Pressure on Emery increases as late leveller ends Arsenal’s perfect start in Europe
Europa League Group F - Estádio D. Afonso Henriques - Vitoria Guimaraes 1 (Duarte 90+1') Arsenal 1 (Mustafi 80')
An injury-time equaliser from Vitoria Guimaraes’ Bruno Duarte denied Arsenal victory in the Europa League on Wednesday.
Shkodran Mustafi’s late header had seemingly handed Arsenal all three points, which would have ended a three-game winless run in the process.
However, Duarte's acrobatics handed the hosts a point as the pressure on Unai Emery increases.
The game looked to be beyond the Portuguese side after Mustafi’s goal but they found their way back in at the death. Just as an additional five minutes were being shown, Edwards broke down the right for Vitoria. Edwards clipped in a cross to the far post and Bruno Duarte, acrobatically, latched on to the loose ball headed back in and found the far corner of the net through a crowd of Arsenal defenders with a delightful scissor-kick.
Vitoria, buoyed by the equaliser, went in search of a winner while Arsenal reeled and Duarte had another late chance inside the box just before the final whistle. Duarte’s shot hit Mustafi and, with Martínez stranded, the ball shaved the right-hand post but only for a corner.
Arsenal are top of Group F with 10 points, while Eintracht Frankfurt - four points adrift in second – travel to Standard Liege (three points) on Thursday. But the Gunners will be disappointed not to have wrapped up their passage to the Europa League knockout stages after an unblemished campaign.
A mad last few minutes - The driving rain didn’t help a largely flat game, but all the action came in the final few minutes when Vitoria went in search of an equaliser. They found one through Bruno Duarte, who took his goal superbly, balancing and sweeping the ball past a wall of Arsenal players with his left foot inside the box.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) - Involved in pretty much everything and carrying a booking for most of the game, Mustafi defended well for large periods and got a much-needed opener for Arsenal, rising well for a Pepe corner and taking his second chance with an excellent header into the far corner.
7’ – Fabulous strike from Pepe from outside the box for Vitoria! It thumps Martínez's left-hand post with the Arsenal goalkeeper completely helpless only able to watch it.
10’ – Free-kick to Vitoria, swung in by Pepe. The ball eventually falls to Edwards outside the box who draws a great save from Martínez diving to his right. Great start by Vitoria!
18’ – Mustafi is booked for grabbing Davidson down the Arsenal right.
19’ – Chance for Vitoria! Tapsoba meets a floated free-kick into the box and forces a save from Martínez, who pushes the ball to safety to his right. Tapsoba was completely unmarked but it was a difficult chance.
61’ – Arsenal's Pepe has a corner from the left, which finds Mustafi. Mustafi gets a good contact on the header, from central and close to goal, but heads over the bar under pressure.
80’ – GOAL! Vitoria 0 Arsenal 1! Pepe delivers a lovely ball into the box from a free-kick from the left. Mustafi rises perfectly and, this time, directs his header low and to the right of Douglas inside Vitoria's post.
90’ – GOAL! Vitoria 1 Arsenal 1! Edwards, down the right, clips in a ball which eventually drops for Bruno Duarte. Duarte gets a great strike on the ball, falling to his right, and the ball flies past Martínez!
90+1 – Another chance for Bruno Duarte! This time his shot inside the box rebounds off Mustafi and, with Martínez rooted, it hits the right-hand post on goes out for a corner. Blimey!
Vitoria Guimaraes: Douglas 5; Victor Garcia 7, Venancio 5, Tapsoba 6, Rafa Soares 6, Mikel 6, Pepe 7, Lucas Evangelista 6, Davidson 7, Edwards 7, Bruno Duarte 7 Subs: Miguel Silva, Poha 6, Rochinha 6, Bonatini 6