Monday, April 22, 2024

Report: Porto 1-0 Arsenal (inc goal)

Arsenal: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior, Rice, Havertz, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Trossard

Subs: Ramsdale, Hein, Cedric, Sweet, Heaven, Elneny, Nwaneri, Nelson, Jorginho, Vieira, Smith Rowe, Nketiah

Arsenal suffered yet another Champions League knockout defeat after losing 1-0 to Porto at Estadio do Dragao, following an injury time strike from Wenderson Galeno.

Mikel Arteta named an unchanged side for the third game in a row, with Fabio Vieira making his long-awaited return to action after three months out following groin surgery.

Injured trio Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus were not deemed fit enough to travel once again.

On a surprisingly fast pitch, Arsenal struggled to adjust early on and Declan Rice found himself in the book after 67 seconds when he was played into trouble by William Saliba and fouled Galeno.

After 20 minutes of passive Arsenal possession, the first chance of the game fell to Porto who should have taken the lead – but miraculously didn’t.

Sloppy defending from William Saliba allowed Galeno to follow in and smash the post unchallenged from six yards out, before somehow firing the rebound wide with only David Raya to beat.

It was a huge let off for Arteta’s men with most of the stadium already celebrating; even the club DJ was guilty of playing their goal music before quickly switching off after realising what happened.

With Porto disciplined and energetic in their defensive shape, Arsenal looked to threaten from set pieces and Saliba had a great chance to open the scoring but headed wide at the back post.

The hosts threatened again after Gabriel Martinelli clumsily lost the ball in midfield, with Evanilson firing into the body of David Raya after some nice interplay with Pepe.

After their dominant recent performances, this first half was a welcome into European knockout football for the Gunners which often lacks fluency and fluidity – and this opening period certainly did.

The early stages of the second half carried on like the first, with frustrating stoppages and fouls being given every few minutes to deny Arsenal any momentum.

But Leandro Trossard would have a sight at goal when a well-worked set piece from Rice found him unmarked at the back post, although he blasted his volley over when a player of his technical ability could have done better.

Porto did have another sight of goal when Pepe did brilliantly to round Kai Havertz by the touchline and cutback for Evanilson, although his effort was blocked by Rice.

The game looked to be fizzling out by that point with the hosts falling over at every opportunity and the referee more than happy to reward their antics.

But you can never take anything for granted in Europe and with the last kick of the game, Porto took the lead through Galeno – who missed the game’s best chance earlier on – who curled in brilliantly from 25 yards. 1-0.

Two bad giveaways in the build up from Rice and Martinelli will leave Arteta frustrated, as their performance on the night felt controlled up until that point.

Lots to learn for this Arsenal side who couldn’t revoke demons of old in Europe, although they will still feel confident needing a result at home in three weeks time.

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We’re fucking cursed in this competition.


Complete, grade A garbage football today. We created nothing and let in an absolute screamer. Everything to work for in London, with Porto no doubt parking the bus. Exactly what we didn’t want.


Parking the bus by the original bus parkers, the team who won the Champions League doing it with the manager who coined the phrase, before he even coined it. This is gonna suck.

Heavenly Chapecoense

We had got shot stoppers who could have tipped it over the bar (Martinez and Fabianski).


The shot was frankly fantastic.


Rayas positioning was poor, to be honest. He was a yard or two forward; with the right position that was a simple catch .


The ball kept bouncing off our players all night. We also didn’t learn that in Europe they don’t allow physical battles at corner kicks. We looked way bigger than them we could have nodded one in without the drama.


they don’t allow physical battles on corners unless it’s Ben White getting pushed and literally flattened multiple times

Santi’s Phonebox

Ref seemed to have a positive bias towards accepting these antics which were clearly feigning injury.


We were wasteful from set pieces all night but I feel like even if we did put one in the referee would have contrived to disallow it.

The Arsenal

”The ball kept bouncing off our players all night”. It was so bad, don’t think trossard controlled the ball first time all night. Agreed on the corner kicks. Just needed someone on Pepe, everyone else was bigger than there man. Looked very naive today with some of the fouls we gave away as well.


Cursed? Or just not mentally prepared to really focus and perform when it really matters? Nothing we haven’t seen 100 times before.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I never saw the game but that’s more than harsh on this squad. After every setback they’ve come back stronger over the last 3 seasons.
There is nothing wrong with this young, relatively inexperienced team’s mentality, who have been knocking heads with the big boys lately

Bleeding gums murphy

So many poor performances. Mindset seemed to be all wrong going into game. Their goal started once again with terrible Gabriel lapse. He always has it in him in these type of games. To much time and he becomes a liability


It was a terrible lapse from Gabriel. The same that both White and Saliba made earlier in the game. Really sloppy performance all over the pitch tonight.

Bergkamp's missing hair

Worst game i have ever seen from Martinelli. Also, diving porto cunts


What did Gabriel do wrong?


We had the ball. A pass to him that required a simple piece of control, he let it roll under his foot, had to chase it and that put us under the pressure that led to the goal. But he wasnt the only one that did it tonight. It happened a few times.


It was Martinelli mistake that led to the goal, not Gabriel’s.

I thought Gabriel was ok tonight.


It was a whole lot of mistakes that led to the goal, one after the other. That’s usually the case, football is a team sport. The team looked exhausted at the end, a big occasion and a lot warmer than they’re used to at this time of year. This is a huge learning curve for everyone, hopefully they can put things right at the Emirates. Next up is Newcastle, we owe them a hiding.


Gabriel’s mistake was the critical moment that led to us losing control and providing them a precious moment of genuine attacking pressure.The game was essentially a stalemate until then and should have ended in a draw. Gabriel is fantastic and has been one of our best players this season but the fault for the goal unfortunately originates with him.

The Arsenal

While I agree, its a team game so you rely on your teammates to bail you out when you make a mistake. Gabriels mistake was poor but Rice had several chances to clear and even then we won it back again and then Martinelli just did everything wrong.


Martinelli’s pass was the final nail in the coffin. I don’t know what he was thinking.


Ah lad will ya stop. Big Gabi is 15% of the reason we’re still in a title race

Olawale Olayemi

If I could choose a match to lose in our next 10, it’d be this one. Chin up, lads.


Diminuendo – what a downer


I see what you did there🎶

Heavenly Chapecoense



I like the optimism but we have all the weight of the past on our shoulders now.
Momentum temporary haltered. No time to cry or fuck about. NUFC Saturday…. COYG


It is written


Might have been the most dreadful performance of the season so far.
This team has absolutely zero consistency


Shut up.
We’ve been electric this callender year. Stick that comment up your arse


It’s one thing not to agree with the guy but why being a jerk about it?
Surely you can find a more civilized way to share your opinion.


Yea I agree, I’ve apologised bellow, was unnecessary and said in frustration at the last second lost.


After playing brilliant football in the last 1,5 months, especially scoring 11 in 2 games….and now dropping a stinker without even having any shot on target tonight? This surely fits the description of inconsistency for me. I don’t mind having civilized argument but no need to be a dick about it. Have some class man.


Apologies felician. Was emotional, my bad.

Man Manny

Fulham away and West Ham in the cup were worse.
Arsenal may not have played as well as they can today but were not ruffled either.
Second leg is going to be a tense affair but we are capable of scoring enough goals to take us through…and capable of conceding first and making it a long night too.

Santi’s Phonebox

Best defensive team in the PL lacks consistency. Ok.

Original Big Dave

I believe the wind will miss the next match after being booked for consecutive fouling on their players.


The Dutch Mike Dean was a disgrace of a ref.


The most diving I’ve seen all season. Embarrassing. How the ref didn’t book any of their players is beyond me.


Team of shameless divers against the nervous Arsenal.


The referee was a disgrace. Foul after foul was given to Porto for fuck all, the referee buying their player’s diving time and again. Why was Rice booked? Why was Havertz booked? Why, when Pepe raked his studs down the back of Odegaard’s ankle, was he not at least booked? Why were Porto awarded so many free kicks for absolutely nothing? I can’t believe I’m saying this but the standard of Premier League refereeing is better than that and the standard of Premier League refereeing is fucking shite.

Santi’s Phonebox

If only there was another reasonable answer as to how a professional referee could call a game as one sided as that one.


Arteta in Europe continues. That was 2019 Arsenal.

Tierney’s Tescopoints

Yes we weren’t great. A bit naive. But what a horrible cynical team to play against. Hope they’ve learnt something from this


One of the worst matches I’ve ever watched but not exactly a secret how Porto behave. We had no answer for anything.


Until we learn how to deal with these cynical teams we might keep suffering. There needs to be a strategy for playing against this crap, and we need to work on it in training just as much as we work on set pieces and whatever else


We were not get any joy on corners Should have gone short a couple of times, to mix things up,


The naivety of the both the manager and the players exposed in this one. Learn the lesson and on to the next one.


Hearing the commentator say he’s bent it into the top corner…..he hasn’t, it actually enters the goal pretty much into the bottom corner. Make of that what you will, I have


Very True, Ramsdale’s positional awareness is much better and would have probably caught it.


Well that has spoilt the mood.

Emi Rates

Oh for fucks sake!


Got what we deserved with a performance like that unfortunately. I absolutely understand that European away ties are going to be cagey and setting up not to concede is generally how you go far in this competition, however not having a shot on target is absolutely criminal.


Spot on


Just a dumb observation – didn’t the ball look super inflated the way we couldn’t make touches stick?


I noticed a lot of wet grass cutting on the pitch – probably a deliberate tactics from Porto.

The Arsenal

Only saka seemed to have some semblance of a touch today.

David C

What happened to our corners today? Same play every time and their keeper had an easy time collecting most.

We had 7 players back on their goal, someone needs to get to the ball sooner….

At least it’s only half time.


Should have gone short a couple of times, to mix things up,

Fireman Sam

Saka is amazing. But sucks at corners.


Arsenal’s corner tactics is to deny their keeper space to intervene. This is mostly done by White. Porto was very aware of this, and two players defended the keeper who thus had room to pick down the ball.

The Arsenal

Usually it makes us look very tactically clever how we take our set pieces but today just looked dumb for lack of a better word.


Sloppy passes and not enough movement again. It’s like watching a game from before the dubai break. This tram unfortunately cannot compete in two fronts.


To be honest, they were solid and we were poor to our standards. No shots on target = no trophies guys. This is the top top level of football – every team is cute, plays every advantage possible and will punish the smallest mistakes with regularity.

A 2 goal win now needed at the Emirates where they will turn up like the Portuguese Stoke.


We were tired, and maybe a little in awe of the occasion. In some ways, I hope that was it. Otherwise, Porto just told everyone how to beat us.

On a positive note, it’s a result we can definitely turn around!


Felt like we were trying too hard to play “European” football, leading to a low-tempo game which just doesn’t suit us


Porto’s tactics was flawless tonight. They overcrowded the midfield and prevented Arsenal’s usual quick passing.

The Arsenal

Masterclass in how to play a team better than you. and we fell in to every trap.


Deserved that. Insipid, lacklustre performance littered with sloppy passes, poor control and inept decision making. Wake up call. 11 goals recently against out of form dross means nothing against teams that are up for a match.


A hard watch, not helped by their antics of falling over all the time. Something that will no doubt happen throughout the second leg.


All the falling over when we had corners was embarrassing


We played like a team with no talent, at least offensively. I don’t think any of our player won a 1v1 tonight, didn’t try a lot of them either. We played to mitigate risk, and we still conceded.

Let’s play with more guts for the return leg at home.

Tommy Gunner

If we go out of this round, Arteta’s record in knockout competition needs some serious scrutiny


Not sure why you’re getting downvoted. He’s clearly an excellent manager in general but his record of European mediocrity is mounting. It’s a fair point to raise.


It’s over 2 legs mate. Calm down.

Santi’s Phonebox

Valid point but so was the other. Arteta doesn’t have a good record in Europe compared to PL. Just a fact of wins and losses. Also true we could win next game at home. Let’s see if we learned how to beat them, the manager seems to think we learned the lesson. Big night at the Emirates incoming.


No need to panic. Looked a bit nervy, inexperience cost us. We fell into their niggly traps and the ref was classic European ref buying everything. We can do them at the Emirates


We can and we should, but I can’t trust Arteta not to go full pep, over think the game, shit the bed and try to do something daft like inverting the goalkeeper. Porto no better than a PL mid table side.

Bill Hall

Well, that is a pain, I am confident we will thump them in the return leg mind. The ref can only be better than this one. In the team’s defence, it is difficult trying to get any kind of rhythm flowing when the Porto players are throwing themselves to the fucking ground every 30 seconds to win a free kick. I have seen some cheating in my time but that was fucking shameful, I am embarassed for the Porto players! And the ref fell for it every time! No wonder the Arsenal players were a bit standoffish when the slightest… Read more »


3 am game. Stayed up late coz it’s the Arsenal. 0-0 90th minute, told meself it’s been crap, but I’ll take a draw. Martinelli has the ball and just needs to boot it upfield. Instead he tries to find Saka, loses the ball and we let them score for good fun. This reminds me why I told friends in the past few years, at least I don’t have to stay up late to watch us lose anymore lol. Fck me but up the Arse.


The “but” in the last sentence is doing a crucial job here.

Santi’s Phonebox

Nice catch.


Every other team in this round has made at least 4 subs. Arsenal made one. Get some fresh legs on with 15min to go, even if content with walking with a draw. The players were gassed.


Rays was also essentially lobbed too if you look where the ball went it. Went in about a metre high.


Raya looked every inch of his 5’9” when that goal went in.

John D

We must be one of the only top teams in Europe that has absolutely no options off of the bench. Granted we had injuries to Jesus and the fullback positions. What does it say about players like Nelson, Eddie and Smith Rowe? They are barely trusted in the PL to get valuable minutes let alone start, and then it’s telling that a mistake in the 94th minute came from a jaded wingers mistake. Only look at city and Liverpool the way they can rotate and change games with their benches. We cannot seem to inject any pace or mix things… Read more »

Fireman Sam

Just like Wenger, Arteta doesn’t leverage subs early enough. Totally agree we needed fresh legs to avoid sloppiness creeping in…which it did, and we lost as a result.


It says that Nelson, Eddie and Smith Rowe aren’t good enough, they can’t influence a game against West Ham or Burnley and will probably all be sold in the summer.

The Arsenal

I think its pretty telling…Nelson always ‘looks’ good never lets the team down. But outside of the Bournemouth goal what has he ever done with the ability he has. Remember he was ahead of Niles iwobi and those guys. He has not progressed. Smith rowe needs to go on loan and have a full season/full minutes. Dont think Eddie will ever be as good as we need but he isn’t shit like people like to say.

Man Manny

Today’s game was crying for a certain Gabriel Jesus for his closest control and movement in tight spaces.
An early goal at the Emirates is almost a must. If they allow Porto to settle, it will be a long, frustrating night of dark arts, players collapsing at the slightest touch etc.


Let’s be honest, that was awful to watch.


An awful, dreadful game that was settled by a brilliant goal. Sorry, but Arteta was to blame for this defeat. Porto did what we knew they would: sat back and defended for their lives. Arteta should have changed things up in the second half but did nothing. They contained us easily. We barely made a decent chance all night. They had the best chances and just about deserved the win. A game like this was where an Ivan Toney could have made all the difference. Trossard was awful. A 1-0 defeat isn’t too bad a result and I fancy us… Read more »

Santi’s Phonebox

Factual post, thank you for your moderation. I can’t believe I’m saying this but others on this site could learn from your reasoned analysis.


Our midfield was totally paralysed. Rice was really poor today. Was too scared to make a forward pass. Jorginho’s experience was needed from the start.


This felt like a Europa League game.


I totally get that 0-0 would have been a decent result, but it didn’t look like we were playing to win the game. I know our bench wasn’t the strongest, but our only sub was a defensive midfielder?!?
Also, we had 10 corners were we more or less tried the exact same thing each time. Why on earth did they not try something different?


Exactly, should have gone short a couple of times


At 90 mins I thought that was the most boring match I’ve ever seen. At 94 mins I have upgraded my judgement to the most boring AND sickening match I’ve ever seen.


The “keeper” should have saved that.
With Raya in the goal we won’t win a bean.


It’s harsh to criticise Rays for that

SLC Gooner

Gamesmanship and a ref letting a lot of it go. We’ll see a parked bus and more gamesmanship at the Emirates no doubt.
But Arsenal didn’t look at the races. Poor passing, poor control…blah. At one point in the middle of the second half Havertz stopped chasing a ball he could easily have gotten to in their penalty area. That was about how a lot of the effort went.

Fireman Sam

Yep couple of times I was shouting at Havertz for that. He has an Ozil can’t be arsed vibe sometimes.


14 years of suffering för that?

Up North

We looked nervous ,easy passes were missed and we lacked pace.
And I hate portuguese teams, all this rolling around in great pain, somebody should kick them hard in the nuts.


Only one sub when he could of took off either winger who were not able to get round the fullbacks. Even when we did get the rare cross in no one in the middle. Yes Porto did like a dive but how many times have we seen that in Europe .


What a bunch of cheaty, divey cunts, with a proper referee the result would most likely have been different. The team looked out on their feet, and this is a huge learning curve for them. The away fans were fantastic, they were all I could hear for most of the match. Only one goal in it and it’ll be a different game at the Emirates, the players will know what to expect and hopefully we can get our injured players back and have a stronger bench, Gabi Jesus for twenty minutes at the end would be a help. Annoying, but… Read more »


watched first half. Goodness why we didnt go over the top vertically and diagonally is beyond me. Looked wide open with lots of grass behind the porto backline. Never seen saka with so much green grass.
Sometimes you wish you could see what the players see.

I suppose it is possible the team was so confident in scoring from a set piece they thought they could slow the down completely. Dont get it.


Our back 4 can’t ( or has been instructed not to ) go long. I think they are not comfortable at attempting long passes


I’d like to see Rice try that ball over the top or through the lines more. When Jorginho comes on, the difference in this regard is stark.


I’m a bit long in the tooth to get aggravated by 11 blokes kicking a ball badly but that performance fucked me off so much I actually laughed and applauded Porto when they scored. We completely deserved it. Tactically and emotionally naive. Slow but somehow frantic at the same time. Tried to play through the middle when our wingers were wide open time and again. One dimensional set pieces. Played right into their shithousery and the referee was a typically useless uefa prick. All 11 players were playing with wellies. Typical arsenal knock out brain fart/bottle job really against pretty… Read more »


We’re Just a shit European team and always have been. Thought we just had to turn up and the game was ours. Can’t even win the Europa league! Got what we deserved tonight I’m sorry

Been and Goon

Even at 0-0 we had to score at the Emirates, so while it’s not ideal, we are definitely capable of scoring at home. Tonight was a weird divey, broken up match with one lucky shot deciding it.

Come the home game we will potentially have – Zinny, Jesus, Partey, Tomi and Timber(maybe) back. That’s the quality you need to be able to sub on.

I’m positive we can turn this around, we are in terrific form with key players returning. Chin up, COYG!


That was a real display of the most pathetic of the dark arts. Going to need a big atmosphere in the home leg to turn this around if we get a weak ref like tonight; undoubtedly the Porto players will be on the floor at every opportunity again so we’ll have to be howling from the stands every time they do. We do have what it takes to turn this around but the team got a bit of a lesson in, ahem, ‘game management’ tonight.


Screw that ref. Practically softened the boys with senseless yellow cards. Much of the post match commentary may be about Raya being out of position for Porto’s goal. But that’s not why we couldn’t win this. I think our light bench cost us. No Zinky with more passing accuracy than Ben White who’s obviously still learning the ropes of inverting from full back. No TP to switch play quite quickly and get us into the final third more often. Makes me wonder why MA opted for Jorginho instead of ESR. Anyways, this makes for a tricky leg 2. Hope we… Read more »


White was the biggest disappointment tonight. He was out of position too many times and contributed very little. He was at fault for Rices yellow card early in the game, when Rice was expecting White to receive the ball only to find he was out of position and Rice then had to try and cover his space and was late in the tackle to receive the backpass ment for White, who was out of position. Then White once again was out of position and allowed them space down Arsenal’s right to cut in midfield before having an unchallenging shot from… Read more »


They played a very high defensive line, the same tactics that Everton (almost) succeeded with at home against Arsenal in September.This compresses the part of the pitch where the play is going on and makes it easier to get close to the oppnonent. It also left big spaces for Arsanal’s attackers, but running through was rarely attempted. Maybe this role is better suited for Nketieh than Havertz.

Did anybody else react to the grass – it was recently cut, but the cuttings were not removed? I assume Porto has trained on such a surface – Arsenal had problems.


This is what I saw and said above. All kinds of space behind.


That pitch had been doctored a la Dycheball, hard as concrete, watered to be slippy and wet grass clippings all over it. Add the shithousery and the useless referee and it was all round horrible. A huge learning experience for this young team and manager.


Short goal keepers make me nervous.

The Arsenal

Kind of game that misses Partey on the turn and through the lines quickly and also Zinchenkos passing from deep. The few times we hit Martinelli and Saka the ball was poor. Everything was off all night.


A lot of negativity on here; some of you really need to get a grip. It’s only half time. A full house back at the Emirates roaring the lads on will ensure that we still have a good chance of going through. I thought we worked really hard and deserved the draw; we certainly didn’t deserve to lose. Conceding late is unfortunate, but it’s a timely reminder that this is the Champions League – you cannot take your foot off the concentration pedal for a second at this level or you will be punished severely. I’m confident we can turn… Read more »

Santi’s Phonebox

Positive attitude is what we need and the manager and players to learn their lessons from this game. COYG!


Where was Raya standing when the shot for the goal took off??? At his left post. Christ.


what is your point?

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