Porto coach hits back at Mikel Arteta tactics criticism after Arsenal defeat | Football

Sergio Conceicao has dismissed Mikel Arteta’s claim that Porto were defensive against Arenal (AFP via Getty)

Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao has hit back at Mikel Arteta’s suggestion that his team had ‘no intention of playing’ during Arsenal’s Champions League defeat on Wednesday evening.

Arsenal looked on course to escape the Estadio do Dragao with a goalless draw until Porto capitalised on a loose pass from Gabriel Martinelli and Galeno beat David Raya with a fine curled effort from outside the box.

Arteta’s side lacked the same fluidity they’ve displayed in the Premier League in recent weeks and failed to register a shot on target in the Champions League for the first time since 2011.

When asked about Porto’s tactics, Arteta said after Arsenal’s defeat: ‘We are very used to playing against these defensive blocks, especially in the first half we lacked certain things.

‘We will learn from it and be better in the return game.

‘The best thing about our team was the attitude. We wanted to play. We didn’t lack aggression. Faced with such a low block and a team with no intention of playing, this is what we have to do.’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal failed to register a shot on target during their defeat to Porto (Getty)

When asked about Arteta’s assessment on Porto’s approach to the game, said: ‘It’s an opinion. They wanted to play, we wanted to win.

‘Arteta is from the [Pep] Guardiola school, who is the coach with the most titles in the world.

‘They think that the best way to beat their opponents is to have more possession of the ball, but that depends on the team and the performers they have.

‘We had 40%-60% possession of the ball, which is not a scandal. I didn’t mind having 30%-70% and winning too. It all depends on what you do with the ball within the strategy defined to score goals.’

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