Hidemasa Morita’s own goal keeps Arsenal level with Sporting

This will have made stressful viewing for a manager who values control as much as Mikel Arteta. For neutrals it was fine entertainment, though, and Arsenal can at least reflect they are just about in the box seat for a place in the Europa League quarter-finals. An unfussy first-leg advantage over Sporting seemed possible when William Saliba scored midway through the first half, but Goncalo Inacio quickly equalised and the chances flowed at both ends after that. Paulinho converted one for Sporting after half-time but Arsenal’s own swift riposte, delivered through Hidemasa Morita’s unlucky own goal, ensured parity. Arteta will hope for a more composed display at the Emirates next week.He had picked six of his established Premier League starters in a selection that was consistent with the respect he has shown this competition. Any temptation to add Martin Ødegaard was scotched by illness that saw the captain, who had travelled, sit out; Eddie Nketiah, Leandro Trossard and Kieran Tierney, the latter also unwell, were among those unable to make the journey. Continue reading…

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Football | The Guardian

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