Arteta on Porto defeat “We really dominated the game, but we lacked purpose”

I should think all Arsenal fans will be felling a bit deflated this morning, after watching our extremely toothless defeat at Porto last night. Right from the start it looked like both sides were happy to play out a very boring bore draw, and the game seemed to be played at a very pedestrian pace.

The game limped very timidly right until the end, when we were rightly punished with the losing goal being conceded in added time. Arteta can hardly be pleased but considering that we had 70% of the possession in the first half it is quite amazing that we managed to get through the whole game without a single shot on target, and Arteta seemed to indicate that he would have been happy with the draw to take back to the Emirates in a fortnight’s time.

It was interesting to hear the boss admit that he wasn’t surprised by Arsenal’s performance, when he told after the match: “No, obviously we’re very disappointed by the way we gave the game away at the end, and not managing that situation well enough, and you get punished in the Champions League – if you cannot win it, you don’t lose it.

“We really dominated the game, but we lacked purpose, especially in the first half to have much more aggression, to break lines, to play forward, to generate much more threat in their backline.

“In the second half, there were much better things, and we generated a lot of situations without really creating much from it, but we’ll learn from it. Now it’s clear, it’s half time. If you want to be in the quarter finals, you have to beat your opponent, that’s clear, and that will be the purpose and the plan with all our supporters together to do it.”

So it looks like Arteta was clearly counting on us restricting Porto last night, and using our home advantage to progress to the Quarters. As I explained in our form guide before the game, Porto are extremely hard to beat in Portugal, but are not great on their travels, so it would appear that Arteta’s strategy could be the correct key to the final outcome.

But, oh my, what a boring and unentertaining game we had to endure!

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  1. Without a short at goal? Please man, just tell us you will set up the team better in the second leg. We lost that’s it. No creativity in the final third and Raya has just proved all doubters right. WHEN IT IS HIS TURN TO BAIL THE TEAM HE FAILS DISMALLY.

  2. He’s right if he means by dominating, we just had the possession. He’s also correct saying that though we had possession but we lacked purpose as we didnt’ really create nothing. Porto, apart from that one crazy woodwork, didn’t create much either.

    All in all, Porto really did their homework on us and kept us under pressure.

    I don’t know if it really matters drawing 0-0 or losing 1-0, either way we need to score at home as the away goals are not a rule anymore. Let’s hope we bounce back immediately by winning against Newcastle.

    MA needs to come up with new tactics against Porto as their high press seemed to kill all our creativity.

  3. I have seen Arsenal have plenty of possession and no end result. I get the notion that keeping the ball in a tricky away game and coming, under the circumstances, back with a draw is understandable but not great on the eye. But to not see the game out if that was our intention seems criminal to me.

    The bench was as weak as water covering most positions and I just hope that our unfit players get fit again PDQ as Arteta had very few options. Of course he picks them but most were not first choice and/or coming back from injury too.

  4. Suep, don’t you think if MA introduced Jorginho earlier and pushed Martin further it would have made a difference. Keeping Martinelli the whole match was just as bad as not sending Kai right into the traditional CF position. At any work station you should learn to improvise and do with what you have. A draw would have been better. Failing to register a short at goal is the worst statistic ever.

    1. Fair comment and I presume you mean that Arteta should have made an effort to win the tie. As we didn’t look like we would win, I wonder what was going through his head.

  5. The truth is we were so far of it last night, that alarm bells should start ringing for Arteta. Its not like it hasn’t happened before.

  6. We didn’t hit the target, but we did have a few decent chances – two from corners and the one trossard blasted over on the volley. Porto made it a cagey game with their pressing, constant diving and tactical fouls (which we did as well) – it was always going to be a tight one. We didn’t play brilliantly, of course, but I thought it was a mature performance for the most part, and we were well aware of Porto’s threats and capabilities (they are a good team). We got caught out with the late goal, which isn’t ideal, but I still think we’re in a good position to go through.

  7. I would have taken a draw before the game I felt it was a more difficult away match than people imagined esp with the weird atmosphere with the drums and the constant monotone sound I think at the Emirates we should have too much for them and our fans will push the boys on and into the next round It was a dreadful match and was so unlike us with all of our danger men suffering like that We’re much better than that

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