Frustrated Mikel Arteta slams Arsenal performance in Porto loss | Football

Mikel Arteta cut a frustrated figure after Arsenal’s defeat in Portugal (Picture: Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta was disappointed with his team’s performance in their shock 1-0 defeat to Porto in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday night.

It was a game of few chances in Portugal, with the Gunners especially blunt and not managing a shot on target throughout the contest.

Porto were more threatening and finally made the breakthrough deep into injury time when Galeno produced a brilliant strike from distance, curling the ball into the far corner.

There is still another tie to come in north London in three weeks so Arsenal have the chance to rectify things, but Arteta knows his team will have to be a lot better than they were on their travels.

‘Obviously we have to manage much better,’ Arteta told TNT Sports of his team’s performance. ‘We cannot win with the way we handled the ball on three occasions in deep areas it’s not good enough.

‘If you want to be in the quarter-finals you have to beat your opponent and this is what we will have to do at the Emirates now.

‘We lacked threat. We lacked aggression, especially with the ball in the final third. We can do better.’

FC Porto v Arsenal FC: Round of 16 First Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24

Mikel Arteta’s team were surprisingly unthreatening in Portugal (Picture: Getty Images)

Arteta praised the way the home side defended and made it difficult for his side, but says they will know better how to handle it in the second meeting.

‘I think it’s a team that’s very well-organised defensively and they break your rhythm all the time,’ said the Spaniard. ‘There are certain things we will have to do much better, we know what to expect.’

The Gunners boss did admit frustration with the refereeing, with his players unable to make the most of offensive set pieces as they have done so exceptionally so far this season.

‘We couldn’t even touch anybody because everything was a free kick,’ he said. ‘We will learn from that, prepare better, and go and do it.’

Porto go to the Emirates on 12 March as the teams battle it out again for a place in the quarter-finals.


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