Europa League: Arsenal Progress To Knockout Stage
Arsenal booked a place in the Europa League knockout stage and extended their unbeaten run to 15 matches despite a 0-0 draw with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday.
Unai Emery‘s Gunners were the better side for long periods at the Emirates against a team who have already had three different managers this term, but had to settle for a point.
But Arsenal did secure a last-32 spot regardless, as Vorskla Poltava lost 1-0 at home to Azeri outfit Qarabag in the other Group E game.
A drab first half was delayed for several minutes when Danny Welbeck, given a rare start just hours after being named in Gareth Southgate‘s England squad, had to be stretchered off with what looked a nasty injury after seeing a header saved by Renan Ribeiro.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Welbeck’s replacement, had the first real opening of the game but volleyed wide from just a few yards out early in the second half.
Arsenal continued to press for a winner but failed to find a way through the Sporting defence as Henrikh Mkhitaryan saw an effort saved at point-blank range by Ribeiro and Aubameyang was denied by a flying block.
Sporting were reduced to 10 men late on when former Barcelona centre-back Jeremy Mathieu brought down Aubameyang, but the Gabon forward blasted the resulting free-kick over the bar.
Arsenal will now avoid any of the Champions League drop outs in the draw for the next round as they have a better head-to-head record with second-placed Sporting Lisbon.