Standard Liege 2 -2 Arsenal: Lacazette and Saka inspire fightback as Gunners win the group

Alexandre Lacazette and Bukayo Saka helped Arsenal fight back to draw 2-2 with Standard Liege as they won Europa League Group F.

Arsenal finished as Europa League Group F winners after goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Bukayo Saka helped them fight back to claim a 2-2 draw with Standard Liege on Wednesday.

Samuel Bastien and Selim Amallah gave Standard a two-goal advantage as they chased a victory to qualify for the knockout phase.

However, those hopes were dashed when Lacazette and Saka scored in quick succession to settle Arsenal's nerves.

Arsenal had won all five of their previous European encounters with Standard but a youthful side picked by interim boos Freddie Ljungberg, featuring nine changes from the weekend win over West Ham, had to battle against more motivated opponents.

The Gunners enjoyed the best of the first half with the lively Saka twice testing Standard goalkeeper Amaud Bodart but the contest came alive after half-time.

Standard took the lead three minutes into the second half when Bastien's shot deflected off Sokratis Papastathopoulos and wrongfooted Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

The goal galvanised the home side while Arsenal retreated into their shells, and Standard scored again when Selim Amallah punished more sloppy defending to strike a shot – via a deflection off Konstantinos Mavropanos – past Martinez.

Ljungberg's side were jittery but managed to settle any nerves that Standard could overhaul their head-to-head record when Lacazette headed in a Saka cross with 12 minutes remaining.

Moments later the impressive Saka then got his name on the scoresheet with a fining curling effort to ensure Arsenal finished with a share of the points and top spot in the group.

Gunners seeded in draw

Arsenal, beaten finalists in last year's Europa League, will be seeded for next Monday's draw for the knockout phase of the competition after topping Group F.

It means they will avoid Inter and Ajax, who will both drop down from the Champions League.

Luiz looks shaky in Liege

On a sticky December pitch this was perhaps not the game to try to knock the ball about at the back but David Luiz did so anyway.

Arsenal supporters had their hearts in their mouths on more than one occasion after careless passes by the Brazilian. They were fortunate not to be punished further.



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