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UEFA Europa League
25 October 2018
Game week
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Estádio José Alvalade (Lisboa)


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77' D. Welbeck (G)


Minute   Description
That's all we've got time for tonight, but make sure you join us again next time for some more Europa League fun. Until then, goodbye!
Arsenal have one foot in the next round of the competition thanks to tonight's win, and another victory against Sporting next month would surely be the one needed to the top the group. For their Portuguese opponents, they really need to come away from the Emirates with something if they're to have any hope of going through in first place.
90'+5 Sporting are clearly frustrated with how this evening has panned out for them, and Battaglia, who has had a poor game, is shown a late booking for dissent.
90'+4 There was a coming together inside the Arsenal penalty area after that corner, and it seemed to end with Coates making a move towards Lichtsteiner with his head. The referee didn't spot anything but the Arsenal players certainly weren't happy.
90'+3 Leno easily collects the resulting corner and quickly kick-starts a counter-attack, but it's immediately brought to an end by a poor foul from Ramsey, who leaves the referee with no choice but to show him a late yellow card.
90'+2 Petrovic is fouled by Ramsey and wins a free kick for the hosts in a promising position. A dangerous cross is whipped into the middle of the box but Holding does really well to get a head on it before a Sporting player can do the same.
90' The fourth official has indicated that there will be five minutes of added time.
89' Ramsey makes a clever run down the right wing and latches onto a pass from Mkhitaryan. He then tries to set up Lacazette at the near post but can't guide the ball past the outstretched leg of Pinto.
87' Meanwhile, Nani has made way for Diaby for the home side.
86' Arsenal have made a third and final switch, with Iwobi coming on to take the place of Aubameyang.
85' Sporting embark on a quick counter-attack as they desperately try to find an equaliser. The ball is worked forward well and finds Cabral, who spins and shoots but sends his effort comfortably wide of the far post.
83' Gaspar, who hasn't been able to get forward much since coming on at half-time, cuts onto his right foot and shoots from just outside of the box. His strike is poorly hit, though, and Leno is able to watch it sail high over the crossbar.
81' Welbeck receives a rousing round of applause from the Arsenal fans as he's replaced by Lacazette.
77' GOAL! Arsenal are in front! A terrible mistake by Coates allows the ball to roll into the penalty area and towards Welbeck, who immediately picks up possession and blasts a great shot past Ribeiro to make it 1-0.
75' The game gets back underway with an Arsenal corner, but they're unable to make it count and Sporting are just about able to clear the danger after a few nervy moments inside their own box.
72' Torreira steps up and shoots from the free kick, but his low, bouncing effort is well saved by Ribeiro. Guendouzi then unleashes a follow-up cross-cum-shot but can't quite pick out a team-mate.
71' Sporting have made their second alteration of the night, with Gudelj making way for Cabral.
Aubameyang receives the ball 25 yards away from goal and is immediately clattered into from behind by Coates, leaving the referee with no choice but to award Arsenal a free kick and show the defender a yellow card.
70' Welbeck is almost able to get his head on another cross, this time from Lichtsteiner, but Ribeiro palms the ball away from danger at the vital moment. Arsenal are pushing hard for a way in front!
66' Almost a chance for Arsenal! The Sporting corner fails to result in anything and the visitors immediately counter-attack. Welbeck charges into the box and looks to shoot but goes down under a tackle from Acuna before he's able to do so. Ramsey then pounces onto the ball and unleashes a strike of his own, but it's blocked before it can test Ribeiro.
64' Montero holds the ball up well inside the Arsenal penalty area before poking the ball over to Gudelj. The midfielder immediately gets a shot away, but Guendouzi is there to deflect the ball behind for a corner.
62' Xhaka breaks down the flank and looks set to cross, but instead he cuts a pass back to Guendouzi. The Frenchman quickly shoots, and his low effort is an underhit one that fails to trouble Ribeiro.
60' Lichtsteiner gets himself in a good position over on the right wing after patiently build up play and crosses, but his pass towards the edge of the Sporting box is poor and can only find a green and white shirt.
58' Arsenal have made their first substitution of the game, with Torreira coming on to replace Elneny.
56' Montero, who has worked hard tonight without much luck, heads towards the Arsenal box and tries to latch onto a well-placed throughball. His run is slightly mistimed, though, and he's flagged offside as soon as he makes contact with it.
52' The resulting free kick causes a few moments of panic inside the penalty area as Arsenal fail to deal with the danger, but Leno is eventually able to dive on the ball before a Sporting player can get a shot away.
51' Mkhitaryan is beaten on the break and decides to cynically trip Battaglia from behind, leaving the referee with no choice but to show him a yellow card.
48' Chance for Aubameyang! Mkhitaryan is left in acres of space in the middle of the pitch, allowing him to spin and set up Aubameyang. The striker breaks into the box and shoots, but his effort is comfortably saved at the near post.
46' Well, that was quick! With around 25 seconds on the clock, Holding has already gone into the referee's book after clattering into the back of Montero as they battled for the ball in the air.
We're back underway!
Ristovski, who went off injured just before the break, has been replaced by Gaspar at right-back.
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half.
Arsenal have looked relatively assured in the middle of the pitch but need to do more inside the final third, where they're struggling to get Aubameyang and Welbeck into the game. There's space available for them to exploit but they aren't passing with enough speed, which is making life relatively comfortable for their opponents.
It hasn't been the most thrilling of games so far, with neither side managing to carve out too many chances on goal. In fact, only Nani has gone close to scoring, with his 20-yard strike giving Leno a scare as it sailed inches over the crossbar. A draw would certainly suit both sides, but they'll no doubt start pushing harder after the break as they go for all three points.
45'+1 Arsenal try to push forward on one final attacking move before the half-time break, with Aubameyang dropping deep to pick up the ball. He then shoots from 25 yards out, but his low effort doesn't have the power needed to trouble Ribeiro.
44' Nani evades a sliding tackle from Xhaka and heads into the penalty area, where he takes on Holding. He isn't able to find a way past the centre-back, though, as the defender does well to poke the ball behind for another corner.
42' Acuna continues to impress over on the left flank and wins Sporting a corner. He whips a cross into a dangerous position in the middle of the box, but it fails to find a team-mate and Arsenal deal with the danger.
40' Xhaka steps up and curls a cross towards the far post from the set-piece, but his attempted pass is a poor one and sails comfortably wide of the goal.
39' The yellow card is out for the first time today, and it's Acuna who has received it. The Argentine slipped and caught Lichtsteiner with a slightly high tackle, resulting in a free kick for Arsenal deep down the right wing.
38' Nani makes a clever run into the heart of the penalty area, where he tries to latch onto a curling cross from Fernandes. He goes down after tangling with Lichtsteiner and screams for a penalty, but once again the referee isn't at all interested.
37' Welbeck, who has been just as quiet as Aubameyang so far, beats Coates on his way into the box and towards the byline, but the centre-back recovers well and is able to win the ball back before a shot can be unleashed.
35' Aubameyang is really struggling to get into the game, and he's barely had a touch of the ball so far. Mkhitaryan tries to pick out the striker after quickly cutting inside from the right wing, but his pass is underhit and easily cleared.
33' Huge call by the referee! Sokratis gets an attempted headed clearance all wrong and allows Montero to beat him through on goal. He then seems to drag the striker to the ground, but the referee waves away the Colombian's protests and allows play to go on, much to the annoyance of the home fans.
32' Nani goes close! Arsenal try to play out from the back but quickly surrender possesion, allowing Sporting to pick up the ball. Nani cuts onto his right foot and shoots from 25 yards out, and his thumping strike only misses the crossbar by a yard or so.
31' A poor defensive mistake from Xhaka results in a corner that's headed behind by Sokratis. The second set-piece is sent short and worked over to Fernandes, who gets a shot away but puts far too much power behind it.
29' It's not quite working for Arsenal inside the final third of the pitch, where they're struggling to carve out chances on goal. Once again space is available out wide, but a poor pass fails to find the onrushing Lichtsteiner and sails out of play.
27' Acuna has been Sporting's best attacking player so far but is often leaving space available for Mkhitaryan. The Armenian takes advantage of it once again and crosses, but for the third time tonight he isn't able to pick out a team-mate in front of goal.
26' The set-piece quickly results in a second for Sporting, and this time it's Acuna who takes it. The Argentine's cross is a poor one, though, and Guendouzi easily meets it at the near post.
25' Acuna gets himself in a great position over on the left flank and swings a brilliant cross into the heart of the box, where Holding is just about able to beat Montero to the ball and send it behind for a corner.
23' Mkhitaryan steps up and decides to shoot, but his thumping strike is sent straight at Ribeiro and the Brazilian is comfortably able to parry the effort away from goal.
22' Elneny quickly cuts inside from out wide and heads towards the edge of the penalty area, where he's clumsily fouled by Coates mere inches outside of the box. What will Arsenal be able to do with this great opportunity?
20' Mkhitaryan is left in acres of space over on the right wing, allowing him to sprint forward before delivering a cross into the box. He tries to pick out Welbeck but is unable to do so, as once again the home side do well to clear the danger.
16' Poor from Fernandes! Montero does well to set up the Portuguese at the end of a quick counter-attack, but his curling strike from 20 yards out is overhit and sails high over the top of the crossbar.
14' Lichtsteiner has looked slightly suspect defensively but is doing well when pushing forward. He manages to get himself into good positions on two occasions and sends dangerous crosses into the box, but both are well dealt with by the hosts.
12' After starting the game largely on the back foot, Arsenal are seeing more much of the ball now but are struggling to do a great deal with it. Sporting look well organised and aren't allowing the Gunners to find a great deal of space to work in.
10' Lichtsteiner makes a much better run forward this time and manages to latch onto a well-placed lofted pass from Acuna. His first touch on the edge of the penalty area is poor, though, and he ends up hauling Acuna to the ground as they battle for the ball.
8' Xhaka is clattered into by Ristovski, resulting in a free-kick for Arsenal just inside the Sporting half of the pitch. It's taken quickly and worked over to Lichtsteiner, who tries to pick out Mkhitaryan but sends his pass far away from the Armenian.
6' Great run by Acuna! The Argentine, who has started as a very attacking full-back, charges down the left flank and easily past Mkhitaryan. He then heads into the box and crosses, but Holding is there to cut out the danger in front of goal.
4' Montero drifts out wide and picks up the ball in a promising position deep down the left wing. He takes on Sokratis but ends up getting the ball stuck under his feet, resulting in it rolling behind for a goal kick.
2' After an even start to the game, it's Sporting who push forward on the first decent attack of the evening. Acuna's corner is whipped towards the near post but is easily cleared by Guendouzi, who blasts the ball out for a throw in.
1' We're off! It's Arsenal who get us underway in Lisbon.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, Arsenal head coach Emery has made four alterations to the team that featured in their last Europa League game, with Sead Kolasinac, Nacho Monreal, Emile Smith Rowe and Iwobi making way for Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey and Aubamayang, respectively.
Arsenal substitutes: Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil, Lucas Torreira, Alex Iwobi, Shkodran Mustafi, Carl Jenkinson, Emiliano Martinez.
Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Rob Holding, Granit Xhaka; Mohamed Elneny, Matteo Guendouzi; Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Sporting CP substitutes: Carlos Mane, Romain Salin, Jeremy Mathieu, Abdoulaye Diaby, Bruno Gaspar, Jovane Cabral, Miguel Luis.
Sporting CP XI (4-3-3): Renan Ribeiro; Stefan Ristovski, Andre Pinto, Sebastian Coates, Marcos Acuna; Rodrigo Battaglia, Radosav Petrovic, Nemanja Gudelj; Nani, Fredy Montero, Bruno Fernandes.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this evening...
Not only have Arsenal embarked on a brilliant winning run, they’ve also been deadly in front of goal, scoring at least twice in each of their previous 11 games. That could prove to be a real problem for a Sporting side that have kept just one clean sheet in their last five outings.
Things haven’t been quite so good for the Portuguese outfit over the last few weeks, mind, and their last two wins - against Vorskla and minnows Loures - were far from convincing. Nonetheless, they represent Arsenal’s main rivals in the group and, despite their struggles, they’ve proved in recent years to be tough opponents when at their best.
Back-to-back Europa League victories against Vorskla and Qarabag have put the Gunners in a strong position at the top of Group E, but tonight’s clash represents their toughest so far. Another win would leave them with one foot in the knockout stage, but they’re taking on a Sporting side that are also yet to drop a point in Europe this season.
It’s been an excellent couple of months for Arsenal, who on Monday evening won their 10th consecutive game across all competitions and will be feeling confident about their chances of making it 11 today. Not since August 18th have they lost, and it’ll take something very special from Sporting to get the better of them this evening.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of today’s Europa League group stage game between Sporting CP and Arsenal at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.


S. Coates
Mohamed Elneny
S. Papastathopoulos
André Pinto
H. Mkhitaryan
A. Ramsey
Bruno Fernandes
M. Acuña
F. Montero
S. Lichtsteiner
S. Ristovski
P. Aubameyang
R. Holding
R. Battaglia
B. Leno
D. Welbeck
R. Petrović
M. Guendouzi
G. Xhaka
Renan Ribeiro
N. Gudelj

Additional info

D. Skomina
J. Praprotnik
Fourth official
M. Vidali

Match Stats

Sporting CP Arsenal
32 Attacks (Dangerous) 39
11 Corners 11
12 Fouls 13
14 Free Kicks 13
4 Goal Kicks 15
1 Offsides 1
2 Shots (blocked) 1
9 Shots (off target) 6
0 Shots (on target) 6
0 Shots (woodwork) 0
22 Throw Ins 18

Primeira Liga table

# Team MP D P

Premier League table

# Team MP D P

Estádio José Alvalade

Estádio José Alvalade