Arsenal’s 2022/23 UEFA Europa League adventure is officially over.
The Gunners exited the continent’s second-tier tournament in dramatic fashion on Thursday evening.
Sporting Lisbon defeated Arsenal in a penalty shootout at the Emirates Stadium after a hugely entertaining 1-1 draw (3-3 on aggregate).
The Portuguese outfit converted all five of their spot kicks, with Gabriel Martinelli the only man to miss from 12 yards.
It was a rare sobering night for Arsenal in 2022/23 and the onus will now be on them to bounce back against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday.
Should Martin Odegaard have come on earlier vs Sporting?
Club captain Odegaard played a minimal role against Sporting. He was initially rested and then replaced Fabio Vieira in extra-time.
As such, the Norwegian was unable to have a huge impact on proceedings, although he did score the Gunners’ first penalty in the shootout.
Had Odegaard come on sooner for Vieira, who was poor throughout, Mikel Arteta’s side may very well have achieved victory and booked a date with Juventus in the quarter-finals.
But despite the fact it was the most disappointing of evenings for him, Odegaard made sure to thank the passionate home fans after Nuno Santos converted the winning penalty for Sporting.
In fact, the ex-Real Madrid playmaker did a full lap of the stadium by himself, which is yet more proof that he is the perfect captain.
Check out the footage:
Fair play, Martin.
He might not be the loudest player on the pitch, but Odegaard is a true leader.
One Arsenal fan on Twitter summed it up perfectly by replying to the above video: “There’s no better leader in the group except him, he might not be too vocal but his attitude and mentality is top class.”
What did Odegaard say after Arsenal’s defeat to Sporting?
“I think every time we have lost this season we have learned something from it,” said Odegaard in something of a rallying cry. “Every time we have come back and changed the situation again.
“That is what we are going to do again and the next game comes quick, so it’s a good opportunity to strike back. We talked about it already in the dressing room, we have to move forward now.
“We are always together, even if we lose. It’s been a good season, a lot of wins, but we have to be together in the tough moments as well. We have to show it (our mentality) now. It’s 11 finals for us.”