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‘A nagging concern’ – National media give verdict on Arsenal’s Europa League draw with Benfica

Arsenal were forced to settle for a draw against Sporting Lisbon Benfica in the Europa League Round of 32 first leg on Thursday night.

The Gunners had chances aplenty, mainly through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but Mikel Arteta’s men would leave disappointed to only pick up the draw and one away goal following a series of misses from the Gabon international.

Arsenal went behind when Pizzi scored from the spot following an Emile Smith Rowe handball, but did manage to draw level thanks to Bukayo Saka goal from close range.

The draw means the tie remains very finely poised ahead of the second leg in Athens next Thursday with a spot in the Round of 16 at stake.

You can see how we covered the draw in Rome on our dedicated Arsenal page here, but below we round up how some of the national media saw the action.

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The Mirror

“Arsenal were left ruing a host of squandered chances as they battled to a disappointing draw with Benfica at the Stadio Olimpico.

“Despite dominating for much of the match the Gunners fell behind when Emile Smith Rowe’s unfortunate handball gave Pizzi the chance to score from the penalty spot.

“Arsenal were quickly back level though as they went down the other end almost immediately to equalise as Bukayo Saka turned in Cedric’s cross.

“But they couldn’t add to their tally as, after scoring a treble at the weekend, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang instead racked up a hat-trick of misses to leave the tie tightly poised.”

See the full report here

The Sun

“Arsenal surrendered their 100 per cent Europa League record in Rome but head to Athens next week convinced they are still on course for a place in the last 16.

“Bukayo Saka’s 57th minute equaliser leaves this unique tie with no home advantage perfectly poised.

“So Uefa have settled for the Italian and Greek capitals as neutral venues for this battle of these two fallen European…