Champions League: FC Porto Coach Explains Why His Side Beat Arsenal With Cheeky Analysis

Champions League: FC Porto Coach Explains Why His Side Beat Arsenal With Cheeky Analysis

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
February 22, 2024 at 9:38 AM
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S. Conceição
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UEFA Champions League
  • Arsenal suffered a narrow 1-0 first-leg semi-final defeat to FC Porto
  • Mikel Arteta slammed the Portuguese giants for their playing style
  • But the Porto boss, Sergio Conceicao, aimed a cheeky response

FC Porto manager, Sergio Conceicao, has shed light on why his team emerged victorious against Arsenal in their Champions League knockout first-leg encounter at the Estadio do Dragao.

Despite being third in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, Porto managed to surprise a lacklustre Arsenal side with a stunning last-minute goal from Galeno, securing a narrow advantage to take back to London.

Sergio Conceicao, Arsenal, FC Porto, UEFA Champions League, Mikel Arteta.
Sergio Conceicao hit back at Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta's criticism of his playing style. Photos by Eurasia Sport Images and Michael Regan.
Source: Getty Images

Despite the Gunners' recent scoring spree with 11 goals in their last two Premier League matches, they failed to shine in Portugal and couldn't muster a single shot on target.

However, Galeno's dramatic late goal means that Mikel Arteta's team will need to mount a comeback in order to advance to the quarter-finals in the second leg scheduled for March 12, per Sky Sports.

While the north London club were dominant in possession, they struggled to create clear-cut opportunities as Porto opted to absorb pressure while remaining efficient in the attacking third.

Porto's cheeky response to Arsenal

When questioned about his team's performance in light of Arteta's suggestion that Porto adopted a defensive approach, Conceicao offered a concise yet sly reply.

"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," he said as quoted by GOAL.
"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."

Arteta calls out his Arsenal team

Relatedly, Sports Brief reported that Mikel Arteta appeared visibly frustrated after his Arsenal team endured a 1-0 defeat to FC Porto in the first leg of the Champions League last 16.

Despite controlling possession, the Gunners struggled to produce any shots on target, with their best opportunities coming from William Saliba and Kai Havertz's headers from corner kicks.

Arteta was forthright in his assessment after the game, criticising his team for their lack of determination.

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Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.
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