FC Porto's last visit to the Arsenal Stadium was memorable for all the wrong reasons although the Portuguese champions travel to London knowing their hosts have overturned a first-leg away defeat only once before.
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FC Porto will not want to dwell on their last trip to the Arsenal Stadium before the UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie return. They lost 4-0, continuing a run of disappointing results in England where they have failed to win in 13 visits.
• Porto at least have a slender lead to protect this time round thanks to goals from Silvestre Varela (11) and Falcao (51) at the Estádio do Dragão, although Sol Campbell's away goal (18) could yet prove crucial.
• History is also against Arsenal, however, who have managed to overturn a first-leg away defeat in UEFA competition only once in nine previous attempts.
• Theheavydefeat – Porto's worst away reverse in the competition – came in last season's group stage as Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor both scored a goal in each half.
• The teams for that 30 September 2008 fixture were:
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Touré, Clichy, Nasri (Eboué 65), Fàbregas, Walcott (Vela 72), Denilson, Van Persie (Bendtner 65), Adebayor.
Porto: Helton, Bruno Alves, Benítez, Fredy Guarín, Lisandro, Rodríguez (Candeias 79), Rolando, Raul Meireles (Hulk 64), Costa, Săpunaru, Fernando (Lucho 46).
• Goals either side of half-time from Bruno Alves and Lisandro earned Porto a 2-0 win at home.
• The teams for that 10 December 2008 encounter were:
Porto: Helton, Bruno Alves, Pedro Emanuel, Lucho (Costa 78), Lisandro, Rodríguez (Mariano 78), Hulk (Guarín 88), Fucile, Rolando, Raul Meireles, Fernando.
Arsenal: Almunia, Diaby (Gibbs 60), Gallas, Vela, Denilson, Ramsey (Wilshere 59), Song (Randall 79), Silvestre, Djourou, Bendtner, Eboué.
• Arsenal's only other meeting with Porto in north London came in the 2006/07 group stage, the home team running out 2-0 winners. Fàbregas, Tomáš Rosický, Gallas, Van Persie and Eboué all started for Arsenal with Song and Walcott appearing as second-half substitutes. Almunia was also on the bench. For Porto, Helton and Bruno Alves were in the starting XI while Raul Meireles came on in the second half. Fucile was also on the bench.
• Arsenal finished on top of Group H having won all three home games, conceding just a single goal, in a 4-1 defeat of AZ Alkmaar. They beat both runners-up Olympiacos FC and R. Standard de Liège 2-0.
• Prior to their meetings with Porto, Arsenal had faced Portuguese opposition only once before in UEFA club competition, when they exited the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1991/92 at the hands of SL Benfica. After a 1-1 draw in Lisbon, the Gunners suffered a 3-1 extra-time loss in the deciding leg of the second-round tie.
• This is the tenth successive campaign in which Arsenal have advanced from the initial group stage. Last season they reached the semi-finals before bowing out to Manchester United FC, losing 1-0 away and 3-1 at home. In the first knockout round they edged out AS Roma on penalties after both legs had ended 1-0 to the home side.
• It is the sixth time in seven consecutive group-stage campaigns that Porto – who finished second in Group D, two points behind Chelsea FC – have reached the knockout rounds. Last season they also bowed out to Manchester United, in the quarter-finals, after a 1-0 defeat at Estádio do Dragão having drawn 2-2 at Old Trafford. In the first knockout round they eliminated Club Atlético de Madrid on away goals, drawing 2-2 in Spain and 0-0 at home.
• Porto have finished second best in five of their last six knockout ties with English opponents. The exception came at Old Trafford in the 2003/04 first knockout round when José Mourinho's team gained a 1-1 draw after winning the home leg 2-1.
• Porto have lost all six games in London, most recently in this season's group stage with a 1-0 reverse at Chelsea. Their other two away games produced wins – 1-0 at APOEL FC and 3-0 away to Atlético.
• Porto have a strong record when winning the first leg at home, going through on aggregate 31 times including the last 24 ties in which they have travelled defending an advantage. The most recent of their four defeats came against Grasshopper-Club in the 1980/81 UEFA Cup second round (2-0 home, 0-3 away).
• Ominously for Arsenal, they have managed to prevail only once in the nine UEFA club competition ties in which they lost the first leg away from home, defeating HNK Hajduk Split on away goals in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup second round after a 2-1 away loss was followed by a 1-0 home win. Three recent UEFA Champions League campaigns have been ended following an away defeat; against FC Bayern München in 2004/05 (1-3 away, 1-0 home), PSV Eindhoven in 2006/07 (0-1 away, 1-1 home) and Manchester United FC last season (0-1 away, 1-3 home).
• Wenger was in charge of AS Monaco FC for their 1-1 draw at CF Os Belenenses in the first round of the 1989/90 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, the French club winning the return 3-0.
• Samir Nasri was in the Olympique de Marseille side defeated 2-1 at Porto in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• In December 2004 Nuno helped Porto to a 2-1 victory against a Chelsea team featuring Gallas in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Bruno Alves and Raul Meireles played in Portugal's 2-0 loss against Switzerland in UEFA EURO 2008 Group A fixture. Johan Djourou was an unused substitute for the co-hosts.
• Nicklas Bendtner scored Denmark's first goal in a 3-2 FIFA World Cup qualifying win against Portugal in September 2008. Raul Meireles played for the home team who managed a 1-1 draw in the Copenhagen return a year later. Bendtner was again on target in a game with Raul Meireles and Bruno Alves in the Portugal team.
• Cristián Rodríguez was a late substitute in París Saint-Germain FC's 4-1 win against an AJ Auxerre side featuring Sagna in March 2006, seven months before they faced each other again in a goalless draw between the teams.
• In February 2007 Rodríguez's PSG drew 1-1 at the Stade Vélodrome against an Olympique de Marseille including Nasri in Ligue 1.