Pepe explains how Porto can knock Arsenal out of Champions League | Football

Pepe has hailed Porto’s ‘excellent result’ against Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Porto captain Pepe has told his teammates they must be ‘perfect’ in the second leg to knock Arsenal out of the Champions League.

The veteran defender, who turns 41 on Monday, rolled back the years to punish Arsenal on Wednesday as his side pulled off a shock 1-0 first-leg win.

That has put Arsenal in danger of crashing out in the last 16 unless they can turn it around when the sides meet again at the Emirates on March 12.

Former Real Madrid star Pepe is hoping his side can repeat what fellow Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon did last season and knock Arsenal out of Europe.

‘We got an excellent result,’ Pepe said. ‘In London it will be even harder, so we have to go in even more focused than we did today. We have to be perfect.

‘Galeno’s goal was very important, as we want to qualify for the quarter-finals. We knew it was going to be a tough game.

‘Arsenal have a lot of quality, but we put on a great performance and won with a great goal.’

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

Pepe will be 41-years-old when the sides meet for the second leg (Picture: Getty)

Rio Ferdinand, who was targeted by Arsenal fans on a flight to Porto ahead of the match, was on punditry duties for TNT Sports and was left amazed by Pepe’s performance given his age.

‘He’s 41 on Monday!’ Ferdinand said. ‘It’s ridiculous to think how he’s getting his body through.

‘That’s what I was saying to him, ‘How are you doing this?’ – he said, ‘I’m still strong’ – we said it off air.’


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