Arsenal vs Sporting CP Timeline: A Historic Football Rivalry

Arsenal and Sporting CP are set to face each other in the last 16 of the 2022/23 Europa League, a competition that both teams are eager to win. The two clubs have a history of meeting in European tournaments, dating back to 1969. Here is a timeline of their previous encounters and their current form ahead of their upcoming clash.

The Early Years (1969 – 2000)

The origins of the Arsenal vs Sporting CP rivalry date back to their first encounter in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1969. This initial clash set the stage for future showdowns between the two football giants. Both clubs would cross paths in various European competitions, creating a foundation for a heated rivalry.

  • 1969: A Historic Meeting The first-ever encounter between Arsenal and Sporting CP took place in the European Cup Winners’ Cup. The two-leg tie showcased the beginning of a competitive relationship.
  • 1986: Drama Unfolds The 1986 European Cup Winners’ Cup semifinal saw a dramatic clash, with Sporting CP narrowly edging out Arsenal to advance to the final.
  • 1990s: European Duels The 1990s witnessed several gripping battles between the English and Portuguese sides in European competitions, solidifying their rivalry on the continental stage.

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The Modern Era (2001 – 2010)

As football evolved, so did the Arsenal vs Sporting CP rivalry. The new millennium brought new challenges and opportunities for both clubs, resulting in memorable encounters and iconic moments.

  • 2000-01: UEFA Cup Thriller A memorable UEFA Cup clash in the 2000-01 season showcased the intensity of the rivalry. Both clubs demonstrated their determination to come out on top.
  • 2007-08: Champions League Clash The 2007-08 UEFA Champions League group stage saw two closely contested matches, highlighting the tactical battles and individual brilliance that defined the rivalry.
  • 2010: Sporting CP’s Triumph Sporting CP’s victory over Arsenal in the 2010 Emirates Cup demonstrated their ability to compete with English giants on their home turf.

Recent Years (2011 – Present)

In recent years, the Arsenal vs Sporting CP rivalry has continued to capture the imagination of football fans worldwide. From historic comebacks to breathtaking goals, the rivalry’s contemporary chapter is nothing short of enthralling.

  • 2018: Europa League Drama The two-leg encounter in the 2017-18 UEFA Europa League quarterfinals showcased the resilience of both teams, with Sporting CP pushing Arsenal to their limits.
  • 2020: A New Generation The 2020 International Champions Cup marked a new chapter in the rivalry, with a younger generation of players taking the field and striving to make their mark.
  • Present: A Continuing Saga As of the present day, the Arsenal vs Sporting CP rivalry continues to thrive, with fans eagerly anticipating each clash between these storied clubs.

The Impact and Legacy

The Arsenal vs Sporting CP rivalry has left an indelible mark on the footballing world. Beyond the wins and losses, this rivalry has shaped the narratives of both clubs and has contributed to the global popularity of the sport.

  • Passion and Emotion The passion and emotion displayed by players and fans alike during Arsenal vs Sporting CP matches have elevated the rivalry to legendary status.
  • Cultural Exchange The rivalry has facilitated a cultural exchange between English and Portuguese football, fostering mutual respect and admiration for each other’s style of play.
  • Inspiring Future Generations The historic clashes and unforgettable moments serve as inspiration for aspiring footballers, motivating them to chase their dreams and make their mark on the sport.

March 2023: Arsenal and Sporting CP Battle for a Quarter-Final Spot

Arsenal and Sporting CP will now face each other for a place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. The first leg will be played on March 9 at the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon, while the second leg will be played on March 16 at the Emirates Stadium in London. Both teams have some injury concerns, with Arsenal missing Thomas Partey, Bukayo Saka, and Kieran Tierney, while Sporting CP missing Sebastián Coates, Nuno Mendes, and João Palhinha. Both teams also have some star players in form, with Arsenal relying on Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, and Emile Smith Rowe, while Sporting CP counting on Gonçalves, Paulinho, and Nuno Santos.


The Arsenal vs Sporting CP rivalry is a testament to the enduring allure of football rivalries. Spanning decades, this historic clash has produced moments of brilliance, heartbreak, and sheer determination. From their early encounters to their modern-day battles, Arsenal and Sporting CP have weaved a captivating narrative that continues to captivate fans across the globe. As long as the beautiful game is played, the echoes of this rivalry will resonate on the pitch and in the hearts of football enthusiasts everywhere.

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