Danny Welbeck’s late 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 onto a mistake from Sebastian Coates and slotted it through the keeper’s legs after 77 minutes.
Earlier in the second half, Welbeck had a headed goal ruled out after he was adjudged to have fouled the defender in the build-up.
Arsenal have now extended their winning run to 11 games in all competitions.
The match threatened to finish in a lifeless draw when the first half ended with just two tame shots on target from Arsenal.
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 comfortably away by keeper Renan Ribeiro.
But Arsenal picked up their performance slightly in the second half as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was denied twice early after the break.
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.
Lucas Torreira’s set-piece was palmed dangerously away before Welbeck eventually broke the deadlock with a cool finish in-between the keeper’s legs.
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 – beating stand-in right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner to drive along the baseline and earning corners with his aerial threat in the middle.
There were a few neat touches from former Manchester United winger Nani too but Arsenal never looked like conceding despite manager Unai Emery making six changes to his starting XI.
Arsenal remain top of the group with nine points from three wins, while Sporting trail in second.
More to follow.
Source BBC News