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Arsenal 0-0 Sporting Lisbon: 5 Hits and Flops

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.17K   //    09 Nov 2018, 12:36 IST

Aaron Ramsey tussling for possession in the air during Arsenal's Group E home clash against Sporting
Aaron Ramsey tussling for possession in the air during Arsenal's Group E home clash against Sporting

Arsenal secured their passage into the UEFA Europa League knockout rounds after a frustrating goalless draw against Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates. 

The draw very much feels like two points dropped by Unai Emery's side, though it should perhaps not come as too much of a surprise. After all, the Spaniard made changes aplenty to his starting line-up here, from the team who drew 1-1 against Liverpool on Saturday. 

The game's flow was heavily disrupted midway through the first-half, when Danny Welbeck sustained a suspected broken ankle injury and had to receive lengthy medical treatment before being replaced. 

Mkhitaryan and his former teammate Nani show concern for the forward's health as he's stretchered off
Mkhitaryan and his former teammate Nani show concern for the forward's health as he's stretchered off

It's another unwelcome setback in a list of troublesome injury problems for the 27-year-old, who has continued to prove his worth as a valuable squad option - even if not first-choice in attack under new management. 

Arsenal, for all their possession, only created a few clear-cut chances. The most promising fell to Welbeck's replacement, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - who lacked the composure and clinical edge needed to bury the resolute visitors. 

With all of that in mind, here's an extended look at those who struggled while others impressed under the Thursday night lights in north London: 


#5 Flop: Nani

Nani appeared more focused on winning free-kicks, rather than actually creating goalscoring chances
Nani appeared more focused on winning free-kicks, rather than actually creating goalscoring chances

The Sporting captain didn't lead by example on this occasion and instead, spent a lot of time either appealing for free-kicks or failing to make the most of possession in dangerous areas. 

Could have tested Petr Cech in the first-half after an inviting ball swung across the box from Abdoulaye Diaby, though he failed to anticipate the opportunity in time to react quickly enough. 

Was dispossessed on three occasions, fouled three times and fired a shot wide - while surprisingly failing to complete a single dribble over the 90 minutes. 

Just as ineffective as he was on matchday three against the Gunners, Fredy Montero was arguably more isolated but I'm holding the former Manchester United winger to a higher standard, meaning he starts the list here. 

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ANALYST
Sports writer and editor - European and youth football analyst. PSG news correspondent. Email: mosope.ominiyi@gmail.com
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