Porto makes a good move by beating Arsenal after added time in the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League

The match: 1-0

To celebrate their first round of 16 in the Champions League since 2017, Arsenal did not spoil their supporters. On the pitch in Porto, the Gunners did not offer much and left Portugal empty-handed (1-0), the fault of a late and remarkable goal scored by Galeno (90th + 4). Winner at the wire, Porto can even harbor regrets for not having worried a London team more without ideas.

The first act was poor in chances despite a high pace and only the astonishing double opportunity for Galeno (21st) woke up the Dragon stadium. If Mikel Arteta’s players had possession (68%), the Portuguese showed themselves to be the most dangerous, notably with a too quick shot from Nico Gonzalez (37th) and a cross shot from Evanilson captured by David Raya (40th).

Failing to be exciting for its slick play and its numerous offensive actions, the second act will have long been the scene of gross mistakes. The referee of the match, Mr. Gözübüyük, had work to do and ended up handing out cards galore (Francisco Conceicao and Nico Gonzalez on the Porto side, Jakub Kiwior and Kai Havertz on the Gunners side).

Crucified at the end of added time on a nice curling strike from Galeno, Arsenal, disappointing from start to finish in their offensive risk-taking, will meet the Dragons at the Emirates Stadium on March 12 to force the decision.

Reason for hope for Londoners, the memory of the 2009-2010 C1 edition. Already in the round of 16, Porto won the first leg (2-1) before seeing Arsène Wenger’s team turn the situation around brilliantly (5-0) in the return match.

The highlight: a crippling lack of 9 for the Gunners

To go to the end of a competition like the C1, the presence of a great number 9 in your team is imperative. With Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, 2020), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid, 2022) or Erling Haaland (Manchester City, 2023) in recent seasons, the examples are legion. Against Porto this Wednesday evening, Mikel Arteta, still without Gabriel Jesus (knee), chose to place Leandro Trossard at the forefront of his 4-3-3.

His bet turned out to be a losing one, with the Belgian being invisible until his exit in the 73rd minute (22 balls touched). The number 19 only got into a striking position twice: an incomprehensible strike from the corner of the area (33rd) and a shot from the right that flew into the stands from a corner (56th).

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Arsenal did not have the slightest shot (on 7 attempts) this Wednesday against Porto.

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