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Arteta critical of Arsenal’s lack of aggression in Porto defeat

Mikel Arteta was critical of Arsenal’s lack of aggression after his side fell to a late loss at Porto in the Champions League.

Arsenal face an uphill task to reach the Champions League quarter-finals after losing 1-0 at Porto. Galeno’s 94th-minute winner earned the Portuguese side victory at The Estádio do Dragão, as the winger cut inside to curl a finish beyond David Raya and into the far corner.

Arsenal dominated the ball and had 65% of the possession in Portugal, but failed to turn that dominance into clear chances and failed to register a shot on target.


Porto worked hard out of possession and remained disciplined defensively, providing the platform for Galeno’s goal to hand Sérgio Conceição’s side a lead to protect in the return at the Emirates.

“We have to manage much better,” Arteta said to TNT Sports.

“We cannot win with the way we handled the ball on three occasions in deep areas. If you want to be in the quarter-finals you have to beat your opponent and this is what we will have to do at the Emirates now.

“We lacked threat. We lacked aggression, especially with the ball in the final third. We can do better.”

On how Porto stifled Arsenal’s attacking threat, Arteta added: “I think it’s a team that’s very well-organised defensively and they break your rhythm all the time. There are certain things we will have to do much better, we know what to expect.


“We couldn’t even touch anybody because everything was a free kick. We will learn from that, prepare better, and go and do it.”

Read – Remembering Arsenal’s seven straight Champions League last-16 exits

See more – Who should solve England’s defensive midfield dilemma?

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