Saturday, March 25, 2023

Arsenal knocked out of Europa League

Premier League leaders Arsenal were knocked out of the Europa League at the last-16 stage in a penalty shootout 1-1 (3-5) loss by Sporting Lisbon at Emirates Stadium, here.
Gabriel Martinelli saw his spot kick saved in the shoot-out, allowing Nuno Santos to convert the winner, after a 1-1 draw on Thursday night, and a 3-3 draw on aggregate. There was further bad news for Gunners in the match as Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba were both withdrawn in the opening 20 minutes due to injury.
Arsenal bowed out of the competition despite taking a first-half lead. When Granit Xhaka fired Jesus ahead inside the opening 20 minutes, there was little sign of the drama in store on a long evening at the Emirates. But the Gunners failed to build on the lead and were punished when Pedro Goncalves scored an outrageous equaliser from near the halfway line.
Spot kicks were needed in the shootout, although Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Leandro Trossard all scored, Martinelli had his effort saved by Antonio Adan and the Portuguese side advanced. With Arsenal’s European campaign over for another season, now they have 11 games left this season, all in the Premier League.
The Gunners will be back in Premier League action at the weekend, when they host Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Juve beat Freiburg to advance into quarters: Freiburg crashed out of the UEFA Europa League after losing 2-0 in the last-16 second leg, and 3-0 on aggregate, to Juventus on Thursday night. The hosts assumed control from the start and created chances through Ritsu Doan, who unleashed a dangerous effort in the fifth minute, and Matthias Ginter, who tested Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny with a 22nd-minute header.
Juventus broke the deadlock as VAR awarded them a penalty just before the break. Dusan Vlahovic kept his nerves from the spot and beat Freiburg custodian Mark Flekken. The hosts were reduced to 10 men as Manuel Gulde was sent off for his second yellow card after handling the ball inside the area. Federico Chiesa kept it bowling though and doubled the advantage in injury time after Adrien Rabiot’s cutback allowed the striker to put the result beyond doubt.
Real Sociedad, Real Betis out, Sevilla cling on: Spanish clubs Real Sociedad and Real Betis were knocked out of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night, leaving Sevilla as the country’s only representative in the tournament. Real Sociedad hurled everything at Roma to try to overturn their 2-0 defeat in Rome a week ago, but despite 19 shots in the match, they were unable to break down a defense typically well-organized by Jose Mourinho in a 0-0 draw in the Reale Arena.
Roma failed to register a single shot on target in the match, but they were able to defend their first-leg advantage relatively comfortably against a side that has lost steam in the last two months of the competition, a Xinhua report said.
Earlier, Manchester United continued on from their 4-1 first-leg win as they won 1-0 away to Betis thanks to Marcus Rashford’s rasping low shot.
Sevilla had some good news for Spanish sides as they scraped through on a nervous night in Turkey away to Fenerbahce to qualify 2-1 on aggregate.
Villarreal also crashed out of the UEFA Europa Conference League after losing 1-0 at home to Anderlecht who scored the only goal of the game in the 73rd minute thanks to Islam Slimani.


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