Monday, April 22, 2024

Post-Porto quotes round-up: Arteta, Conceição, Galeno, Rice, Henry, Walcott, Keown & more

Brazilian winger Galeno made Arsenal pay for defensive sloppiness curling home a stoppage-time winner that ensures Porto have a slender one-goal advantage heading into the second leg of a tense and tight Champions League tie.

Here’s what the managers, players, pundits and stattos had to say after a pretty abject game of football in Porto…


Mikel Arteta on whether his side were deliberately cautious…

We lacked certain purpose in certain areas to be more aggressive and hurt them more and today we could have done that better. The tactic was to be much more aggressive and go for them from the beginning. It’s true that they defend really well those spaces, especially in the first half. In the second half, we opened them up much better but in the first we really lacked purpose to create more issues for them.

Source: CBS Sports


Porto coach Sergio Conceição on his side’s performance…

The players must be happy with what they did. There was little time to work, but there was a lot of determination. The team understood perfectly the spaces they had to step into to condition our opponents and also what we had to do up front to hurt them. It was a good game, a Champions League game. Our opponents had more of the ball, but Porto were always more dangerous.

Source: Dazn (via Uefa)

Declan Rice on staying positive…

I don’t know to be honest with you. You don’t know what to expect. Like you said, it’s the knockouts. You can’t overlook anyone ever in the Champions League because it is the Champions League. Special things happen. Like I said, it’s a kick in the teeth because we’ve conceded late. But look, we know what to do. We want to get into the next round. We know how we’ve got to win and what we’ve got to do to go about that. We’re really positive about it. We’re not going to let our heads drop, we’ve been in a great bit of form. It’s about staying positive, getting back, recovering and going again in the Premier League and we’ll be ready for the Champions League for sure.

Source: TNT Sports


Porto matchwinner Galeno on his goal…

I think the credit for that goal goes to the whole team, for what they did in the 90 minutes. We played well, we defended well, we left all our energy on the pitch. Regarding the goal, when the opportunity arose, I didn’t hesitate. I am very happy. We will try to replicate in London what we achieved here. We will try to stay solid and give our best, as we always do.

Source: Dazn (via Uefa)

Arteta on what Arsenal have to do in the second leg…

We have to create a special atmosphere and we have to really go for it, and get some momentum in the game and manage the game really well because today was foul after foul and we had some help from the ref to do that, but I’m sure it will work out.



Martin Keown on Arsenal’s defeat…

A sucker punch. Maybe it comes down to experience, I hope it doesn’t come back to haunt them. Arsenal are still very much in this tie.

Source: TNT Sports


David Raya on Galeno’s double-miss in the first half…

That was a big moment of the game. If we conceded a goal there, it would have been a little bit more difficult, but they didn’t score in the end. So at that moment, we regrouped, we got back to what we wanted to do and we showed we created chances, especially from set pieces, but the ball didn’t want to go in. So that’s just part of football and we have to go again.

Source: TNT Sports

Thierry Henry on the goal Arsenal conceded…

In Europe, you think you’re going to score and you concede. It could have been a three vs two, but you miss a pass, next thing you know, you’re back peddling, but if you back peddle against people who can curve [the ball] then you’re in trouble. A better pass [by Martinelli] and they [Porto] are in trouble.

Source: CBS Sports


Jamie Carragher on Arsenal’s chances…

I think Arsenal have enough, it will be a great atmosphere, they’ll get after them and I think they’ll get two or three goals and it’ll just about get them through.

Source: CBS Sports

Theo Walcott assesses the tie…

It was always going to be narrow, very, very tight. Of course it was. These games always are. But these aren’t won over one leg. I’m still confident Arsenal with the home support particularly, with the way the Emirates is at this moment in time, that they’ll be able to go through quite comfortably.

Source: BBC Sport


Arteta on whether his side were naive…

Well, it’s only the last ball. If in 94 minutes, we didn’t have the naivety in that one, I think it’s a bit cruel to judge it, but it’s true that it’s had a big impact on the result. A lot of other things that they’ve done for the first time here, it was very good.

Source: Post-game press conference

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Arsenal looked blunt. Saliba was off colour, Odegaard and Saka not managing to link. I think there must have been some away day nerves, and then somehow a collective caution entered their play. Every ball to feet, nothing into space. Can’t believe Arteta coached for that. Porto were rock solid mind, but still. I’ll be very interested to see what we can produce second leg. Has away goals rule gone now? I’m way behind the times.


Yes, there is no away goals rule now. If there was, we would have gone through last season against Sporting Lisbon


Moat of that comes from how good Porto was/are. This just wasn’t about us. They had a game plan and executed it perfectly. We were stunned at how a team could kill all the spaces available for a pass but what impressed me most with their press was how they always put little pressure on the man with the ball but turned the heat on the man receiving it and even more pressure on the possible passes he had apart from playing it backwards. You also have to give them credit for their dangerous counter attacks which were foiled buy… Read more »


Perfect review bro. Congratulations


I think the shithousery allowed by the ref didn’t help us. I honestly think we are much superior team. As a home team they relied on the so-called dark arts to unsettle us and nick a win which fair enough they did. It has to be some acknowledgement that they know they are not that good. I belive the second leg will obviously be much different. They don’t seem built for a fair fight. They are not slick. Not particularly inventive. As for weekend game Iike that NU and our haters think we might have a hangover from this game.… Read more »


I know blogs and others have talked up the shithousery narrative but I have to say watching it I didn’t see it. I felt really frustrated with the ref blowing up for so much, we’re just not used to that in the prem at the moment.

Dr. Gooner

It just shows how much influence the referee can have. We see it in the Prem too but usually we see the ref allowing too much, teams going through the back of Saka again and again. In this game it was the opposite, but the result was the same. The game was broken up, we didn’t get into a rhythm with our passing and the offensive zone connections never developed. I don’t know if it strictly qualifies as dark arts. I just think that was the game Porto wanted and the referee enabled it, and then Porto leaned into it… Read more »

Naked Cygan

Funny how playing bad is contagious. One player starts giving the ball away and making amateur passes and the other players try to do the same. I still think we have enough to beat them at home but today was poor on and off the pitch.

Dr. Gooner

You know I do wonder how much of that was the pitch. Obviously there were nerves but even Jorginho came on and played his first two passes straight to an opponent. It’s almost like all the players had to recalibrate their touches and passes from what they were used to. Only the players can tell us how much of a factor that was but when a whole team struggles like that it makes you wonder if it’s a mechanical issue.

Emi Rates

The less said about this game the better but I would like to suggest that Conceicao has one of the most annoying faces. The kind of face a the kid who winds you up on the school yard and then runs to the teacher after you deservedly punch them wears.

Dr. Gooner

Its never only one thing when you lose to a team you should beat. There were things we could control and things we couldn’t that conspired together here. The things we could control we didn’t do well enough. It was like watching us from our worst games this season. Good out of possession but overly conservative pass selection kept us in deep areas for too long and on the occasions we did get a penetrative pass, poor decision making and poor technique in key moments from our forwards meant we didn’t create openings. It was like the pre-Dubai malaise, like… Read more »

Declan Fried Rice with Egg

The fact that the ball was only in play for 50mins of a 90mins+ game is insane to me.

This stat shows how poor the ref was.


And what fucking cheats they are. It won’t be the same at the emirates

A Different George

“It was a good game, a Champions League game.”

The fact that the Porto manager thought they played well tells you a lot. I think any neutral would have said it was a shit game, very low quality football, not Champions League caliber at all (from either side). My big takeaway: yeah, Lens thought so too.

Fireman Sam

I thought Porto played well. They looked more dangerous than us in attack and had good press and positioning.

A Different George

I don’t think they ever strung three passes together. Lots of teams need to play defensively and hope for success on the counter. Some even fall down and feign both fouls and injuries as often (I’m looking at you, Diego Simeone). But here’s my test: if most games were played at this level, would I even watch football?


Porto’s strategy against our threat from set pieces was earn a fouls in the box by diving. Porto then doubled down beyond just set pieces once they realized the ref was more than happy to award fouls for little or no contact. I think Porto and their players were more situationally aware or perhaps even incorporated how this referee officiates into their game plan. If that’s the case I mean you have to applaud the attention to detail at this level. Maybe we need to figure out how the officiating will be like ahead of the game when we’re playing… Read more »


Yeah was smart, but I thought it was also very naïve of us to not adjust our corner routine once it became very very obvious what was going to happen each and every time we did it (that being: the ref will give them a foul as they collectively threw themselves to the floor)… we should’ve mixed it up with some short corners and ones not just crowding the keeper waiting for the refs whistle. I feel like that’s on Mikel, instruction should have come from him to try other things, even if we had got the ball in the… Read more »


Yea Nick Jover, Mikel and the team should review this game. I don’t think anyone anticipated collective diving being deployed at this scale in the CL or had instant adjustments in their mind. The team are well drilled in set pieces, review footage of the opp and prepare for the game. They probably had a game plan in place for set pieces which didn’t include a short corner routine and we didn’t react to how they were defending the corners in game.

Jean Ralphio

Really missed Jesus and maybe Zinchenko.


the pitch was rock hard and was manipulated and sprayed to create a pitch perfect for ball over the top and not a possession passing game.. that’s why we struggled with long passing range and first touch.. very clever by Porto … the constant falling over by there players was annoying .. but we will hurt them at home on our pitch .. so I am pretty positive … Come on you gunners

Dr. Gooner

I wondered about the pitch too. 11 players don’t suddenly lose their technique overnight.


Important lessons for an inexperienced group of players in the knockout stage. These games are rarely won on pure football abilities. They are very messy and frustrating experience, and the players and manager will learn and adapt to it. Good lesson before the Newcastle game.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

We knew the ref would be weak.
We knew Porto would fall over.
We knew they’d employ dark arts.
The manager’s game plan, not to mention fielding the same team for the third game in a row didn’t work.


When did you start supporting Arsenal? Was it when we were top of the table last year? Also, interested to know when you stopped?

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