What Arteta said about Arsenal’s Champions League history before Porto clash

Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal have what it takes to overcome their Champions League last-16 hoodoo against Porto (Credit: Imago/Pro Sports Images/Ulmer)

What Arteta said about Arsenal’s Champions League history before Porto clash

Seye Omidiora 05:14 - 21.02.2024

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wants his team to show personality on their return to the Champions League knockout rounds.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta does not believe the club’s history in the knockout stage of the Champions League should inhibit his side when they take on Porto at Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday.

Arteta unbothered about Arsenal’s Champions League history

The Gunners boss spoke ahead of the game in Portugal, stating that defeats in the first knockout round play no part in how this iteration fare against Sergio Conceicao’s troops.

“No, I have not had any conversation related to that,” Arteta said to the gathered press in Porto before the first leg of the last-16 tie.

“They know that we have not been in the competition for seven years, obviously as some of them were here and they know the story. And they know that what happened in the past is irrelevant, it is the challenge and ambition that we have now to go through.

“We have earned the right to be here. It’s been seven years since we’ve been at the top table for these kind of matches and 14 years since we were able to go to the next stage (the quarter-finals). That’s the challenge. We know what is ahead of us but we are very excited to face it and to go for it with full belief, that’s for sure.”

Mikel Arteta was part of the Arsenal team that struggled in the Champions League (Credit: Imago/Bernd Müller)

Having been part of the squad that could not go beyond the last 16 throughout his time at the club, with exits against AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Monaco and Barcelona, Arteta reiterated his stance, calling on his players to rise to the occasion in Porto.

“Someone called Messi was another obstacle as well and Bayern Munich that we faced twice,” Arteta remarked. “This competition is what it is. Individual quality is extremely important. It comes down to details and you need your players at your best when the occasion arises. Tomorrow for sure we’ll need that.”

What lies ahead for Arsenal?

After Arsenal take on Porto on Tuesday night, Arteta’s troops host Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in the reverse fixture of the heated clash at St James’ Park in October, a game the North London side lost 1-0. 

Subsequently, the Gunners have London derbies against Brentford and Chelsea on March 9 and 16, respectively, sandwiching the return leg against Porto at the Emirates.