William Saliba impresses for Arsenal in Sporting draw
Arsenal defender William Saliba produced an impressive performance during the 2-2 draw against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League on Thursday.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta decided to make six changes to the starting line-up for the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 tie.
Hence, there were no surprises over the lack of cohesion on the pitch but the result was eventually a positive one.
Saliba was the stand-out performer in our opinion after an outstanding all-round performance for the Gunners.
The Frenchman opened the scoring for the club in the 22nd minute and he was defensively solid throughout.
While Jakub Kiwior had a nervous debut, Saliba was up for the challenge with a brilliant individual display.
Aside from his goal, the 21-year-old centre-back had 95 touches, completing 91 per cent of his passes.
He won four duels while making four clearances, two interceptions and winning one tackle.
Saliba has grown from strength-to-strength in the current campaign and he has definitely become more consistent.
He had a rough patch immediately after the World Cup but has grown in confidence in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, the Gunners should still be favourites to progress to the last eight of the Europa League.
They managed to effectively cancel out any advantage for Sporting after a lucky own goal induced by Granit Xhaka.
With home advantage for the second leg, they should comfortably see out Sporting, who will be missing key players.
Sebastien Coates and Hidemasa Morita are suspended after reaching the three yellow card limit for a one-match ban.
Stats from Sofascore.com