Post-Match Report

Report: Arsenal 1-0 Porto (AET, 4-2 pens)

Arsenel celebrate winning the penalty shootout

Porto -

Emirates Stadium
UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
  Arsenal
      
                  Trossard (40)
            
   crest
Arsenal
Trossard (40)
1 0
  Porto
   crest
Porto
Aggregate: 1-1. Arsenal win 4-2 on penalties

We booked a spot in the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in 14 years thanks to a penalty shootout win against Porto, with David Raya saving the crucial kick to send us through.

We had cancelled out Porto’s first-leg advantage on 40 minutes when Leandro Trossard found the net, and after the break we thought we had gone in front but Martin Odegaard had a goal controversially disallowed for a foul in the build-up.

Extra-time couldn’t separate the sides and so we went to spot-kicks. We netted all four of our kicks, and Porto struck a post before Raya came up big to win the shootout.


Trossard finally breaks through

Mikel Arteta told the home crowd to bring their noise and passion and that was the case as the game got underway, spurring us on to begin strongly and carve out the first chances after 12 minutes.

Bukayo Saka nearly got fortunate when he burst into the area but miscued his shot, however Porto keeper Diogo Costa nearly spilt the tame effort into his net but managed to shovel it away for a corner, when a well-worked routine saw Odegaard ripple the side netting from the edge of the area.

But the visitors were quick to show their class and after Evanilson dragged an effort wide of the far post, he forced David Raya into his first save of the night when he blasted goalwards but our shot-stopper beat it away.

With both teams holding firm and the visitors once again happy to try and eat up as many precious seconds as possible, the first goal in the game was going to be massive. Fortunately for us, it came our way on 40 minutes when Odegaard turned on the style to finally unlock the Portuguese defence.

Jakub Kiwior picked out our captain who shimmied past Francisco Conceicao and then stepped around Pepe before slipping the ball behind Joao Mario for Trossard, who showed great composure to caress a shot past Costa’s dive and into the bottom corner to score in all three of his Champions League home appearances.

Odegaard denied

That brought us level on aggregate as we went into the half-time break, and when play resumed we continued to probe away to find the goal that would give us the lead in the tie. However, while we dominated proceedings up to the hour mark, we couldn’t quite find another sniff of goal as Sergio Conceicao’s team continued to display their defensive stubbornness.

On 67 minutes it looked as though we had the goal we craved. Kai Havertz chased down Pepe in a race for a long ball, and a tangle ensued between the pair and Costa, allowing Odegaard a simple chance to tuck the ball into an unguarded net. While the celebrations ensued, referee Clement Turpin ruled the goal out for a foul, which replays showed was an incredibly harsh decision.

Having worked so hard to find the net again, that injustice could have rocked us and indeed Raya was swiftly into action again when he pushed away a low Conceicao shot after the winger drove upfield, but we regathered ourselves and with seven minutes remaining Gabriel Jesus nearly made a dramatic entrance from the bench when he nearly squeezed a shot from close range through Costa’s legs but the keeper did well to divert it wide.

The pressure kept building as we aimed to win it within the 90 minutes and Saka had another blast which Costa parried into the path of Odegaard who screwed the rebound wide, but ultimately the game was to go to extra time for just the second occasion in our Champions League history.

Raya wins it

Back then we beat Roma on penalties in 2009, and this tie was destined to go that way too as a cagey 30 minutes occurred with very little action of note. Only one shot was registered in the first half when Mehdi Taremi curled well wide and over, and with legs tiring all over the pitch there was even less to note after the restart, meaning penalties would be needed to decide the outcome.

They would be taken in front of the North Bank with us taking first, with Odegaard dispatching his kick with aplomb. The first to blink was Wendell who struck Porto’s second kick off the post, while Havertz, Saka and Declan Rice all converted for ourselves. That heaped the pressure on the visitors, and Raya saved from Galeno to send us into the last eight.

Penalty shootout

Odegaard scores - 1-0
Pepe scores - 1-1
Havertz scores - 2-1
Wendell hits post - 2-1
Saka scores - 3-1
Grujic scores - 3-2
Rice scores - 4-2
Galeno misses - 4-2

Facts and stats

We have progressed to the quarter-final of the Champions League for the first time since 2009/10, ending a run of seven consecutive last-16 eliminations in the competition.

This was the first  Champions League knockout match to go to a penalty shootout since the 2016 final between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

Porto have been eliminated from each of their last eight major European knockout ties against English opposition since knocking Manchester United out of the 2003/04 Champions League last 16.

This was only the second time we were taken to extra-time in a  Champions League match, and first since the 2008/09 last 16 against Roma, which they also progressed from after a penalty shootout.

Leandro Trossard became only the third player to score in each of his first three  Champions League home games for us, after Alexis Sanchez and Bukayo Saka.

Martin Odegaard has seven assists this season in all competitions – this is as many as he provided in the whole of last season for the Gunners.

There were 74 fouls over the two legs of this last 16 tie – the most in a knockout tie between two sides in the  Champions League since the 2015/16 last 16 tie between Bayern Munich and Juventus (76).

What's next

We now have a 19-day gap between games due to the FA Cup and the international break, with a huge game at Manchester City on Sunday, March 31. We are next back in action at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, April 3 when Luton Town head to north London, with that week also seeing us take on Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, April 6.

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