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Arsenal: Report- Porto 1-0 Arsenal ...

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Published Time: 22.02.2024 - 00:19:16 Modified Time: 22.02.2024 - 00:19:16

We dominated proceedings at the start of the game, enjoying more than 80 per cent of possession in the opening ten minutes, but the play was all in front of the Porto rear guard, and we couldn’t force our way into the box. Arsenal, Porto vs Arsenal, porto fc, arsenal vs porto, Porto, arsenal fc, FC Porto


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Porto scored with virtually the last kick of the game to win a disjointed first leg in Portugal.

 

Controlled opening

 

We dominated proceedings at the start of the game, enjoying more than 80 per cent of possession in the opening ten minutes, but the play was all in front of the Porto rear guard, and we couldn’t force our way into the box.

In fact there was little action in either goalmouth until the 22nd minute when Porto really should have gone ahead.

Galeno, from point blank range, struck the post after the ball looped up from Gabriel's block.  Raya was rooted to the spot, and had no time to react either when the ball bounced straight back to Galeno, who promptly turned his first-time follow up effort wide of the other upright. Most of the locals inside the Stadio do Dragao had thought the Brazilian had broken the deadlock, but it was a real let off for us, and something of a wakeup call.

Porto, third in Primeira Liga, seven points off the pace, began to grow into the game more, and continued to frustrate us in our build up play.

 

FRUSTRATIONS INCREASE

 

Leandro Trossard’s wayward effort after half an hour was our first shot in anger, before William Saliba headed Bukayo Saka’s in-swinging corner wide after getting free at the far post.

Kai Havertz - 998 days since he scored the winning goal in the Champions League final in this very stadium - also headed wide from a corner in first-half stoppage time, but all in all it was a half light on clear cut chances.

The second period began in a similarly cagey fashion. The hosts – European champions in 2004 – were doing their best to disrupt our rhythm, with 40-year-old centre back Pepe using all his experience to marshal the team when defending set pieces, many of which resulted in the referee blowing up for a foul in the box as the ball was delivered. 

Declan Rice – who had played since the second minute with a booking to his name - opted to go deeper on his next corner, and Trossard met the cross flush on the volley at the far post, but his shot flew over.

At the other end Saliba and Gabriel both made crucial blocks to deny promising Porto attacks inside the area.

 

Galeno’s bolt from the blue

 

Gabriel then headed over a free-kick when he rose superbly to meet a teasing free-kick, but we didn’t trouble Diogo Costa all evening.

And in the last minute of injury-time, we conceded the only goal of the game.

Galeno took up possession outside the area and arced his shot beyond the diving Raya.

Our first taste of knock-out football in the Champions League since 2017 ended with a cruel blow, but there is all to play for in the second leg at Emirates Stadium.

 

What’s next

It’s back to the Premier League on Saturday, when we host Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium. The home leg of this game will be in three weeks’ time, on Tuesday, March 12.

Copyright 2024 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.

Declan Rice is expecting Emirates Stadium to be ‘rocking’ when we welcome Porto to London for the second leg next month.

We were moments away from earning a draw from the first leg in Portugal on Wednesday, when Brazilian Galeno scored a screamer to give the hosts a narrow advantage at half-time in the tie.

After the final whistle, a disappointed Rice said he’s confident that with our supporters behind the team, we can turn round the tie in the second leg. “We’ll need absolutely everyone,” he said. “The Emirates is going to be rocking. We feel that when it's like that at our stadium it’s obviously one of the best places in the world to play football so we'll be ready for it, I’m already looking forward to it and fans get right behind us. We'll need everyone.”

The midfielder added it was a hugely frustrating night, especially given our recent results since the turn of the year.

“So frustrating,” he said. “We worked really hard, prepared really well. Obviously it wasn't meant to be in terms of the way we created the chances tonight. After the start of 2024 we had, there’s a lot to learn, a lot to take from tonight.

“I think that's a real positive, obviously to concede late is a real kick in the teeth but positive is it’s half-time in two legs. We've got the home leg now, which we're going to be fully up for with our fans, and have that goal to reach the quarter final.”

On a night where the referee blew for 36 fouls during the 90 minutes, Declan himself had to be disciplined, after picking up a yellow card just 65 seconds into the game. Despite that early setback, he won seven duels – the joint most of any Arsenal player on the night. He said it was important to remain focussed after that early booking. 

“It's really tough when you look up at a clock and you see one minute thirty, you've been booked, for a player like me who makes tackles gets involved in that type of the game.

“You have to use your head, use your experience and know that you can't really be getting involved in too many other duels. But I did get involved in some other duels, won my tackles. Like I said, it's just having that savviness and you know and playing with the brain.”

Copyright 2024 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.

 

 

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