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Mikel Arteta asks Arsenal supporters to ‘bring your noise’ against Porto

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Mar 2024

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Mikel Arteta has called on his players to control their emotions when they host Porto on Wednesday as he looks to guide Arsenal into the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in 14 years.

A late Galeno winner gave Porto a 1-0 win in the first leg of the last-16 clash in Porto last month on a tough night for the visitors.

There were 36 fouls during the match – a Champions League high this season – with Porto boss Sergio Conceicao claiming after the game: “They (Arsenal) wanted to play, we wanted to win.”

The Gunners have won eight straight Premier League matches either side of the loss in Portugal, and head into the second leg top of the table.

Arteta has asked supporters to “bring your noise” and create a passionate environment at the Emirates Stadium – but has warned his players to remain in check.

Asked if there has to be a level of control on the pitch, he replied: “For sure. The game context is very important.

“We know that we have a long match to play. There are moments that could go your way and that it can change dramatically quick.

“That’s the Champions League and you have to be ready for these kind of games.

“We’re certainly going to have to tweak a few things to generate much more than we did (in Porto). It’s the level of the Champions League.

“You’re facing top teams. The fact that there are two games plays in your mind and we have to be better (on Tuesday).

“That’s the opportunity that we have (on Tuesday). In front of our people, in our stadium for 96 minutes. Bring your energy, bring your noise and let’s do it together. I think the impact that they can make is incredible. I don’t think they realise.

“It’s a beautiful opportunity to live one of those nights. It’s been 14 years (since a Champions League quarter-final) so everything that we put in there is going to be worth it.”

Arsenal have been in fine form domestically of late, winning 5-0 at West Ham and 6-0 at Burnley and Sheffield United, while beating Newcastle 4-1 at home.

Their last game ahead of the visit of Porto was a tighter contest as a late Kai Havertz header earned Arteta’s side a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Brentford.

While not dispatching the Bees in the same emphatic manner, captain Martin Odegaard believes the stop-start nature of the game was good preparation for what they expect from Porto.

“We will take a lot of good things,” Odegaard said. “It was a really good practice for this game coming up. We had to deal with a lot of different situation, a lot of time wasting.

“We had to control our emotions the whole game and I think we did that brilliantly. It was really good practice for another big game and we did really well.

“Top of the table so of course we have to build on that momentum and the good feeling we have at the moment. That’s the goal, to keep that going.”

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