Matheus double puts pressure on Arsenal

Braga 2 Arsenal 0

Arsenal suffered a shock 2-0 Champions League defeat to Braga at Estadio Municipal tonight.

The Gunners, beaten by rivals Tottenham on Saturday, had been top of Group H and thrashed the Portuguese side 6-0 in their opening fixture.

However, a much-changed side never hit top gear and were denied a cast-iron penalty by Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai before Braga scored two late breakaway goals from Brazil striker Matheus, leaving Arsene Wenger's men not yet assured of their place in the last 16.

Wenger had made seven changes from the team which threw away a 2-0 lead at home to Spurs, including a return for Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner, who had previously hit out at a lack of opportunities.

The Estadio Municipal was carved out of the Monte Castro quarry ahead of Euro 2004, making for a stunning setting.

However, the stadium was well below its 30,000 capacity and hardly produced a hostile atmosphere for the Gunners, who won in Belgrade earlier this season but were beaten in their last away European tie at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Braga took inspiration from Arsenal to change their kit to red and white in 1921, but it was the men in yellow who started brightly as Theo Walcott looked dangerous down the right.

The home side had a free-kick when Eboue blocked Matheus, with centre-back Moises heading over when the ball was swung into the area.

After 18 minutes, Walcott flicked the ball on to Bendtner, who played Cesc Fabregas into the right side of the area, but the Arsenal captain was off balance and fired his angled shot over.

The visitors continued to enjoy plenty of possession, but were not creative enough in the final third.

As the half-hour mark approached, Walcott again scampered away down the right before cutting the ball back across the six-yard box, but Bendtner was unable to make up the ground.

Emmanuel Eboue was tripped by Leandro Salino to concede a free-kick 20 yards out, just right of centre. Fabregas beat the wall with a placed effort, but goalkeeper Felipe was alert to tip it over the bar.

On 34 minutes, the Fabregas delayed his pass on the counter-attack to release Walcott into the Braga box, but Felipe was out quickly to make the block.

At the other end Lima flashed a 20-yard drive wide before Bendtner went down 25 yards out, only for Fabregas to drill the free-kick wide.

Braga gave away possession with some stray passes at the start of the second half, but Arsenal were unable to capitalise from promising positions around the penalty area.

Salino tugged back Wilshere to concede a free-kick in a central position, some 28 yards out, but Walcott whipped a curling effort just over the crossbar.

As the hour mark approached, Fabregas turned on the edge of the penalty area to make space for a shot, which drifted wide.

At the other end, Matheus dragged his low strike across goal after cutting in from the left.

Luis Aguiar then profited from Sebastien Squillaci's half-clearance as the ball dropped to him on the edge of the box, but the Uruguayan fired wide.

Fabregas' run into the Braga box was picked out by Wilshere, but the Arsenal captain just could not bring the ball down.

On 69 minutes, Wenger made a change when Nasri replaced Fabregas, who had been troubled by a hamstring complaint and went straight to the changing room.

Tomas Rosicky's cross was put behind as Bendtner looked set for a tap-in from two yards, and on 72 minutes the Dane was replaced by Marouane Chamakh.

Mexico winger Carlos Vela was sent on for Walcott and immediately found himself booked for diving by the referee when it seemed a clear trip by Alberto Rodriguez in the area.

And Braga rubbed salt into Arsenal's wounds with seven minutes remaining as they snatched a goal on the break.

While Emmanuel Eboue was off the pitch needing treatment on an ankle injury, Matheus scampered clear to beat Lukasz Fabianski.

Arsenal were forced to play on with 10 men, but despite throwing everything forward they could not find a way back and were again hit on the break in stoppage time.

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice