By Chris Harris
Cesc Fabregas says the Arsenal squad will stand shoulder to shoulder with Lukasz Fabianski after the goalkeeper had a night to forget at the Estadio do Dragao.
The 24-year-old has been itching for a first-team opportunity and got his chance when Manuel Almunia's finger injury ruled him out of the first leg of the Champions League tie with Porto on Wednesday.
But although Fabianski made some important saves against the Portuguese champions, he was at fault for their first goal, helping Silvestre Valera's cross over the line, and was involved in a mix-up with Sol Campbell which led to Falcao's second-half winner.
The Pole has been criticised in the wake of Arsenal's 2-1 defeat but Fabregas was quick to defend his goalkeeper. And as far as the captain is concerned, Fabianski can count on the support of his team-mates.
"He is strong and we have to be there for him," said Fabregas after the game.
"We haven't seen him because he is doing doping [tests] but we have to be next to him. Sometimes when you are young in a big game, these things happen to you. You can be a little bit down but the team will be 100 per cent behind him and help him in the next game to come back to his best.
"He is a very good keeper. He had his chance today and sometimes it doesn't go your way. It didn't go his way but we will stand up and support him until the end because he is a good character and I am sure he will be back.
"Whenever he has to play, I am sure he will do well."