Arsenal

Every word Mikel Arteta said on Porto win, David Raya, Arsenal penalties and Sergio Conceicao

The Arsenal boss has spoken to the press after the Gunners’ Champions League round of 16 second leg victory over FC Porto on penalties

A magic night. What we expected, a really tough opponent, really well organised and very difficult to generate constant momentum in the game. That’s credit to them. We did it. We scored a beautiful goal and then we insisted in different ways. We had to do it at the end with the penalties. We prepared well. Credit to the coaches and the ones who took it. Of course David, who had some difficult moments to start but stood up with incredible personality and ambition. In the end we got the reward.

For them to do it when the club hasn’t managed to do it for 14 years, I tell you it will be a boost. The margins are so small. You find a way to do it again. I see how much they want it, how much they try and they are able to sacrifice anything to win. When you play like this at the end good things are going to come your way.

You told the fans to bring the noise – have you experienced an atmosphere like that?

Probably not. It was amazing. From the start to the end, when they had to bring that extra at the end with penalties. They brought their brains. They were so smart with the way they did it, the way they helped us and a huge thank you. With them we are much better. They impacted the game in a really strong way.

Conceicao said after first leg you ‘played and they won’ – satisfied you played your way and won?
Yeah, we always play. If not I don’t know how you are top of the Premier League.

No fixed hierarchy of penalty takers – glad tonight?
I didn’t think that but it’s a great point and probably a great experience. Because that experience is much more real than what we’ve done in the last two days. We had to go through that tonight and, yeah, they looked really composed the boys and they ones who took the penalties were superb and David contributed with his big thing as well.

Comfortable going into pens?
No, because privately at the training ground a few of them missed by the way yesterday. Not today. We prepared everything, the extra-time scenario, the changes, how the players have to drink and eat and all that. But in the end you have to do it in the game. To replicate the scenario is really difficult. Total credit for the boys, stepping in with that maturity and that confidence and delivering the way they did.

What’s the impact on your season as a whole?

It’s another big step, especially as a club. For seven years we haven’t been in this competition and for 14 years we haven’t got this far. That tells you the difficulty of it. We want more and we’re going to go for it that’s for sure.

Did you identify David’s ability to cope in high pressure moments when you signed him?

I didn’t have to see him today, I was convinced that was going to be the case. You see him those first few days here, what he had to go through and how he did it with that composure. You look at his body language and the decisions that he takes, he doesn’t get very affected. That’s a key quality for that position.

What have you learnt from managing such a tense tie?

I have no experience on that. It’s the first time that I’ve done it in the Champions League. I try to learn every day, get advice and that’s why you have good people around you, great coaches around you as well to help you and make you better.

No, I haven’t seen the replay. Live I didn’t understand but they made that decision so maybe there was something there. I’m sure we won’t remember that, we’ll remember that we did it in a another special way

Can you think about winning the Champions League now?

I think it’s still very far. Now I’m gonna sit at home, I’m gonna look at the other teams we have to play and start another big mountain to climb.

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