Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
View All Scores

Arsenal 1-0 (1-1 agg, 4-2 PKs) FC Porto: Gunners advance to Champions League quarterfinals

It took 30 minutes and four rounds of penalty kicks longer than they would have wanted, but Arsenal are through to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals for the first time since 2010 after beating Porto on penalty kicks on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Upcoming Premier League schedule | Live PL table ]

After controlling the majority of the first half and creating the better of the scoring chances, Arsenal finally broke through and leveled the tie in the 41st minute. Martin Odegaard got on the ball and drove to the top of the penalty area before slipping a through ball in behind for Leandro Trossard off the left wing. Trossard took it in stride and found the narrowest of alleys to beat Diogo Costa just inside the far post. 1-0 on the day, 1-1 on aggregate.

Chances were quite scarce the rest of the way through regular time, with the exception of what transpired in the 67th minute. Ben White played a long ball over top of Porto’s defense for Kai Havertz to run onto, and Havertz eventually beat 41-year-old Pepe to the ball and managed to poke the ball back to an on-rushing, late-arriving Odegaard. He dinked the ball over Havertz, Pepe and Costa sprawled out on the floor and wheeled away as the red half of north London roared to life.

But before he could reach the corner flag, the referee gave the sequence a second thought and decided that Havertz had fouled Pepe when he grabbed his shirt and pulled him off balance to win the ball.

There were all of three shots taken during extra time as both sides ran low on gas and looked to save just enough for one last kick in the shootout. Arsenal went 4-for-4 from the spot and David Raya made a pair of saves (and got his fingertips on another attempt) to secure passage into the quarterfinals, where Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and PSG currently await, and anyone can be drawn against anyone on Friday.

Arsenal gut it out, but small squad wearing thin

On the one hand, Mikel Arteta has perhaps the clearest picture of his preferred starting XI of all 20 managers in the Premier League. On the other hand, he runs the risk of not only overworking the 12 or 13 players he routinely picks in the team, but also of leaving himself short on in-form options to bring off the bench in the biggest games over the next three months. Case in point: Through the first half of extra time — 105 minutes into Tuesday’s game — Arteta had made just one substitution, and it was easy to see why. Gabriel Jesus came on in the 83rd minute, leaving Oleksandr Zinchenko and Eddie Nketiah, both of whom played the final 15 minutes, alongside just Emile Smith Rowe (102 Premier League minutes in 2024), Fabio Vieira (45 PL minutes since mid-November) as attacking options.

Jesus and Nketiah wouldn’t be considered in-form impact options right now either, with just a goal and two assists (all belonging to Jesus) between them this calendar year. If Arsenal are to make a run to the semifinals or final this season, they’ll need one of the players just mentioned to make a significant impact at the end of at least one game — a la Lucas Moura for Tottenham in 2019 — but first, Arteta will have to trust and find belief in one of them to do the job.

What’s next?

The draw for the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals will be held at 7 am ET on Friday.

Player ratings - Arsenal vs Porto

Arsenal vs Porto, final score: 1-0 (1-1 agg. 4-2 PKs)

Goalscorers: Leandro Trossard (41')

Arsenal penalty kick takers

Made (4): Martin Odegaard, Kai Havertz, Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice
Missed (0): None

Porto penalty kick takers

Made (2): Pepe, Marko Grujic
Missed (2): Wendell, Wenderson Galeno

41st minute - GOAL - Leandro Trossard puts Arsenal in front, level on aggregate

67th minte - NO GOAL - Arsenal goal ruled out for Kai Havertz foul

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

How to watch Arsenal vs Porto live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 4pm ET, Tuesday (March 12)
How to watch: Paramount+ and TUDN USA

Arsenal starting lineup

Raya — White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior — Jorginho, Rice, Odegaard — Sake, Trossard, Havertz

Porto starting lineup

Costa — Mario, Pepe, Otavio, Wendell — Varela, Gonzalez — Conceicao, Pepe, Galeno, Evanilson

Arsenal team news, focus

The main injury concern for Arsenal is Gabriel Martinelli who suffered a nasty cut to his foot in the win at Sheffield United last week. Martinelli missed the win against Brentford on Saturday and is a doubt for this game so Trossard could start out wide but Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey are both available and getting up to speed and could come in to the starting lineup for Trossard and Jorginho respectively. Takehiro Tomiyasu could return, while Jurrien Timber is the only Arsenal player who remains out injured. Arsenal’s defense is very settled and David Raya will start after not being able to play against his parent club Brentford at the weekend.

Porto team news, focus

Evanilson and Galeno will be key for Porto on the counter, while they need Portugal internationals Diogo Costa and Pepe to stand tall in goal and central defense. Midfielder Alan Varela was excellent in the first leg and will look to lock down Rice and Odegaard. Young defender Otavio has been excellent after coming into the team, while Wendell has stepped in admirably for the injured Zaidu Sansusi at left back. Not having the experience of Mehdi Taremi in the first keg was a blow but Porto showed enough in the first leg to suggest that will make this a tight, tense game for as long as possible and have enough quality in attack to finish off any half chances they get.