Arsenal VS Sporting Final Football Score 09 March 2023

Arsenal VS Sporting Final Football Score 09 March 2023

Resuming their quest for an elusive continental crown, Arsenal travel to the Estadio Jose Alvalade XXI for the first leg of their Europa League last-16 clash with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night. The Gunners progressed as winners from Group A to set up a tie with Ruben Amorim’s former Champions League contenders, who dished out a 5-1 beating to FC Midtjylland in the playoffs.Already familiar with North London after doing battle with Tottenham Hotspur during the group stage of the Champions League, Sporting’s efforts to pip Spurs and Eintracht Frankfurt to a top-two spot proved futile, as they settled for a third-placed berth and spot in Europe’s second-tier tournament as a result.

Entering their knockout round playoff tie against Midtjylland as the overwhelming favourites to progress, Sporting were indebted to a stoppage-time Sebastian Coates equaliser in a 1-1 first-leg draw, but they turned up the heat in Denmark, storming to a 4-0 success to enter the hat for the last-16 draw. Dreams of a domestic and continental double are surely unfounded for Amorim’s men, though, as Sporting occupy fourth place in the Primeira Liga table and are a whopping 15 points behind runaway leaders Benfica, despite winning their last three top-flight games. A 77th-minute strike from Paulinho was enough to propel Sporting to a 1-0 win at Portimonense on Saturday – their fourth win on the bounce in all tournaments and third clean sheet in succession – but only two of their last four home matches in all tournaments have ended in victory.

Still waiting to add to their sole European triumph from the 1963-64 European Cup Winners’ Cup, Sporting’s only Europa League last-16 exit in its current format came against eventual winners Atletico Madrid in 2009-10 – a good omen for Arsenal if they can make lightning strike twice in Portugal.Bypassing an extra two games in the knockout round playoffs was a necessity for Arsenal amid their remarkable Premier League title charge, and a lowly 2-0 loss to PSV Eindhoven proved inconsequential as the Gunners topped Europa League Group A with 15 points from 18 on offer.

Since last taking to the field in continental competition, Mikel Arteta’s young guns have managed to keep Manchester City at bay in the English top flight and hold a five-point advantage at the top with 12 games left to play, although their unassailable lead would have been reduced had it not been for one of the most dramatic last-minute goals the Emirates will ever witness. After falling behind to Philip Billing and Marcos Senesi’s efforts against Bournemouth, Arsenal fought back through Thomas Partey and Ben White before academy product Reiss Nelson sent the home crowd into delirium in the seventh minute of added time, sealing a scarcely believable 3-2 win in another true test of the Gunners’ title credentials.

While Premier League glory is by no means a guarantee, it would take a catastrophic collapse for Arsenal to drop out of the top four – making success in the Europa League less of a priority than in previous years – but they have never been knocked out in the last 16 of Europe’s second-tier tournament and are no doubt growing restless for a slice of continental glory. En route to the final in the 2018-19 season, Arsenal edged past Sporting 1-0 during the group stage thanks to Danny Welbeck’s winner in Portugal, and a subsequent goalless draw at the Emirates made it four games without a win or goal for the Portuguese giants against their London counterparts.

We have played Sporting on their own patch twice – the first came in the 1969/70 season when we drew 0-0 during our successful Fairs Cup run, and then in 2018 a Danny Welbeck strike saw us claim a 1-0 win during the Europa League group stage. That is the only time we have left Portugal with a victory, having drawn three and lost three of our other six trips there. We were defeated 3-1 by Sporting’s Lisbon rivals Benfica in the European Cup in 1990/91, before we faced Porto in three out of four straight seasons in the late 2000s, claiming a goalless draw before successive 2-0 and 2-1 defeats.

In 2010 we lost to Braga 2-0, before winning at the Estadio Jose Alvalade eight years later. Our most recent encounter in the country was a 1-1 draw against Vitoria SC in the 2019/20 Europa League group stage, when we were denied victory via a last-minute equaliser.Tune in from 4.45pm (UK time) for the perfect pre-match build-up for any Gooner, as Nick Bright and Adrian Clarke will be live from Emirates Stadium to get you in the mood for the game. They’ll tell you all you need to know about our opponents, and pick out who could make the difference for both sides on the night, while Frimmy will be in Lisbon to bring a flavour of the atmosphere in the Portuguese capital.

There will also be a look back at Saturday’s epic encounter with Bournemouth and the chance to relive the excitement of our 97th-minute win one more time, before Max Jones and Jeremie Aliadiere provide live commentary from kick-off – so make sure you don’t miss it!The Brazilian forward has netted four times in his last four games, taking his tally to 11 in the Premier League and becoming our top scorer in the division in the process. The recent flurry has been especially crucial with Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah and Leonardo Trossard all on the sidelines during that time.

So having already stepped up to the plate, he feels he is more than ready to be counted on to add to that haul if required when our Europa League campaign resumes with a round of 16 tie in Portugal. Speaking in the pre-match press conference ahead of the Sporting game, he said: “If I’m the number nine or on the wing, I always try to do my best and help the team by scoring or getting an assist. “It’s up to Mikel – wherever he decides to play me, I’ll play. If the team need me I’d play as a goalkeeper! We play for Arsenal and everyone has this responsibility.”

The Brazilian international’s form has been all the more impressive after he found himself benched for a couple of matches with Trossard handed a starting spot instead. However rather than letting that get him down, Gabi responded to that setback with his latest spurt of goalscoring form, and he is just happy to contribute in any way he can for the betterment of the team – as shown by his desire to see his international teammate Gabriel Jesus make an imminent first-team return. Reflecting on his time out of the side, he said: “I just kept working hard, I always try to do my best on and off the pitch and that’s what I did.

“[Jesus] is a great guy and a great player. I’ve said it many times, for me, he’s one of the best in the world. He’s going to help us a lot over the next few months.” Outsiders have suggested we may take our eye off the ball when it comes to Europe this season with us sitting on top of the Premier League table, but that is not on Gabi’s mind. He is adamant that we have to keep winning as many matches as possible, regardless of the competition, to try and ensure that our supporters have something to savour come the end of the season. “If you play for Arsenal you need to go into any competition to win,” he added. “That’s our mentality. It’s Sporting tomorrow and we’re going there to win.

“I love [the supporters] and I hope they love me as well. I always do my best to try and make them happy.”Our Portuguese midfielder regularly plied his trade against the Lions in the Primeira Liga during his time at Porto before he upped sticks to north London last summer, and saw their return to being championship challengers under the stewardship of current boss Ruben Amorim.

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