Arsenal held 2-2 at Sporting in Europa League round of 16
Thu, Mar 9, 2023
Other News (AP)
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Premier League leader Arsenal was held 2-2 at Sporting Lisbon in their Europa League round-of-16 first-leg match Thursday.
Hidemasa Morita's own goal in the 62nd minute salvaged the draw for Arsenal ahead of the return leg at Emirates Stadium next Thursday for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Morita deflected Granit Xhaka's long-distance drive into his own net.
Arsenal, boosted by a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Bournemouth on Saturday, dominated early possession and went ahead through William Saliba.
The defender headed in the opener for Arsenal from a corner from Fabio Vieira to capitalize on early pressure in the 22nd.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta made six changes to his starting lineup compared with Saturday, giving defender Jakub Kiwior his debut at the back alongside Saliba.
Arsenal strikers Leandro Trossard and Eddie Nketiah were missing for the game in Lisbon while former Arsenal right back Hector Bellerin was not available for Sporting due to a knee injury.
Sporting equalized with almost an identical reply as Arsenal's defense looked vulnerable.
Goncalo Inacio headed home off a Marcus Edwards corner past goalkeeper Matt Turner 12 minutes after Saliba's goal.
It was Sporting's first goal against Arsenal in their fifth encounter in European competitions.
Ten minutes into the second half, Sporting turned the game around, with Paulinho putting the hosts ahead on a rebound.
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