‘Arteta’s children’ have grown up!

Since the beginning of 2024, Arsenal often plays… tennis against opponents in the Premier League when winning with a difference of 4, 5, 6 goals. Gunners often display performances that leave the opponent suffocated, losing the air to live.

Therefore, the fans are not familiar with how The Gunners struggled to overcome Porto to enter the quarterfinals after 7 consecutive stops in the 1/8 round of the Champions League. However, that only further clarified the bravery of the North London Gunners.

After the draw against Porto, many people thought facing coach Sergio Conceicao’s team would be easy for Arsenal. Because, Porto is not an easy opponent when the Portuguese representative proactively pours concrete and kicks with a tight, disciplined squad and sharp counter-attacks.

Observing Porto play since the beginning of the season, their performance this season is built on a solid defensive foundation in all competitions. According to statistics, Porto only conceded an average of 0.68 goals per 90 minutes in the Portuguese National Championship to have the best defense, showing that what Arsenal faced against their opponents was not easy at all.

"Trossard

Like the first leg in the 1/8 round of the Champions League in February 2024, Porto continued to play with a disciplined, solid defense and high concentration. That concrete defense line is led by 41-year-old captain Pepe, who has the ability to lead and organize with full experience and professionalism. Pepe is like an immortal tree with unlimited strength, helping Porto’s defense become confident in destroying almost every attack and penetration of the penalty area by the home players.

Obviously, Arsenal’s 2024 opponents have a completely different playing style than Porto. Furthermore, the Gunners are often difficult to fight when they are considered the «top». The difficulties encountered against Porto in both matches showed that.

Porto’s 4-5-1 formation was rarely penetrated, and it took team captain Martin Odegaard’s world-class passing to send Arsenal into a lucky penalty shootout and win. This is also the only situation where Arsenal was able to force the ball past goalkeeper Diogo Costa in two matches. Arsenal did not show their usual maximum form, but Porto contributed to disappointing coach Arteta and his team in both matches.

"Odegaard

When entering the penalty shootout to determine victory or defeat, many people were worried about being weak and easily collapsing before the gates of heaven. However, this time the Gunners did not fall. The four players who stepped up to the penalty spot, including Odergaard, Kai Havertz, Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice, were all confident and fearless to defeat Diego Costa.

Arsenal reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since the 2009/10 season, ending a series of 7 consecutive stops in the 1/8 round of Europe’s most prestigious playground. And, Arsenal vs Porto is also the first knockout match of the Champions League that must be determined by a penalty shootout since the 2016 final between Atletico and Real.

Remember, 80% of Arsenal players experienced the Champions League knock-out round for the first time but immediately encountered a mischievous, old Porto with an extremely unpleasant playing style. However, their bravery helped them continue and at the same time accumulate a lot of valuable experience from these two matches with Porto.

Arsenal is young but not young. ‘Arteta’s children’ have grown up and are ready to conquer new challenges, even when facing tough opponents like Porto.

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