Arsenal 1-1 Sporting (3-5 pens): Gabriel Martinelli misses in shootout as Gunners knocked out of Europa League

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Arsenal were knocked out of the Europa League by Sporting as they suffered penalty shootout disappointment.

The last-16 tie was firmly in the balance after the first leg in Lisbon finished 2-2, and it was still level 90 minutes later. Granit Xhaka put the Gunners in front on the night and in the tie with a first-half strike, but Pedro Goncalves responded with a stunning strike from just inside the Arsenal half.

It went all the way to penalties, with seven spot-kicks finding the back of the net in the shootout. Gabriel Martinelli then stepped up, had his effort saved and Nuno Santos kept his nerve to send Sporting into the quarter-finals.

Mikel Arteta named a strong, if somewhat rotated, side in north London, with Gabriel Jesus making his first start since the World Cup but Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard dropping to the bench.

It was a relatively sluggish start from the Gunners, but they grew into the match and moved ahead on the night and in the tie. Jorginho played a brilliant pass through to Martinelli, his effort was parried back out by Antonio Adan and Xhaka was there to fire home the rebound.

Gabriel Jesus had a shot saved as Arsenal pushed for the second, but Sporting carried a threat on the break. Marcus Edwards’ strike was blocked by Oleksandr Zinchenko, while Francisco Trincao also went close.

The visitors were much the better side after the break and they got their reward in spectacular fashion. Just inside the Arsenal half, Goncalves looked up, saw Ramsdale off his line and launched a stunning, floated effort that dropped over the goalkeeper and under the bar.

Arteta turned to Thomas Partey and Bukayo Saka to try and get the job done in normal time, but Arsenal continued to struggle for fluency and had Ramsdale to thank for ensuring it remained level, as he produced a save with his face when Edwards was played clean through.

The biggest chance in extra-time fell to Leandro Trossard, as a loose pass from Youssef Chermiti turned into a perfect through ball for the Belgian. Adan got a big enough touch on the shot though, turning it onto the post as Sporting survived.

The visitors increasingly resorted to kicking anything and everything as they tried to hang on, with Ugarte shown a second yellow card for a wild challenge on Saka. Sporting held firm though to take it to penalties.

Ramsdale got at least a hand on a couple of the spot-kicks he faced but could not produce enough of a touch to keep one out, and Martinelli’s missed penalty proved to be Arsenal’s final touch in Europe this season as Santos sparked wild celebrations in the away end.