Pedro Goncalves' Outrageous Goal From Halfway Line Knocks Arsenal Out Of Europa League
Pedro Goncalves’ Outrageous Goal From Halfway Line Knocks Arsenal Out Of Europa League

Aaron Ramsdale was caught off-guard by this insane attempt

An outrageous, halfway-line effort from Sporting Lisbon’s midfielder Pedro Goncalves stunned Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, forcing the game to a penalty shootout, where the Portuguese side outclassed the Premier League’s table-topper. 


It came in the 62nd minute of the game when Sporting Lisbon was trailing by one goal on aggregate. Goncalves got the ball around the center of the pitch and showed great alertness to shoot it directly over Aaron Ramsdale, who was caught off-guard by this insane attempt.


Earlier in the game, Granit Xhaka gave Arsenal a slender lead with his first-half strike. No more goals were scored, and Gabriel Martinell missed the decisive penalty in the end, which led to Arsenal’s exit from the tournament.



For Arsenal fans, the result won’t hurt much as they know their priority is elsewhere: to win the Premier League for the first time since 2003. They are currently five points clear at the top of the table, and would be happy with the comeback of their talisman striker Gabriel Jesus, who played his part in the last night’s game.


But the elation over Jesus’ return was shortlived, as Arsenal lost two more players to injury in this tie. Inside the opening 20 minutes, William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu had to walk off, and they were replaced by Ben White and Rob Holding respectively.



About the spate of injuries that have affected the club, Arteta said, “We had Emile out for four months, we had Gabriel Jesus out for four months, Alex [Oleksandr Zinchenko] for two and a half months, Thomas [Partey] for a month and a half, Eddie [Nketiah] for a month and a half. We had quite a lot of injuries already but we dealt with that.”



There’s no official confirmation over the extent of the injury, but Arteta can’t afford to miss two first-team players at such a crucial stage of the season. With 11 games remaining, Arsenal knows how even minor slip-ups can destroy their title hopes.


“It’s a huge blow, but it brings clarity to the season,” Arteta told after the game. “It’s 11 games to play for, 11 Premier League games, and a big final against Crystal Palace. The focus has to be there, the energy has to be there and learn from tonight.”


Lead Image: UEFA

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