Arsenal concede late on to draw with Vitoria in unconvincing performance in Europa League

6 Nov

Arsenal conceded a late equaliser at Vitoria as they were held 1-1 in the Europa League on Wednesday.

Shkodran Mustafi thought he had scored the winner for the Gunners with 10 minutes to go but Bruno Duarte levelled up the scores in added time.

Unai Emery made eight changes to his Arsenal side
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Unai Emery shifted to a three-man defence as he made eight changes.

With plenty of talk over the captaincy, Rob Holding took the armband as none of the four members of Emery’s leadership group were included.

Emi Martinez, Shkodran Mustafi, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli also came in from the 1-1 draw at Wolves.

Vitoria coach Ivo Vieira made four alterations as Douglas came in for Miguel Silva in goal while Rafa Soares, Lucas Evangelista and Pepe were also recalled.

Shkodran Mustafi vies with Vitoria forward Davidson
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The visitors looked dangerous down the flanks with their new-look formation, but it was Vitoria who had came closest to breaking the deadlock on two occasions during the early exchanges.

Rodrigues Pepe broke for the hosts before unleashing a shot from 25 yards which beat Martinez in the Arsenal goal, only to bounce back off the post in the eighth minute.

Martinez was then forced into action when Lucas Evangelista fired in another effort from the edge of the area which the goalkeeper did well to palm wide.

Davidson came close to scoring for Vitoria
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Vitoria continued to hit Arsenal on the counter and forced Martinez into another save in the 19th minute, this time from a set-piece.

Edmond Tapsoba was left unmarked as he rose highest to an Evangelista free-kick but was denied by the Argentinian goalkeeper.

Stand-in captain Holding headed over Arsenal’s first real effort at goal before Davidson curled narrowly wide for the hosts.

There was a moment of concern when Ceballos was forced nine minutes after the restart with a hamstring problem and was replaced by Matteo Guendouzi.

Both sides struggled to created chances, with Mustafi’s header over the crossbar proving to be the only effort of note heading into the final 15 minutes of the match.

Mustafi scores against Vitoria
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Arsenal finally made the breakthrough which the game so badly needed with nine minutes remaining.

Pepe curled in an inviting cross from a set-piece which found Germany international unmarked from six yards from goal to head home.

The Gunners were let off when Wolves loan striker Leo Bonatini blazed over the crossbar after great build-up play.

However, Vitoria scored a stoppage-time equaliser through Bruno Duarte after the visitors failed to clear a right-wing cross.

Vitoria nearly snatched victory as Mustafi deflected a cross onto his own post before Rochinha fired a speculative volley narrowly wide, but the Gunners held onto a point in Portugal.

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