Europa League - Group E

Sporting Lisbon 0-1 Arsenal: Welbeck winner keeps Gunners top

Danny Welbeck celebrates
Danny Welbeck has scored five goals in 10 appearances for Arsenal this season

Danny Welbeck's second-half winner gave Arsenal victory over Sporting Lisbon in Portugal, as they retained their place at the top of Europa League Group E.

The striker pounced on a Sebastian Coates error and slotted a shot through the keeper's legs after 77 minutes.

Earlier in the second half, Welbeck had a headed goal ruled out after he was judged to have fouled the defender in the build-up.

Arsenal have now extended their winning run to 11 games in all competitions.

Gunners patience pays off

After Monday evening's impressive Premier League win over Leicester, there was plenty of Arsenal optimism, even though they had never beaten a Portuguese side away from home, losing on their past three visits.

The first half seemed to point towards a dreary goalless draw despite the Gunners controlling the possession - with the visitors managing just two tame shots on target before the break - but they ultimately got the result they deserved.

Nani had Sporting's best chance with a high curling effort after half-an-hour before Arsenal winger Henrikh Mkhitaryan's free-kick was punched away by keeper Renan Ribeiro.

But Arsenal picked up their performance slightly in the second half as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was denied twice.

His chip was well saved after he had used his pace to get in behind centre-back Coates and he had a shot saved from a wide angle.

Those chances seemed to spark a bit of life into Arsenal and shortly afterwards Matteo Guendouzi's cutback found Welbeck, only for his close-range shot to be deflected out for a corner.

But Arsenal's determination to turn their 67% possession into a goal eventually paid off.

Welbeck's form under new boss Unai Emery continues to improve and he has now bagged five goals in 10 appearances this season - including two in the Europa League.

Arsenal remain top of the group with nine points from three games, while Sporting trail in second.

Sporting fall flat

On the whole, the hosts showed little attacking intent - Sporting choosing to defend deep and counter-attack in rare spells.

Full-back Marcos Acuna caused a few problems in the first half for stand-in right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner down the flank, as well as winning a number of corners with some energetic runs through the middle.

There were a few neat touches from former Manchester United winger Nani too but Arsenal never looked like conceding despite manager Emery making six changes to his starting XI.

Lucas Torreira did see a set-piece palmed away before Welbeck's goal condemned the home side to defeat - but they are still in position to make the knockout stage.

Unconvincing displays from full-backs

Stephan Lichtsteiner
Stephan Lichtsteiner has played at left-back twice before being switched to the right for Arsenal

Arsenal's heavy fixtures schedule - which includes three games in seven days - meant Emery was forced to make changes and he will have been delighted it paid off with a win.

However, there were a few nervous moments in the first half as stand-in full-backs Granit Xhaka and Lichtsteiner were thrown in the deep end because of injuries to Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac.

Midfielder Xhaka was beaten by one Nani run in the first half but was backed up by Rob Holding, and he conceded a few fouls for mistimed tackles when out of position.

All-in-all though, Xhaka was fairly solid in comparison to Lichtsteiner, who seemed to struggle in one-on-one situations.

He looked out of his depth and was beaten early on by Sporting full-back Acuna and was lucky not to give away a penalty when he held back Nani in the area before the break.

But he was better going forward and a nice run in behind was picked out by Guendouzi in the first half and after 20 minutes, he was the only Arsenal player to have had a touch in the opposition box.

'This has been difficult for us'

Arsenal manager Unai Emery: "We are only thinking of the next match against Crystal Palace. We are also enjoying each moment with our supporters. For us, it's very important that supporters are with us and enjoy it.

"I'm enjoying continuing the work, our process. They have a high demand for us because every match is not easy for us. Historically, this has been very difficult for us and I know this.

"For us, continuing to win is what we want but we know it's not easy and we can lose. But we need to continue finding the solution for us to be better in the first halves."

Man of the match - Matteo Guendouzi

Matteo Guendouzi
Matteo Guendouzi was calm on the ball in midfield and controlled possession. He played some nice through balls too.

Leaving it late - the best of the stats

  • Arsenal recorded their 11th successive win in all competitions; their best run of wins since October 2007 (when they won 12 in a row).
  • This was Arsenal's first away win in Portugal after previously failing to triumph in six European visits there (D3, L3).
  • Of Arsenal's 33 goals in all competitions this season, 23 have come in the second half of matches (70%).
  • Arsenal have won 11 competitive matches this season - of all Premier League clubs, only Manchester City can equal this tally (also 11).
  • This was the first time that Arsenal did not concede a single shot on target in a European match since March 2015, versus Monaco in the Champions League.
  • Emery has suffered just one defeat in his 21 group stage games in the Europa League (W12, D8, L1, while at Valencia, Seville and Arsenal).
  • Welbeck has been directly involved five goals in his last five starts for Arsenal in all competitions (four goals, one assist).



  • 40Ribeiro
  • 13RistovskiSubstituted forBoialvo Gasparat 45'minutes
  • 4CoatesBooked at 71mins
  • 6Almeida Pinto
  • 9AcuñaBooked at 39mins
  • 16BattagliaBooked at 90mins
  • 25Petrovic
  • 86GudeljSubstituted forBoges Cabralat 71'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 17Almeida da CunhaSubstituted forDiabyat 87'minutes
  • 10Montero
  • 8Bruno Fernandes


  • 18Cardoso Mané
  • 19Salin
  • 22Mathieu
  • 23Diaby
  • 76Boialvo Gaspar
  • 77Boges Cabral
  • 90Mariz Luís


  • 19Leno
  • 12Lichtsteiner
  • 5Papastathopoulos
  • 16HoldingBooked at 46mins
  • 34Xhaka
  • 8Ramsey
  • 29Guendouzi
  • 4ElnenySubstituted forTorreiraat 58'minutes
  • 7MkhitaryanBooked at 51mins
  • 14AubameyangSubstituted forIwobiat 86'minutes
  • 23WelbeckSubstituted forLacazetteat 81'minutes


  • 9Lacazette
  • 10Özil
  • 11Torreira
  • 17Iwobi
  • 20Mustafi
  • 25Jenkinson
  • 26Martínez
Damir Skomina

Match Stats

Home TeamSportingAway TeamArsenal
Shots on Target

Live Text

Match ends, Sporting CP 0, Arsenal 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Sporting CP 0, Arsenal 1.


Rodrigo Battaglia (Sporting CP) is shown the yellow card.


Jovane Cabral (Sporting CP) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jovane Cabral (Sporting CP).

Corner, Sporting CP. Conceded by Rob Holding.

Foul by Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal).

Radosav Petrovic (Sporting CP) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Bruno Gaspar.

Attempt missed. Jovane Cabral (Sporting CP) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Rodrigo Battaglia.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by André Pinto.


Substitution, Sporting CP. Abdoulaye Diaby replaces Nani.


Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Iwobi replaces Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Attempt missed. Jovane Cabral (Sporting CP) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Fredy Montero.

Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Fredy Montero (Sporting CP).

Attempt missed. Bruno Gaspar (Sporting CP) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Bruno Fernandes following a corner.

Corner, Sporting CP. Conceded by Stephan Lichtsteiner.

Attempt blocked. Jovane Cabral (Sporting CP) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Bruno Fernandes.


Substitution, Arsenal. Alexandre Lacazette replaces Danny Welbeck.

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Marcos Acuña (Sporting CP).

Attempt blocked. Nani (Sporting CP) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jovane Cabral.

Attempt blocked. Radosav Petrovic (Sporting CP) header from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Nani with a cross.

Corner, Sporting CP. Conceded by Rob Holding.

Attempt blocked. Fredy Montero (Sporting CP) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Rodrigo Battaglia with a headed pass.


Goal! Sporting CP 0, Arsenal 1. Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Marcos Acuña (Sporting CP) because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Renan Ribeiro (Sporting CP) because of an injury.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Radosav Petrovic.

Attempt blocked. Stephan Lichtsteiner (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Radosav Petrovic.

Attempt saved. Lucas Torreira (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.


Substitution, Sporting CP. Jovane Cabral replaces Nemanja Gudelj.


Sebastián Coates (Sporting CP) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sebastián Coates (Sporting CP).


Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 25th October 2018

As It Stood


2B Leverkusen32019726
4AEK Larnaca301236-31


1RB Salzburg33009369
2RB Leipzig32017436


1Zenit St Petersburg32104227
2Slavia Prague32012116
3FC Copenhagen31113304


1Dinamo Zagreb33008269
3Spartak Trnava310224-23


3Vorskla Poltava310246-23
4FK Qarabag300306-60


1Real Betis32105147
2AC Milan32015326
4F91 Dudelange300306-60


3Rapid Vienna310238-53
4Spartak Moscow302135-22


4Apollon Limassol301236-31


1KRC Genk32017526
2Malmö FF31113304
3Sarpsborg 0831115504


2FK Krasnodar32014316
3Standard Liege320157-26


1FC Astana31205325
2Dynamo Kiev31206515
4FK Jablonec302145-12


2PAOK Salonika31024403
3MOL Vidi310223-13
4BATE Borisov310247-33
View full Europa League tables

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