F.C Porto Stun Arsenal In 1 – 0 Champions League Victory

One quality moment in a game that could kindly be described as attritional was enough for F.C Porto to suckerpunch Arsenal on Wednesday night.

Galeno’s 94th minute wonder goal gives Porto a 1 – 0 advantage heading into the second leg at the Emirates Stadium.

There is nothing more sobering than an away tie in Europe, as Arsenal discovered in Porto. They entered the game on the back of a 6 – 0 win away at West Ham and a 5 – 0 win away at Burnley.


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They also entered the game with the anticipation that came with their first Champions League knockout appearance in seven years. To say they didn’t have it all their own way is an understatement.

The pitch prevented anybody from controlling the ball effectively and the referee prevented anybody from touching anybody else. The bittiness of the game combined with the fussiness of the referee made for an incredibly stop-start contest. 

More stop than start, actually, with a total of 36 fouls called over the 90 minutes. The ball was only in play for a total of 51 minutes, the lowest in this season’s Champions League.

These are the optimal conditions with which to stifle Arsenal, and while they enjoyed their usual control, they were timid. They failed to register a shot on target for the first time in two years.

Arteta started the same XI that won its previous two games by a combined 11 – 0, but not by choice. The presence of academy prospects Nwaneri, Sweet and Heaven on the bench illustrated the current thinness of the squad. Arteta made just one change, trusting only Jorginho to come into a situation like this. 


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All that said, we might have been talking about a mature and patient Arsenal performance this morning. 0 – 0 away to Porto is absolutely fine with the home leg upcoming. However, the three consecutive giveaways leading to Galeno’s goal from range gives them an uphill task.

With a squad that will be fatigued, it doesn’t get any easier for Arsenal. Their next opponents, Newcastle, will do everything Porto did to them and then some. They’ve been in brilliant form lately, but Arsenal need solutions in the form of returning players. As yet, we have no information on the injury status of Zinchenko, Tomiyasu, or Jesus.