Rio Ferdinand predicts how far Arsenal can go in Champions League after Porto victory | Football

Arsenal march into the last eight (Picture: Getty)

Rio Ferdinand believes Arsenal are close to matching anyone in the Champions League this season after the Gunners beat Porto to reach the quarter-final stages.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg in Portugal, Leandro Trossard levelled the tie just before half-time. Arsenal failed to find a way through a resolute Porto side in the second-half however with the second leg going to penalties.

David Raya was the hero for the home side, saving two spot kicks with Martin Odegaard, Kai Havertz, Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice all converting as Arsenal reached the last eight of the competition for the first time in 14 years.

They join Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in the next round with two more to join them in Wednesday’s final round of last 16 games.

With Arsenal top of the Premier League having ended some European hoodoo on Tuesday night, former Manchester United and England defender Ferdinand insists they can challenge for the trophy this season.

‘I think they are genuinely a hard, hard opposition for anybody left in the competition, I don’t care who it is,’  Ferdinand told TNT Sport.

‘Manchester City, over two legs, it is a difficult game for them because Arsenal are a team that can match most teams left in this competition.

Rio Ferdinand

Ferdinand believes Arsenal can match any side left in the competition (Picture: Getty)

‘Whether they beat them, I think they can go close to anyone at the moment.’

Raya collected the plaudits after keeping his cool in the shoot out. ‘A great moment for me personally and collectively,’ he said.

‘I’m over the moon to save two penalties in the Champions League to get through to the quarter-finals.

‘They made it so difficult over there, they played their game, but we scored the goal we needed and it went down to penalties and it was a crazy moment.

‘Apart from physically from the boys, mentally it’s difficult, but especially for me to be focused every second, you can’t switch off.

‘This means everything. You play football for these kind of things and I’m lucky to be playing for Arsenal, to be in the Champions League and to get through to the quarter-finals. We’re just going to enjoy the night.’

MORE : Alan Shearer names Arsenal star who is becoming a ‘huge part’ of team’s attack

MORE : Porto star Francisco Conceicao reveals game plan for crucial Arsenal Champions League clash

MORE : Emmanuel Petit urges Arsenal to sign ‘devastating’ winger Nico Williams

General Sport