Arsenal drew 1-1 against Benfica in the first round of 32 fixtures of the Europa league. Bukayo Saka scored the equalizing goal 2 minutes after Pizzi gave Benfica the lead through a penalty.
Arsenal came out with an away goal but deserved to win the game having created the most chances but failed to capitalize on them. Due to travel restrictions due to COVID-19, this match took place in Rome though Benfica were the designated hosts.
Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka remained the bright spots for Arsenal throughout the game
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to score for Arsenal early in the game after being presented a golden chance, but he shot wide. The first half ended 0-0 but Arsenal went into the half-time break the better side.
However, it was Benfica who received a penalty due to a handball from Arsenal’s Emile Smith-Rowe. Pizzi made no mistake and sent Leno the wrong way to make it 1-0 for the hosts.
But Arsenal were level within two minutes as Saka converted from close range following a great ball from Cedric Soares. Both sides appeared to settle for the draw with little attacking intent and few shots from either team of any note.
“I think we had to leave the stadium today with much more than we have right now. Everything is completely open for next Thursday,” the club’s official website quoted Arteta as saying.
“We have some positives to take from the game because we dominated the game. The team had patches of really good moments where we created some big chances. We weren’t ruthless enough in the opponents’ box and the disappointing thing obviously was the way we conceded the goal,” he added.