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Arteta praises 'brain' of Arsenal fans in dramatic Porto win
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Danny Ryan at the Emirates
Mikel Arteta was thrilled after reaching the Champions League quarter-finals
Mikel Arteta was thrilled after reaching the Champions League quarter-finals

Mikel Arteta heaped praise on the input from the Emirates crowd after Arsenal's dramatic penalty shootout win over Porto in the Champions League.

Leandro Trossard's first-half strike, brilliantly assisted by Martin Odegaard, levelled up the last-16 tie to 1-1 on aggregate but the hosts could not find a vital second goal.

Chances were few and far between, which ultimately paved the way for goalkeeper David Raya to play the hero role as he saved spot-kicks from Wendell and Galeno to secure a spot in the quarter-finals.

However, while Arteta was evidently proud of the dogged performance from his troops, he recognised the important role Arsenal fans played in helping the side reach the last eight for the first time since 2010.

The 41-year-old said in his post-match press conference: "The atmosphere was amazing. From the start right until the end.

"But when they do that bit extra at the end for penalties, that shows they know their brains.

"They [the supporters] were so smart with the way they did it and helped us. Because with them we are so much better.

"I think today they really impacted the game."

Arsenal will now be part of Friday's quarter-final draw alongside the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich — and it is another huge stride taken by a young, inexperienced team.

Many key members of the squad are taking part in their maiden Champions League campaign, including Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice, William Saliba and Ben White.

Arteta added: "They [the team] found a way to do it again.

"And then I see how much they want to win, how much they try.

"They are able to sacrifice everything to win and when you play like this, at the end it is going to come your way sooner or later.

"Tonight, they have done it."


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