Mikel Arteta's worst nightmare! Arsenal winners and losers as William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu are injured in shock Sporting setback
Arsenal are out of Europe, but the true cost of this penalty shootout defeat against Sporting CP may not be known for some while yet.
How Mikel Arteta’s side respond to such a demoralising and energy-sapping loss will be crucial, with the Premier League clash against Crystal Palace looming large on Sunday.
They have to somehow pick themselves up and go again, because they can’t afford to let this defeat derail their title bid at such a crucial stage of the season.
But with Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba going off injured before half-time against Sporting, the knock-on effects of this bruising encounter could be huge for the Gunners.
They will look back at their performance with real regret. They had the chance to put the tie to bed when Granit Xhaka gave them an early lead, but they failed to kill the visitors off and were made to pay the penalty.
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Pedro Goncalves' stunning long-range goal deservedly drew Sporting level and then Antonio Adan’s heroics were enough to send the Portuguese champions through, with the keeper pulling off several fine saves in extra-time before making the crucial stop in the penalty shootout to deny Gabriel Martinelli and send his side through.
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