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Arsenal Flop

Today’s blog highlights an Arsenal flop against Portuguese’s Sporting in the Europa league match that was a turn of the tide, as star Pedro Goncalves left Arsenal fans in utter shock on scoring an unreal equalizing strike from the centre-circle sixty-two (62) minutes into the game.

Xhaka had put Arsenal one nil (1-0) up nineteen (19) minutes into the first half. However, Pedro Goncalves drew Sporting level against Arsenal last Thursday with an audacious long-range lob right on the half-way line to silence the Emirates crowd. The partnership with Emirates Airlines earned the stadium something more than the expected profits. Then sporting went on to win by penalties.

The highly rated Portuguese midfielder stole the ball after some sloppy passing between Granit Xhaka and Jorginho in the middle of the pitch. Goncalves controlled well and drove before chipping the ball from a staggering 46 yards out, as his pinpoint effort sailed over a scrambling Aaron Ramsdale and into the back of the net to leave the home crowd in utter shock.

The goal came in a second half very much different to the first. Mikel Arteta’s side had taken the game to Sporting in the opening stages and were rewarded for their early efforts when Xhaka turned from close range. But with two defensive injury setbacks and with Sporting needing a goal to stay in the tie, Ruben Amorim’s side came out with purpose in the second half.

Goncalves’ goal was a moment of beauty and nothing less than the away side deserved for their efforts, as it helped take the last-16 clash to extra-time and then a penalty shootout after a 3-3 aggregate scoreline. The Portuguese club then advanced on spot-kicks as Grabriel Martinelli missed a crucial penalty.

Have a terrific day!

Prof. Carl Boniface

Vocabulary builder:

Pote (transitive verb) = thrust, kick, poke, or push, shove, nudge (hardly used nowadays)

Audacious (adj) = daring, bold, brave, overconfident, risky, cheeky

Lob (n) toss, throw, pitch, chuck, fling, toss

Drove (v) = a drive in football is a word used to describe what a team's offense does with the football while it is in their possession and the series of plays that follow their gaining possession of the ball. This includes plays, scores, turnovers, time of possession, and yards gained or lost. It can also be considered the opposite of trickle (see below).

Trickle (v) to flow in a thin gentle stream, to move or go one by one or little by little. “The customers began to trickle in to the shop to buy team shirts.” The trickle-down effect assumes that sporting success at the elite sport level descends down to the amateur sport level in the sense that people are inspired by sporting success to participate themselves.


Stole the ball = took possession of whatever it is i.e., ball, took unlawfully, without consent.

Sloppy passing = means that players are giving the ball away by passing badly, often by not hitting the ball firmly enough or not looking before passing.

Pinpoint (v) = locate, identify, isolate, find, determine, pin down, nail

Sailed (v) = navigated, cruised, go in a boat, travel by water, glided

Scrambling (n) = climbing, struggling, rushing, moving quickly

Utter (adj) = complete, absolute, total, sheer, downright, thorough, (ant) partial

Scoreline (n) = the score achieved by the players in a game or competition: The final scoreline was 5–3. General terms used in ball sports; aggregate score.

Spot-kick (n) = in football, a chance to kick the ball at the goal, given because the other team has broken the rules: Hazard's spot kick was well saved by the United keeper. Synonym. penalty (PUNISHMENT) Football/soccer.

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