UCL: Arteta highlights the reasons for Arsenal’s defeat in Porto

Mikel Arteta's Arsenal suffered a late Champions League defeat against Porto (Credit: Imago/Sportimage)

UCL: Arteta highlights the reasons for Arsenal’s defeat in Porto

Seye Omidiora 05:38 - 22.02.2024

The Gunners boss explains why his team did not avoid defeat in their Champions League last-16 first-leg clash against Porto.

A disappointed Mikel Arteta was not pleased with his team’s game management in the closing minutes of Arsenal’s Champions League defeat against Porto at Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday night. The Gunners thought they were taking a goalless encounter back to the Emirates Stadium on March 12, but Galeno’s goal at the death threw a spanner in the works.

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The late goal ended Arsenal’s five-game winning run and leaves them requiring a win by two goals or more in North London to avoid extra time against Sergio Conceicao’s troops.

What Arteta said after Arsenal’s Champions League defeat in Porto

The Arsenal boss not only pointed to the team’s chaotic management of the last few minutes in Porto but mentioned their underwhelming first-half performance.

“No, obviously we’re very disappointed by the way we gave the game away at the end, and not managing that situation well enough, and you get punished in the Champions League,” said Arteta after Wednesday’s 1-0 loss.

“If you cannot win it, you don’t lose it. We really dominated the game, but we lacked purpose, especially in the first half to have much more aggression, to break lines, to play forward, to generate much more threat in their backline.

“In the second half, there were much better things, and we generated a lot of situations without really creating much from it, but we’ll learn from it. Now it’s clear, it’s half-time. If you want to be in the quarter-finals, you have to beat your opponent, that’s clear, and that will be the purpose and the plan with all our supporters together to do it.”

Porto vs Arsenal
Mikel Arteta's Arsenal side conceded a late goal to lose in Wednesday's Champions League last-16 first-leg clash in Porto (Credit: Imago/Sportimage)

What comes next for Arteta’s Arsenal?

The Gunners face three Premier League games before the return leg at the Emirates on March 12, with the North London side falling five points behind Liverpool, albeit having played a game fewer than Jurgen Klopp's men.

Arsenal host Newcastle United on Saturday before travelling to relegation-threatened Sheffield United on March 4 and welcoming Brentford five days later in a London derby.