EUROPA LEAGUE – Standard Liege 2-2 Arsenal: Gunners top group after late comeback
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal finished top of Group F to reach the knockout stage of the Europa League as they came back to draw 2-2 with Standard Liege on Thursday night.
Samuel Bastien opened the scoring with 47 minutes as his deflected shot found the net, and the lead was doubled on 69 minutes as Selim Amallah's shot too a nick off an Arsenal man before beating Emiliano Martinez.
The Gunners needed just two minutes to battle back and take top spot as Alexandre Lacazette and Bukayo struck with 10 minutes to play to make it 2-2.
Freddie Ljungberg named a youthful Arsenal side, with the likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Saka and Reiss Nelson starting, but there was experience named in the side too as Lacazette, David Luiz and Sokratis played.
After a cagey opening Smith Rowe went close as he broke into the Liege box, but his low shot was turned behind by goalkeeper Arnaud Bodart.
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Neither side really dominated the opening 45 minutes, but it was the away side who had the best chances as Saka and Nelson both saw shots saved late in the half.
Despite a lack of chances in the first half, it didn't take Standard long to open the scoring after the interval as Bastien broke forward on 47 minutes, and his long range shot deflected past a helpless Martinez.
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With neither side creating many chances, the second goal came from another deflected shot as Amallah's strike saw Martinez wrong footed as Liege made it 2-0.
Arsenal battled back though as Lacazette's close range finish reduced the deficit on 79 minutes before Saka curled home a well-taken strike on the edge of the box to level the game just two minutes later.
The draw, coupled with Eintracht Frankfurt's defeat to Vitoria Guimaraes saw the Gunners clinch top spot in the group.