Arsenal are looking for a fourth Group F win, two late Nicolas Pépé free-kicks having inflicted a dramatic defeat on point-less Vitória SC last time out.
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Last season's runners-up Arsenal have made a perfect start to their 2019/20 UEFA Europa League campaign, two late free-kicks from Nicolas Pépé bringing them a dramatic 3-2 home win on Matchday 3 against a Vitória SC side who go into the return fixture without a point in Group F.
• While Vitória finally got on the scoresheet at Arsenal after drawing blanks at Standard Liège (0-2) and in Guimaraes against Eintracht Frankfurt (0-1), they are now six points short of the qualifying places and nine adrift of table-topping Arsenal, who won 3-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt and 4-0 at home to Standard Liège before squeezing past their Portuguese visitors, the winning strike arriving three minutes into added time.
• The clubs' Matchday 3 encounter was their first in UEFA competition.
• Although they have now lost on all three visits to England, Vitória are unbeaten at home to English clubs (W1 D2). They were, however, knocked out of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup in the most recent encounter after conceding twice in extra time to draw 2-2 against Portsmouth, having lost the first leg 2-0.
• Arsenal have won only one of their six UEFA encounters in Portugal (D2 L3), though that was the most recent, last season's 1-0 victory at Sporting CP on Matchday 3 ending a run of three successive defeats in the country – all in the UEFA Champions League.
• Fifth in the Portuguese Liga last season, Vitória qualified for their fifth European campaign this decade and first since 2017/18, when they finished fourth in their UEFA Europa League group.
• Qualifying wins in the summer against Jeunesse Esch (1-0 a, 4-0 h), Ventspils (3-0 a, 6-0 h) and FCSB (0-0 a, 1-0 h) enabled the Guimaraes club to make a third appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage. They have yet to make further progress in the competition, however, finishing third in their section on debut in 2013/14. Back in 2005/06 they also finished bottom of their UEFA Cup group.
• Vitória won all three of their home qualifying games this summer, scoring 11 goals and conceding none, but a run of six European matches unbeaten in Guimaraes (W4 D2) ended on Matchday 2 against Eintracht Frankfurt.
• UEFA Champions League ever-presents for 19 successive seasons from 1998/99 to 2016/17, Arsenal reached the UEFA Europa League semi-finals at the first attempt in 2017/18, losing to eventual winners Atlético, before going one step further and making it to last season's final, where they were defeated 4-1 by London rivals Chelsea.
• Fifth place in the 2018/19 Premier League secured a third successive UEFA Europa League group stage berth for the Gunners, who had won five European games in a row – one against Rennes, two apiece against Napoli and Valencia – before the loss in Baku.
• The 1999/2000 UEFA Cup runners-up won all three away fixtures without conceding in last season's group stage, having won two out of three in 2017/18, a 0-1 defeat at Köln the lone exception. Their overall away record in the UEFA Europa League is W10 D1 L4, with 28 goals scored and 12 conceded.
Links and trivia
• London-born England youth international Marcus Edwards, who opened the scoring on Matchday 3, joined Vitória this summer from Arsenal's local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, where he was an academy graduate but made only one League Cup substitute appearance for the first team.
• Léo Bonatini is currently on loan to Vitória from Wolverhampton Wanderers, for whom he made six Premier League appearances last season. His current team-mate Ola John also briefly played on loan for Wolves in 2016/17 after spending the whole of the previous season at another English club, Reading.
• Arsenal defender David Luiz played in Portugal for Benfica from 2007 to 2011, winning the Liga title in 2009/10.
• Arsenal are one of only two sides to have won all three UEFA Europa League group stage fixtures this season, along with Sevilla (Group A). Their tally of ten goals scored is also the highest in the competition.
• An unexpected sixth-placed finish with Moreirense in the 2018/19 Portuguese Liga – in his only season with the club – earned Ivo Vieira a summer move to a Vitória SC side that finished on the same number of points but one place higher. A native of Madeira, he spent the whole of his playing career on the island with Nacional, which is where he also started his coaching path. Indeed, he did not work in mainland Portugal until May 2016, when he was handed the coaching reins at second-tier Aves. He subsequently took charge of Académica Coimbra and Estoril.
• After two years with Paris Saint-Germain that yielded seven domestic trophies, Unai Emery was appointed as Arsenal manager in May 2018, replacing the long-serving Arsène Wenger. The Spaniard oversaw Sevilla's historic hat-trick of successes in the UEFA Europa League from 2013/14 to 2015/16, having assumed control following a four-year tenure at Valencia and a brief stint at Spartak Moskva. A finalist again with the Gunners in 2018/19, he has been in charge of more UEFA Europa League games than any other coach, this being his 78th.