Sporting CP vs Arsenal FC - Observations
It was quite an evening in Lisbon as Portuguese giants Sporting CP welcomed Arsenal at the Estádio José Alvalade in front of a raucous home crowd, and it was Arsenal who came through with the victory on the night as Danny Welbeck capitalized on a terrible mistake by former Liverpool center-back Sebastian Coates and gave Arsenal the winning goal in the 77th minute.
The game was pretty tight for almost an hour until Lucas Torreira came on for Mohamed Elneny in the 58th minute and Arsenal started building up some steam and showcasing great passing game and quick runners off the ball. Arsenal dominated possession for the entirety of the match(67%) and created some very good chances in the second half, but a mixture of bad finishing, indecisiveness an a couple of good saves kept the scoreline so narrow.
The game never looked out of their hand and despite not showing utter dominance as they have in the past few weeks in the league, they never really looked like losing and came away with a good result at a ground that can be tough for visitors. Here are my observations from the game.
#1 Sporting has failed to replace the talent that's left
Sporting was quite simply outplayed in every department despite not facing the strongest Arsenal lineup, they never even looked like taking the fight to Arsenal, and were quite simply toothless. They had a huge controversy last season as a mob of 50 'fans' attacked the club's players and coaching staff, leaving several players physically and emotionally scarred forever.
This led to a mass exodus of players, the likes of which include Gelson Martins, William Carvahlo, Seydou Doumbia, Rui Patricio (who's been a revelation in the Premier League so far) to name a few of the 26 names that departed the club earlier this summer.
That is a huge hit for any club to take, and Sporting for that matter have done quite well to stay afloat, but have not made the adequate purchases to replace the quality of talent that departed the club. Much can be said about what happened to the club, but it is sad to see such a drastic fall of quality after an incident that happened in the summer, but it's aftershocks will be felt at the club for years to come.