Arsenal

Rio Ferdinand says Arsenal have the ‘ultimate technician’ in their squad and he’s so ‘cool’

It was a brilliant night for Arsenal as Mikel Arteta’s side booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after penalties against Porto – and Rio Ferdinand praised Martin Odegaard.

The Gunners came into the match with a 1-0 deficit after losing late on, in Portugal. Leandro Trossard restored parity as Arsenal dominated, with Porto limited to a controlled threat on the counter attack.

Despite numerous chances, the game went into extra time and then penalties – but it was David Raya that stole the headlines, making two saves in the shootout. A lot has been said about Raya starting.

But Ian Wright recently said that Raya is proving Arteta was right to start him over Aaron Ramsdale – and if anyone still needed proof, it was last night. Odegaard, meanwhile, was at his absolute best again.

Controlling the temp, dictating the play, operating as a deep-lying playmaker but also getting involved in the final third too. He then stepped up to take Arsenal’s first penalty and Ferdinand was full of praise.

Speaking in his post-match analysis on TNT Sports, Ferdinand said: No doubt [Odegaard would score his penalty]. This guy is the ultimate technician, this guy is just as cool as you like when he steps up.”

Rio Ferdinand on Arsenal’s ultimate technician Martin Odegaard
The Gunners can now look forward to the draw on Friday, when they will find out who they face in the last eight of the Champions League. Bayern, Barcelona, PSG, Man City and Madrid are confirmed so far.

Arsenal will need Odegaard at their best whoever they face – performing as he did last night. It was his assist that got Arsenal back into the tie. Paul Merson likened it to something Kevin De Bruyne can do.

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