Portuguese outlet leaps to defence of Arsenal man after Sporting loss

Arsenal were eliminated in a dramatic clash with Sporting Lisbon in the round of 16 of the Europa League.

The Gunners take on the La Liga giants at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night.

Arsenal broke the deadlock in the 19th minute to take a 3-2 lead on aggregate.

Photo by Mark Atkins/Getty Images

Granit Xhaka hit the rebound to score after Gabriel Martinelli saw his shot saved.

However, Sporting improved considerably in the second half and equalized after the hour.

Pedro Goncalves found Aaron Ramsdale off his line and headed a 50-yard field goal.

The game went into extra time, and although Arsenal had the upper hand again, they failed to decide the winner.

Sporting were also reduced to ten men after Manuel Ugarte was shown a second yellow card for ramming Bukayo Saka.

In the end, both Arsenal and Sporting needed penalties and Martinelli was the only player from either side to miss.

“Premier League First”

Despite the disappointing defeat for the Gunners, the Portuguese media Qingmin news Support Mikel Arteta.

“You can’t crucify the Arsenal manager” for putting the Premier League above the Europa League, they said.

“Arteta wants to rotate some of the squad, keep Saka, Partey or Odegaard (starting from the bench) and see Sporting dominate the game in the second half,” they wrote.

“However, you cannot crucify a Spanish coach who prioritizes the Premier League. The reason is simple: the Gunners have not won a title in 19 years.

David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

While exiting the Europa League is disappointing, Arsenal do have bigger fish to fry.

The Gunners return to Premier League action on Sunday, with Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal will be looking to go into the game with a sizeable points advantage as the international break approaches.

In other news, ‘exciting every time’: David Moyes loves a West Ham academy player

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