Match Info – Sporting CP vs Arsenal Highlights – 2023-03-09
Despite Arsenal’s early dominance, Sporting Lisbon fought back with determination, with goals from Tiago Tomas and Pedro Porro to level the score before Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe converted a penalty in the 57th minute, setting up an evenly poised second leg at the Emirates.
Arsenal continued to dominate possession and create chances, but Sporting Lisbon fought back in the second half, with Tiago Tomas scoring a brilliant equalizer before a Cedric Soares own goal gave the hosts the lead, only for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to rescue a draw for Arsenal with a late header.
Arsenal came out with renewed vigor in the second half, dominating possession and creating several clear-cut opportunities, but it was Sporting Lisbon who struck next with a well-placed header from Tiago Tomas, forcing a nervy final 20 minutes for the visitors.
2 – Paulinho is only the second player to score against both Arsenal and Tottenham in a single season in European competition, after Youssef El Arabi for Olympiakos in 2019-20 (excluding qualifying rounds). Double. pic.twitter.com/xJjUFWrtrk
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 9, 2023
Sporting’s lead was short-lived as a moment of magic from Emile Smith Rowe saw the 21-year-old equalize for Arsenal with a well-taken goal, and neither side could find a winner as the game ended 2-2.
The final whistle blew, and both sides were forced to settle for a share of the spoils, with the return leg at the Emirates Stadium now promising to be a high stakes affair. Arsenal will be hoping to avoid any costly errors at the back, while Sporting will be looking to take advantage of their away goal and cause an upset in London.
Arsenal had a difficult time in breaking down Sporting’s resilient defence, and will have to be more clinical in the second leg to secure a spot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, while Sporting will be hoping to build on their impressive performance and cause an upset at the Emirates Stadium.