All square in Lisbon after highly contested Europa League match-up
Arsenal has settled for a 2-2 first-leg draw in their Europa League round of 16 ties with Sporting CP, but they had to fight back to make it level.
The Gunners started off well as they opened the match with a headed goal from William Saliba in the 22nd minute.
However, 14 minutes later the Portuguese hosts opened their account with a well-taken headed equaliser of their own, with Goncalo Inacio producing almost a carbon copy of Saliba’s header.
The second half saw the pattern reversed as Paulinho put Sporting CP in front just 10 minutes after the interval, pouncing on a rebound to send the home fans wild with delight.
Arsenal fight back with some luck and take the draw
Arsenal drew level quickly through a stroke of luck in the form of an unfortunate ricochet that bounced off Japanese defensive midfielder Hidemasa Morita.
That made it 2-2 with around half an hour to go, but, towards the latter stages of the match, after a series of substitutions from both sides, the two teams reduced the intensity in what felt like a sense of contentment with the 2-2 draw.
The second leg will take place next Thursday, with the English side hosting that one at the Emirates.