Arsenal – Sporting facts and stats | UEFA Europa League

Premier League leaders Arsenal are aiming for a fourth UEFA Europa League quarter-final in six seasons when they host Sporting CP. The two teams are tied 2-2 after a turbulent Round of 16 first leg in Lisbon.

Arsenal earned direct access to the round of 16 by finishing top of UEFA Europa League Group A, winning five of their matches to edge PSV Eindhoven by two points. It was the fifth time the Gunners had won their UEFA Europa League group, equaling Salzburg’s record in the competition.

The Portuguese beat Midtjylland in the UEFA Europa League knockout stage play-offs, leveling late in the first leg to draw 1-1 at home, before winning 4-0 in Denmark, Pedro Gonçalves scoring twice after captain Sebastián Coates opened the scoring with his second goal of the game.

Previous meetings

On 9 March, an own goal from Hidemasa Morita earned Arsenal a 2-2 draw at the Estádio José Alvalade. After conceding a header from a corner to William Saliba (22e minute), Sporting opened the scoring through Gonçalo Inácio (34e), then took the lead with a point-blank goal from Paulinho, his fourth in Europe against English sides.

The clubs had never met in UEFA competition before being drawn together in the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League group stage, where Arsenal won 1-0 on matchday three in Lisbon thanks to a late goal from Danny Welbeck, before the two sides drew 0-0 in the return leg to London a fortnight later.

The clubs also met in the second round of the 1969/70 Inter-Cities Inter-Cities Cup which was not UEFA competition, with Arsenal winning 3-0 on aggregate.

The Gunners have won the last two of their three UEFA home legs against Portuguese clubs, the most recent being a 4-3 aggregate success against Benfica in the UEFA Europa round of 16 League 2020/21. After a 1-1 draw in Rome, the Gunners won 3-2 in Piraeus.

Arsenal’s record in London against Portuguese clubs is 5 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. The English had not conceded a goal in five successive meetings against visitors from the country (4 wins, 1 draw) until the last such meeting, at the last minute, 3-2 against Vitória SC in the phase of groups of the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League, in which current Sporting striker Marcus Edwards opened the scoring for the visitors.

Sporting’s 28 UEFA matches against English clubs have resulted in 10 wins and 11 losses. Sporting have won just two of their 14 away matches (5 D L 7), the last success being a 3-2 win at Middlesbrough in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup Round of 16 first leg. Their record in England since then is 4 draws, 5 defeats.

The Lisbon club suffered their heaviest home defeat in Europe in the first leg of last season’s UEFA Champions League round of 16, 0-5 against Manchester City which, with a goalless draw in the second leg, led to their first loss in nine UEFA home and away ties against English sides.

About the teams


Absent from Europe in 2021/22 for the first time in 26 years, Arsenal are in their fifth UEFA Europa League campaign in six seasons. Mikel Arteta’s side qualified by finishing fifth in the Premier League last season, 24 points behind champions Manchester City.

The Gunners’ fifth appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage this season ended in the same result as the previous four, as they finished top of their group, claiming a double against FC Zürich ( 2-1, 1-0) and Bodø/Glimt (3-0, 1-0) and winning at home against PSV (1-0, 0-2). They finished runners-up to London rivals Chelsea in the 2018/19 final and reached the last four in 2017/18 and last in 2020/21, where, having won all six group stage matches, they were eventually eliminated by eventual winners Villarreal (1-2, 0-0). The only UEFA trophy won by Arsenal is the 1993/94 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.

After losing seven successive UEFA Champions League round of 16 matches from 2010/11 to 2016/17, the Gunners went on to win all three at the same stage of the UEFA Europa League, knocking out AC Milan in 2017/18 ( 2-0, 3-1), Rennes in 2018/19 (1-3, 3-0) and Olympiacos in 2020/21 (3-1, 0-1).

While the Gunners’ overall record in the UEFA Europa League at home, including the win over Benfica in neutral Piraeus in the 2020/21 Round of 32, is 19 wins, 5 draws and 4 losses, they have not won any of their last four matches of the knockout stage at the Arsenal Stadium, losing twice to Olympiakos before drawing against Slavia Praha and Villarreal.

Arsenal have won five of the seven UEFA matches they have drawn away from home, including the three most recent, the last being against Benfica two years ago. It’s the first time they’ve drawn 2-2 away.


Portuguese champions in 2020/21, their first league title in 19 years – Sporting finished second to Porto last season while retaining the Portuguese League Cup. Led by champion manager Rúben Amorim, the Lions also reached the UEFA Champions League knockout stage for the first time in 13 years, before being knocked out by Manchester City.

After eliminating Midtjylland, Sporting are taking part in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 for the fourth time. He won two of his previous three rounds at this stage, closely contested, against Atlético de Madrid, Manchester City and Viktoria Pilsen.

Sporting were runners-up in the 2005 UEFA Cup, losing the final 3-1 to CSKA Moskva at home.

The Lisbon have been eliminated ten out of thirteen times in UEFA double ties in which they have drawn at home in the first leg, although their three aggregate successes have come in the last four such matches, the most recent being last month’s against Midtjylland.

We know each other…

Sent on loan to Sporting by FC Barcelona in January, Héctor Bellerín joined Arsenal from the Blaugrana aged 16 in July 2011. He made 239 first-team appearances and scored nine goals for the Gunners, winning the FA Cup three times , before returning to Barca last summer after a 2021/22 season on loan at Real Betis. He also had a brief loan spell at Watford in 2013/14.

North London-born Marcus Edwards joined arch-rivals Arsenal Tottenham in 2006 aged eight, signing his first professional contract ten years later. He only made one first-team appearance, however, and left Spurs for Portuguese club Vitória SC three years later. The former England junior international was also loaned out to Norwich in 2018.

Edwards scored Sporting’s goal in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham in this season’s UEFA Champions League group stage.

Other Sporting players who have played in England are Coates (Liverpool 2011-13, Sunderland 2014-16), Pedro Gonçalves (Wolves 2017-19), Francisco Trincão (Wolves loan 2021/22) and Rochinha (Bolton loan 2015).

Hidemasa Morita (Sporting) and Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal) are teammates in Japan, as are Fatawu Issahaku (Sporting) and Thomas Partey (Arsenal) for Ghana. These four players were part of their nation’s squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Shoot to the net

Arsenal’s record in four UEFA penalty shootouts is 2 wins and 2 losses:

Sporting’s record in two UEFA penalty shootouts is 2 defeats

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