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Standard Liege 2-2 Arsenal: 3 talking points | Europa League 2019-20

Tony Akatugba
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:19 IST

Arsenal's players celebrate

A tame first half encounter for Arsenal in Belgium gave way to an exhilarating second half, as Standard Liege saw their two-goal advantage obliterated in the space of three minutes during their Europa League encounter.

Both sides battled to a 0-0 draw in the first half, with the Gunners having the lion's share of possession as well as the bulk of the chances. However, three minutes after the restart Freddie Ljungberg's men found themselves behind, as Samuel Bastien's shot wickedly deflected off Sokratis Papastathopoulos for the opener.

Just past the hour mark, some poor defending by Joe Willock gifted the ball to Selim Amallah. Amallah wheeled away before releasing a shot which got deflected off an Arsenal player once again and went beyond the reach of Emiliano Martinez for the second goal of the encounter.

With Arsenal wary of finishing second and having to meet one of the fallen Champions League teams, they continued to plug away in search of redemption. In the 78th minute, the needed spark was lit as Bukayo Saka's cross found the prolific head of Alexandre Lacazette for Arsenal's first goal of the night.

Three minutes later Saka turned finisher, as the 18-year-old drilled a brilliant shot from outside the box beyond the reach of Arnaud Bodart and into the bottom right corner for the equaliser.

In this article, we discuss a few talking points from the encounter.

#3 Standard Liege surrender a 2-goal lead for the second time in 10 years against Arsenal

Alexandre Lacazette rises to head the ball
Alexandre Lacazette rises to head the ball

Freddie Ljungberg's Arsenal pulled a rabbit out of the heart once more, on the heels of Monday's three-goal blitz against West Ham just after the hour mark.

For Standard Liege, the game's result must have been something of a deja vu, as they found themselves surrendering a two-goal advantage once again to Arsenal. The Gunners are the first English team to play the Belgian side since September 2009, and ironically, an Arsene Wenger led Arsenal side were the last English opponents welcomed by Standard.


On that faithful September evening, the Gunners were left gobsmacked after the home side scored two goals within just five minutes on the clock. However, Wenger's men would recover from the shock to put three goals past the Belgian team, thanks to goals from Nicklas Bendtner, Thomas Vermaelen and Eduardo da Silva.

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Published 13 Dec 2019, 03:53 IST
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