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David Raya Saved Arsenal’s Penalty to Reach the Champions League Quarterfinals

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David Raya Saved Arsenal's Penalty to Reach the Champions League Quarterfinals

(CTN News) – David Raya’s penalty saves helped Arsenal reach the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in 14 years.

A penalty shootout at the Emirates Stadium ended in a 4-2 win for Arsenal after Raya tipped one goal by Porto’s Wendell and palmed away another from Galeno.

As a result, Arsenal ended a streak of seven round-of-16 losses, winning 1-0 to level the aggregate score at 1-1.

That was a big moment for Raya, who was brought in last summer to replace Aaron Ramsdale as Arsenal’s No. 1 – a decision that fans have questioned.

It’s a great feeling for me to be in the Champions League for the first time and for the club to make it to the quarterfinals after all these years. “We’ve worked on penalties a lot this year, and it’s paying off.”

Raya’s Heroics: The Turning Point in Arsenal’s Champions League Journey

Champions League penalty shootouts haven’t happened since Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid in 2016.

In Tuesday’s other game, Barcelona won 3-1 over Napoli to advance 4-2 on aggregate.

After trailing 1-0 after the first leg in Portugal — when Galeno scored in stoppage time — Arsenal got level when Leandro Trossard scored in the 41st minute. Despite extra time, Porto’s disciplined defensive tactics held Arsenal at bay, so neither side scored another goal.

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During Arsene Wenger’s tenure as Arsenal manager, the London club lost seven straight round-of-16 matches. Porto, however, hasn’t been past the quarterfinals since it won the title under Jose Mourinho in 2004.

Now Mikel Arteta can do what Arsene Wenger could never do – win the biggest trophy in Europe.

Arteta’s team is also top of the Premier League, so he’s very happy. “It’s been 14 years, which is quite a long time for a club like Arsenal, and it shows how difficult it has been.” We’re starting to create a huge energy in the stadium; we’re all pushing to do it, and together, we’ve done it.

The team defended the advantage with stout defending and various time-wasting tactics after Porto snatched the win at the last minute.

After Arsenal gave the ball away, Evanilson shot narrowly wide from outside the area in the 16th before Raya saved his shot from the centre of the area in the 22nd.

After being teed up in the area by Martin Odegaard, Trossard scored with a low shot inside the far post as Arsenal maintained pressure. Pepe, the oldest outfielder to play in a Champions League match and the same age as Arteta, caught the shot between his legs.

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During the second half, Arsenal had a second goal ruled out after Odegaard put the ball into an empty net, but Kai Havertz was adjudged to have fouled Diogo Costa moments earlier.

In the 83rd minute, Gabriel Jesus nearly scored with a shot that nearly snuck between Costa’s legs but deflected out.

After Bukayo Saka burst forward, Odegaard had a great chance after Costa saved, but he fired wide with the net gaping.

Mehdi Taremi came close in extra time when he broke into the area in the 101st but his shot went wide. Eddie Nketiah then denied Saka in the 110th after being teed up by him.

The Arsenal penalty shootout ended with Odegaard, Havertz, Saka and Declan Rice scoring, setting up Raya’s decisive save to deny Galeno.

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