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  • By Alessandro Schiavone at Europa-Park Stadion

Szczesny outshines Ramsdale as Arsenal crash out and Juve go through

UEFA Europa League

Freiburg 0-2 Juventus

While Wojciech Szczesny and Juventus made it to the last-8 of the UEFA Europa League, Arsenal and Aaron Ramsdale crashed out of Europe’s second tier competition after a penalty shootout defeat to Sporting Lisbon.

With the Old Lady having been pitted against the Portuguese giants in today’s draw, the two clubs would have faced each others for the first time since 2006 had Ramsdale saved a penalty or two. Which he could have, as he failed to keep two very savable efforts out despite guessing the right side.

And while no keeper in the world would have kept Pedro Goncalves’ outrageous 50-yard chip out, Ramsdale looked like a very ordinary keeper when he back-pedalled in a desperate attempt to somehow tip the shot over but failed.

On the same evening Szczesny, who defended Arsenal’s goal on181 occasions, produced a superb reflex save to keep Matthias Ginter’s well-taken low header out.

After that, Freiburg lacked the Midas touch in the final third as their harmless possession and the imposing Pole’s quality helped Juve shut up shop.

Dusan Vlahovic, who turned the Gunners down in favour of Juve in January 2022, gave the visitors the lead from 12 yards.

The 33,420 fans raised their noise levels to help their side and in a bid to take the wind out of Juve’s sails. But Massimiliano Allegri’s men never looked threatened and saw the lead out with experience before Chiesa sealed the win deep into injury time.

With Arsenal now out of the competition, Juve are odds-on favourites to lift the trophy for the first time since 1993.

And with Szczesny playing the way he is, nothing is impossible.


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