game to an aggregate of 2-2.
Gabriel Martineli missed Arsenals’ penalty, which helped Sporting to qualify ahead of the London club.
Mikel Arteta could not hide his disappointment after watching his side exit the Europa League on penalties against Sporting.
“A huge blow. We really wanted to go through and fight in the competition and go for it. Today, we tried for 120 minutes and the penalties, and it wasn’t enough. First of all, congratulations to Sporting CP for going through. Looking at ourselves, the game started difficult for us. Obviously, we lost Tomi very early in the game and we lost Saliba. That left us with difficult in-game management. We only had a window to make the subs, and a few players could not play for 90 minutes. But still, we didn’t find our rhythm and our flow. We allowed too many spaces, were late, and didn’t win enough duels there. We gave the ball away many, many times. Sometimes time after time. And then the last 20 minutes, we got the flow and the momentum, we got into the final third much more and created three big chances, and we didn’t score. I think when we went to extra time, we showed incredible energy again and top mentality when it wasn’t our best day to keep going. We had another two big chances, we didn’t win and in the end, it comes to the penalties, it’s a lottery, and today it didn’t go our way.”
Arsenal will now focus on their Premier League tie against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
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