Porto boss makes ‘superior’ claim after Champions League exit at Arsenal | Football

Sergio Conceicao was left frustrated by Porto’s Champions League exit (Picture: Getty Images)

Porto manager Sergio Conceicao felt that his side were superior to Arsenal in both legs of their Champions League last 16 tie and deserved to go through, despite losing on penalties in north London.

The Portuguese team won their home leg 1-0 and lost at the Emirates by the same scoreline on Tuesday night, with the tie going to penalties.

The Gunners scored all four of their spot-kicks, with David Raya saving two of Porto’s efforts, sending Mikel Arteta’s side through to the last eight.

Conceicao was frustrated with the outcome, feeling that his team were better than their opponents over the two contests and should be in the quarter-final draw.

‘It was inglorious to lose access to the quarter-finals in this way,’ said the 49-year-old. ‘I think in both games we were superior.

‘The game deserved to end in a draw within 90 minutes. There were some corners, but Arsenal scored 13 goals in the last 3 games, they are a team full of individual talents… and we managed to counter that with great organisation, and we had situations that we could have defined better in the last third.

‘We knew the pressure that Arsenal were going to put on, and the fact that the result was in our favor. Strategically, we played more directly in the first 20 minutes, because Arsenal came in with a lot of pressure.

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

David Raya was Arsenal’s hero in the penalty shootout (Picture: Getty Images)

‘The players performed perfectly. At this level, an individual error gives the opponent a goal. Congratulations to the players, they did a fantastic job, it was a demonstration of a great team.

‘In both games, we were the team that deserved to go through.’

Arteta praised Porto and the way Conceicao set up his side, but hailed his own team and especially Raya for his heroics in the shootout.

‘Magic, what we expected, a really tough opponent, really well organised, very difficult to generate constant momentum in the game in the way they play and that’s credit to them,’ said the Spaniard.

Arteta was delighted for Raya as Arsenal squeezed into the last eight (Picture: Getty Images)

‘We did it, we scored a beautiful goal, they insisted in different ways, in the way the game allowed as well, and it’s such a huge experience for us. We had to do it at the end with the penalties, we prepared well, and credit to the coaches as well for the way they did it and obviously for David [Raya].

‘He had some difficult moments to start but he stood up, had an incredible personality and ambition, and at the end he got rewarded with his moment.’


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