All is well between Arsenal and Benfica as the two European heavyweights continue their UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg in Piraeus after both maintaining their unbeaten position in this season’s competition with a 1-1 draw in the game go to the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
• Arsenal scored the most points in the fall in Group B, where they achieved the brace against Rapid Wien, Dundalk and the other Molde qualifiers, scoring 20 goals in the process – the most ever for an English team in a UEFA Europa League group. The Portuguese giants also came out undefeated from their section, with three wins and three draws, but had to settle for second place behind Rangers.
• While Benfica were forced to protect their unbeaten UEFA Europa League home record in Rome rather than Lisbon, they managed to do so against Arsenal, despite the lead they were given by Pizzi’s penalty at the The start of the second half lasted just two minutes before Bukayo Saka equalized.
• The clubs have only been paired once in UEFA competition, with Sven Göran Eriksson’s Eagles overtaking George Graham’s Gunners in the 1991/92 European Cup second round with a 3-1 victory in extra time in London after a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Lisbon, the Benfica striker Isaías scored three times in a tie.
• Arsenal have won five of their seven home games against visitors from Portugal, this loss to Benfica 30 years ago their only loss. They have faced Portuguese sides in each of their last two UEFA Europa League campaigns, drawing Sporting CP 0-0 at home on Matchday 4 of 2018/19 and coming from behind twice to win. the Vitória SC 3-2 in London on Matchday 3 in 2019/20 thanks to a late double from Pepé.
• This is just the third home and away game Arsenal have played against Portuguese opponents. After losing the first to Benfica, they won the second, 6-2 on aggregate against Porto in the round of 16 of the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League, with Nicklas Bendtner scoring a hat-trick in the 5- second leg. 0 at home. to win. It is the Gunners’ most recent success in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League, with the seven games since all ending in defeat.
• The Lisbon club’s back and forth record against English rivals is V5 L7, with wins in the two most recent, both in the UEFA Europa League – against Newcastle United in the 2012/13 quarter-finals (3-1 hrs, 1 -1 a) and local Arsenal rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the 2013/14 round of 16 (3-1 a, 2-2 h).
• Benfica have won only 11 of their 37 matches against English clubs (D7 L19), losing the European finals to Manchester United (1968 European Cup, 1-4 ap) and Chelsea (UEFA Europa League 2013, 1- 2). Their 18 UEFA meetings in England, including the 1968 final at Wembley Stadium, have yielded just four wins, against 12 losses.
• Eighth in the 2019/20 Premier League, Arsenal secured a 25th consecutive season in Europe by winning the FA Cup under new manager Mikel Arteta – the club’s record-breaking 14th triumph in the competition – with a 2-1 victory over his London rival Chelsea in the final. Their third consecutive UEFA Europa League campaign ended in the round of 16 with Olympiacos.
• The ubiquitous UEFA Champions League for 19 consecutive seasons from 1998/99 to 2016/17, Arsenal reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League on the first try in 2017/18, losing to the eventual winner of the ‘Atlético de Madrid, before going one step further and qualifying for the 2018/19 final, where they were beaten 4-1 by Chelsea in Baku. They were group winners in all four of their UEFA Europa League matches – an unprecedented feat – and this season became the 11th team in the competition to dominate their section with maximum points thanks to victories against Rapid ( 2-1 a, 4-1 h), Dundalk (3-0 h, 4-2 a) and Molde (4-1 h, 3-0 a).
• Arsenal won their first two round of 32 in the UEFA Europa League, against Östersund (3-0 a, 1-2 h) and BATE Borisov (0-1 a, 3-0 h), before losing the season last to a late extension. -time goal at home to Olympiacos who eliminated them on away goals (1-0 a, 1-2 h).
• The Gunners’ home record in the UEFA Europa League is 15V, 3N. Last season’s loss to Olympiacos ended a seven-game unbeaten run in the knockout stage of the competition which included six wins.
• Arsenal have won four of their previous ten UEFA competitions in Greece and lost five. Their record of games against Olympiacos at Stadio Georgios Karaskaikis is W2 L3, with victories coming in the two most recent visits.
• Arsenal have won four of the six UEFA games in which they have drawn away, including the most recent two. Their record after a 1-1 score is W2 L2, the first of those two defeats against Benfica in 1991, the second a famous 2003/04 UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Chelsea, when they lost the second leg. 1- 2 in Highbury.
• Finalist for Porto in Portuguese Liga 2019/20 and Taça de Portugal, Benfica’s attempt to make 11 successive appearances in the UEFA Champions League proper fell apart as they entered this season’s third qualifying round when, under new head coach Jorge Jesus, they lost 2-1 in Greece to PAOK. They therefore entered the group stage of the UEFA Europa League for the first time since the competition’s inaugural season in 2009/10.
• Benfica got off to a good start in Group D, beating Lech Poznań 4-2 away and Standard Liège 3-0 at home before drawing twice with Rangers (3-3 hrs, 2- 2 a) and seal a new progression with a 4-0 defeating the Poles in Lisbon. Although relatively unfamiliar with the UEFA Europa League group stage, Benfica have appeared in more knockout stages of the competition than any other club (41) and finished second in 2012/13 (at Chelsea) and 2013/14 (in Seville) under Jesus.
• The Lisbon giants are present for the seventh time in the round of 16. They won their first five draws, remaining unbeaten in all ten matches, but were unable to extend that spotless record last season, against Shakhtar Donetsk (1-2 a, 3-3 h).
• The Eagles have won just four of their last 22 European games outside Portugal, dropping 12, but they ended a streak of three successive away defeats in the UEFA Europa League, all in the knockout stage , beating Lech 4-2 in Poland on Matchday 1.
• Benfica’s record in Greece is V5 L6, with this season’s loss to PAOK tipping the scales in favor of the host clubs. After winning their first game in Piraeus, they have lost in their last two visits, the last one losing 1-0 to Olympiacos in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• When they drew in the home leg of a UEFA game, Benfica recorded six wins and seven losses in total. Scoring 1-1, their record is W4 L2, with wins in the last four such encounters, most notably the most recent which included a 4-1 second leg win in Greece over PAOK in the game. of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League. off.
Changes to the UEFA Europa League squad
In: Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Ødegaard (Real Madrid, loan), Mat Ryan (Brighton, loan)
Outside: Sead Kolašinac (Schalke, loan), Matt Macey (Hibernian), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (West Brom, loan), Shkodran Mustafi (Schalke), Joe Willock (Newcastle, loan), Rúnar Rúnarsson
In: Branimir Kalaica, Lucas Veríssimo (Santos)
Outside: Ferro (Valence, loan), Jean-Clair Tobido (end of loan)
Links and anecdotes
• David Luiz, whose first leg appearance was his 99th in UEFA club competition, was a Benfica player from January 2007 to January 2011, making 132 appearances for the Lisbon club and winning the 2009 Portuguese Liga / 10 under the current Eagles boss Jesus. After leaving Benfica, the Brazilian defender played against them three times in Europe for Chelsea, winning all three games, including the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League final in Amsterdam.
• Spain’s Arsenal defender Pablo Marí was coached by Jesus at Flamengo in 2019, winning the Brazilian Serie A title and the Copa Libertadores.
• Jan Vertonghen spent eight years in north London with Tottenham, accumulating 315 appearances in all competitions, before joining Benfica last summer, while his compatriot new defensive recruit Nicolás Otamendi arrived in Lisbon after five seasons at Manchester City, in which he won seven major trophies. The Argentine defender also won the UEFA Europa League with Porto in 2010/11.
• Benfica midfielder Adel Taarabt spent the first part of his career in England, playing for three London clubs: Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers and Fulham.
• Granit Xhaka of Arsenal and Haris Seferović of Benfica are teammates of Switzerland.
• Luca Waldschmidt and Julian Weigl of Benfica are German international teammates of Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
• Arsenal Portuguese international Cédric played in his native country for Lisbon rivals Benfica, Sporting CP, as well as Académica Coimbra.
• Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted a hat-trick for Borussia Dortmund against Benfica in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg, helping the German club to a 4-0 victory and 4-1 in total.
• The Benfica midfielder Pizzi is the UEFA Europa League’s top scorer this season with seven goals.
• Benfica are one of six former European Cup winners in the UEFA Europa League knockout stage this season, the others being Ajax, Crvena zvezda, Manchester United, AC Milan and PSV Eindhoven.
• Benfica were finalists in the 1982/83 UEFA Cup as well as the 2012/13 and 2013/14 UEFA Europa League, while Arsenal lost finalists in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup and the 2018 UEFA Europa League / 19. Both clubs lost the UEFA Europa League final to Chelsea.
Shoot to the net
• Arsenal’s record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L2:
4-5 v Valencia, 1979/80 European Cup Winners’ Cup final
3-2 v Sampdoria, 1994/95 European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final
1-4 v Galatasaray, 1999/2000 UEFA Cup final
7-6 v Rome, 2008/09 UEFA Champions League round of 16
• Benfica’s record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L2:
4-1 v Torpedo Moskva, 1977/78 European Champion Clubs’ Cup first round
5-6 v PSV Eindhoven, 1987/88 European Champion Clubs’ Cup final
4-1 v PAOK, 1999/2000 UEFA Cup second round
2-4 v Sevilla, 2013/14 UEFA Europa League final