Arsenal star Granit Xhaka brutally mocked by Sporting hero after loss

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Sporting’s man of the moment Pedro Goncalves could resist mocking Granit Xhaka after the Portuguese club dumped Arsenal out of the Europa League on penalties. Following a 2-2 draw in Lisbon, Ruben Amorim’s side rocked up at the Emirates and caused the Gunners major problems despite Xhaka’s first-half opener for the hosts.

After netting his first goal since October, the Swiss midfielder celebrated by putting his thumb on his nose with his hand in the air but it would not be the last time we saw the gesture on the evening.

In the second half, it was former Wolves man Goncalves’ time to steal the show as he lobbed Aaron Ramsdale from around 45 yards.

The game would go all the way to penalties after finishing 3-3 on aggregate and it was Sporting who reigned supreme as they ran out 5-3 victors following Gabriel Martinelli miss from 12 yards.

And Goncalves couldn’t help but taunt Arsenal ace Xhaka by mimicking his goal celebration after the game as the Sporting players danced in triumph.

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The image went viral particularly in Portuguese social media circles following a famous victory for Sporting.

Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Leandro Trossard all scored their penalties for Arsenal in the shootout before Martinelli fluffed his lines.

Sporting, meanwhile, were faultless as Jeremiah St. Justine, Ricardo Esgaio, Goncalo Inacio, Arthur and Nuno Santos delivered under pressure.

Arsenal’s long wait for a European trophy continues having last collected silverware on the continental stage in 1994 when they won the Cup Winners’ Cup.

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To make matters worse for the Gunners, they also lost Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba to injury during the contest.

Tomiyasu’s problem looks the more serious issue while Saliba was able to leave the mixed zone without strapping on Thursday night.

Captain Martin Odegaard wants to ensure Arsenal recover quickly from the blip as there is still a Premier League title up for grabs.

“We have to remember it’s been a great season,” said Odegaard.

“It’s a big blow to go out of this competition but now we look forward to the league, that’s all we can do now.

“We win and lose together. When we’re winning everyone is happy, when we lose we have to pick up the spirit.”

Arsenal host strugglers Crystal Palace on Sunday and the Eagles have not won in the Premier League since New Year’s Eve.

Failure to deliver a positive result is likely to spell the end of Patrick Vieira’s time at the club following a dismal run of form that is threatening to suck Palace into the relegation dogfight.

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