Four seasons after they met in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League, Sporting Lisbon meets Arsenal again in the round of 16 of the competition, where the first leg will be held at Jose Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon.
Sporting started its 2022/23 European campaign in the Champions League and started strongly in Group D, before collapsing after two matches and narrowly snatching its consolation in third place in the last minute of the sixth day.
The Portuguese beat Midtjylland in the UEFA Europa League knockout stages, equalizing late in the first leg to draw 1-1 at home, before winning 4-0 in Denmark, with Pedro Gonçalves scoring twice after captain Sebastian Coates opened the scoring with him. The second goal of the match.
Arsenal gained direct access to the last 16 by finishing top of Group A in the Europa League, winning five of their matches to beat PSV by two points.
The clubs had never met in UEFA competition before they met each other in the group stage of the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League, with Arsenal winning 1-0 in the third round in Lisbon thanks to a late goal from Danny Welbeck, before the two teams drew 0-0 in the match. The return leg to London two weeks later.
The two teams also met in the second round of the 1969/70 Inter-Cities Cup which was not a UEFA competition, with Arsenal winning 3–0 on aggregate.
Sporting’s 27 UEFA matches against English clubs have resulted in 10 wins and 11 losses, eight of them at home.
Arsenal’s victory at Sporting 2018 is the only one in seven visits to Portugal (D3 L3), the last of which was a 1-1 draw against Vitoria in the group stage of the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League.
Arsenal have won the last two of their three UEFA home matches against Portuguese clubs, the latest of which was a 4-3 aggregate victory against Benfica in the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League Round of 16. After a 1-1 draw in Rome, Arsenal won 3-2 in Piraeus.
Portuguese champions in 2020/21, their first league title in 19 years – Sporting finished runners-up to Porto last season while retaining the Portuguese League Cup. Led by champion coach Ruben Amorim, the Lions also reached the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 13 years, before being knocked out by Manchester City.
After Midtjylland’s elimination, Sporting participates in the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League for the fourth time. He had won two of his previous three rounds at this point, competing closely, against Atlético de Madrid, Manchester City and Viktoria Pilsen.
Sporting were runners-up in the 2005 UEFA Cup, losing the final 3-1 to CSKA Moskva at home.
Sporting have lost five of their last nine European home matches (3 wins, 1 draw), conceding 18 goals in those defeats.
Missing out on Europe in 2021/22 for the first time in 26 years, Arsenal are in their fifth UEFA Europa League campaign in six seasons. Mikel Arteta’s team qualified by finishing fifth in the English Premier League last season, 24 points behind champions Manchester City.
Arsenal’s fifth appearance in the group stage of the Europa League this season resulted in the same result as the previous four. 1st place (at the expense of FC Zürich, Bodø / Glimt and PSV).
Arsenal played the final against Chelsea in 2018/19 and reached the last four in 2017/18 and 2020/21.
After losing seven consecutive 16 UEFA Champions League matches from 2010/11 to 2016/17, Arsenal went on to claim all three wins in the UEFA Europa League at the same stage, leading to defeats by AC Milan in 2017/18, and Rennes in 2018/18. 19 and Olympiacos.
Arsenal’s record in away matches in the UEFA Europa League knockout stage is 7 wins, 2 draws and 4 losses.
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Sent on loan to Sporting by Barcelona in January, Hector Bellerin joined Arsenal from the Blaugrana aged 16 in July 2011. He made 239 first-team appearances and scored nine goals for Arsenal, winning the FA Cup three times, before returning to Barcelona. Last summer after the 2021/22 season on loan to Real Betis. He also had a short loan spell at Watford in 2013/14.
North London-born Marcus Edwards joined arch-rivals Arsenal Tottenham in 2006 at the age of eight, and signed his first professional contract ten years later. However, he made only one first-team appearance, and left Tottenham for Portuguese club Vitória after three years. The former England junior national team player was also loaned to Norwich in 2018.
Edwards scored Sporting’s goal in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham in the group stage of this season’s Champions League.
Other players who have played in England are Coates (Liverpool 2011-13, Sunderland 2014-16), Pedro Gonçalves (Wolves 2017-19), Francisco Trincao (loan to Wolverhampton 2021/22) and Rochinha (loan to Bolton 2015).
Hidemasa Morita (Sporting) and Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal) are teammates for Japan, as are Fatao Isahaku (Sporting) and Thomas Partey (Arsenal) for Ghana. These four players were part of their country’s squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.