TThis is another step forward for Unai Emery's Arsenal, but it certainly doesn't feel like that. On the night when they completed their main target to qualify for the Europa League preliminary round, every feeling of victory was canceled by a traumatic and severe injury to Danny Welbeck.
Arsenal believe victory will be needed to guarantee their qualification from the group stage, but Ukraine's side Vorskla Poltava's defeat by Qarabag means that this solitary point, against the flaming Sporting CP, is enough to see them escape. This is a combination of results that should eliminate tension when it comes to European football for the rest of the year, but instead the loss of Welbeck – and then injury to wing-back Stephan Lichtsteiner – will leave Emery's squad feeling tense.
Injured to Welbeck, which made some Arsenal players look upset, changing the atmosphere at the Emirates and the tone of the show. It was only in the end, when Sporting were reduced to 10 men, that Arsenal really looked close to sealing the victory. Even then, they cannot produce anything that distracts Welbeck's thoughts and suffering.
Welbeck's injury was a decisive moment in the first half that dominated Arsenal despite the best efforts of Sporting fans, who did their best to make this feel like an away match for Emery's side. The sheer demand for tickets in Lisbon has resulted in Arsenal allocating fans away with a larger number of seats than usual here, and the atmosphere is far more boisterous than Arsenal expected in their Europa League matches.