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Wenger pins hopes on goals in Porto

Published: Friday 18 December 2009, 20.05CET
Manager Arsène Wenger described Arsenal FC's last-16 tie against FC Porto as "difficult but feasible", believing the key to winning through to the quarter-finals was getting away goals.
Wenger pins hopes on goals in Porto
Arsène Wenger is determined to get an away goal in the first leg ©Getty Images

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Published: Friday 18 December 2009, 20.05CET

Wenger pins hopes on goals in Porto

Manager Arsène Wenger described Arsenal FC's last-16 tie against FC Porto as "difficult but feasible", believing the key to winning through to the quarter-finals was getting away goals.

Manager Arsène Wenger described Arsenal FC's last-16 tie against FC Porto as "difficult but feasible", believing the key to winning through to the quarter-finals was getting away goals.

Away goal
The Frenchman, 60, has faced Porto four times as Arsenal coach, winning both home games, but has never managed to get a victory – or indeed a goal – at the Estádio do Dragão, something he feels the Gunners must remedy in the first leg on 17 February. "It's important that we negotiate our first game and try to score away from home, but it's a difficult draw," he said.

Recent meeting
The sides met in last season's group stage. Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor scored two each as the Gunners prevailed 4-0 at home, before a youthful Arsenal outfit lost 2-0 in Porto, Bruno Alves and Lisandro on target. "At home we had a very good game," remembered Wenger. "Away we lost 2-0. It's Champions League, it's a cup game, it's form on the day. I believe it's difficult but feasible."

Worrying trend
Arsenal are not the only English side to have struggled in Porto; Manchester United FC became the first Premiership side to win a game there as they prevailed 1-0 in last season's quarter-finals, with Porto's previous 12 home games against English clubs netting them five wins and seven draws. However, Chelsea again won 1-0 at the Estádio do Dragão in this season's group stage to set a new, worrying trend for coach Jesualdo Ferreira.

'Different feel'
Former goalkeeper Vítor Baía, now the club's international director, believed Porto had no great cause for concern. "We have great confidence going through to the next stage," he said. "We already know Arsenal from last season when we did a good job, finishing the group stage as section winners despite a bad result in England. However, it will be different this time around as it is a knockout tie and not a group-stage pairing. It will have a different feel."

 

Last updated: 18/12/09 18.30CET

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