• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Arsenal reach first Uefa Champions League quarter-finals since 2010

Arsenal=

 

Arsenal beat Porto 4-2 on penalties on Tuesday night to reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.

Both teams were locked at 1-1 on aggregate after an absorbing second leg at the Emirates but Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya saved two penalties to deny Porto from reaching the last eight.

Raya pulled off a brilliant save to deny Wendell and repeated the feat against Galeno, while the home side converted all four of their penalties.

It is the first time a UEFA Champions League match has been decided by penalties since the 2016 final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Mikel Arteta’s Premier League leaders were not at their fluent best against a disciplined Porto side.

Leandro Trossard pulled Arsenal level on aggregate shortly before half-time but neither side could find the killer blow.

The Gunners came into the match with 33 goals in their past eight league games — a winning run that has rocketed them to the top of the Premier League.

But Sergio Conceicao’s men succeeded in frustrating the home team for long periods in the first half, fashioning enough chances of their own to make it a nervy night for the expectant fans.

Both sides struggled to settle in a scrappy opening period, with Porto doing their best to slow the game down by taking their time with throw-ins and goal kicks, to the audible frustration of the home crowd.

Arsenal defender Ben White headed over in the fourth minute after the home side’s first sustained attack while captain Martin Odegaard hit the side netting 10 minutes later.

But Porto, who were last crowned European champions under Jose Mourinho in 2004, had a number of openings.

Evanilson whipped a shot at goal from distance that bounced wide and minutes later struck a rising strike that Raya palmed away.

Declan Rice headed just wide and Pepe — the first 41-year-old to play outfield in the Champions League — got the deftest of touches with his head to prevent Kai Havertz from connecting with a White cross at the back post.

The Gunners return to action with a huge title clash against Manchester City as Mikel Arteta’s side go to the Etihad Stadium on March 31