Arsenal Beat Porto In Penalties To Advance to Champions League Quarter Finals

It took14 years but finally Arsenal are back in the Champions League quarter finals, after beating Porto via penalties on Tuesday night at Emirates Stadium. The packed crowd saw their home team win 4-2 in penalties after Arsenal finished regulation 1-0.

Porto arrived defending a 1-0 lead from the first leg, putting them in the driverโ€™s seat going into the contest. Leandro Trossard however was able to put Arsenal level in the first half with a perfect finish after being found by a smart pass from Martin Odegaard.

The last time Arsenal made the quarter finals of the Champions League was on 9 March 2010, when Arsenal topped Porto by the score of 5-0. They had to once again come back from a first-leg deficit to qualify for the next round. The celebrations didnโ€™t last long though, as Messi and Barcelona dominated Arsenal in the quarter-finals second-leg, 4-1. Messi scored all four goals.

This has been a week to remember for Arsenal fans as their return to the Champions League quarter-finals comes days after they went top of the Premier League. Ahead of the pack with only a handful of matches left, they will need to hold off Man City and Liverpool to stay in first.

Expect an absolute cracker of a match in 19 days, when Arsenal travel to Man City in a Premier League blockbuster. The match could very well decide who takes home the Premier League trophy this year.

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Game Summary

As expected, the match started off with Arsenal attacking. It wasnโ€™t long before they were able to force a mistake from Porto, when a poor header from defender William Saliba gave Porto striker Evanilson a great opportunity. Unfortunately for the men in red, his strike went just wide of the far post.

Arsenal had a close call just moments later, when the defense allowed Evanilson to roam in the penalty area and fire a shot at goal. Raya came to the rescue with a solid save to keep the scores level.

Even though it could be seen that Arsenal was dominating the ball, Porto was holding in there, picking up chances where they could. Trossard came in big in the 41st minute though to break the tie and the silence in the crowd. Martin Odegaard led him into the box where he pulled off a great finish to make the score 1-0 and 1-1 in total for both legs.

Arsenal looked like they were going to go ahead after Pepe got his feet tangled up on defense, allowing Odegaard to chip the ball into an empty net. After a brief review, the VAR ruled the goal reversed for a foul on goalkeeper Diogo Costa. Arteta picked up a yellow card for his protests to the decision.

After 90 minutes Porto was just about able to hold on and push the match into a penalty shootout. This is where Arsenalโ€™s home advantage seemed to take over though. Faced with some heavy noise, both Wendell and Galeno were off the mark, unable to convert on their spot kicks. Raya was able to come up big as well, pulling off a couple of great saves to get his team the win, 4-2.

Champions League Quarter Finals

The first leg of  Champions League quarter finals will be played on 9th or 10th of April. The second leg will then return a week later on either the 16th or 17th of April.

This will be the first stage in which teams from the same country will be able to face each other. During the group stage and first knock-out stage the cubs from the same association were not allowed to play against each other to allow for more cross-European competition.

This means Arsenal could go up against teams like Manchester City in their quarter finals. There are currently 5 teams qualified for the quarter finals: Arsenal, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. The remaining three will be decided in the coming days.