David Raya delivers at the most important moment on a crucial Champions League night

David Raya has settled all the arguments over manager Mikel Arteta’s judgment and Arsenal’s status as the main goalkeeper amid the sound and fury of a dramatic Champions League win over Porto at the Emirates Stadium.

Raya’s uncertain start as a replacement for Aaron Ramsdale prompted suggestions that Arteta had actually attempted to fix an unbroken problem by bringing in a Spaniard from Brentford to replace an Arsenal fan favourite who was good enough to play in England.(안전놀이터)

And in the spirit of full disclosure, one of the biggest doubters is right here before the notification arrives and a large part of the humble pie is thrown in this direction, and I must admit I was wrong after witnessing Raya’s best night since arriving in Arsenal.

Raya further affirmed his steady progress and credibility through two shootout saves by Wendell and Galeno as Arsenal advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in 14 years with a 4-2 win in the most crucial moments. A shootout after the night’s 1-0 win.

Arsenal beat Porto in the Champions League

It was a tense, nerve-wracking, moody night that would be the ideal collision course for the Champions League as Arsenal jumped through a psychological barrier to reach the last eight after losing the last 16 in the last seven tournaments.

Raya was also instrumental in balancing the tie in the shootout, and saved well from Evanilson and Francisco Conceicao when Porto broke the defensive shell.

Of course, unlike others who are not named, Arteta said she never doubted Raya, but that the scale of the decision that led to an understandable investigation was clear.

“I was convinced,” Arteta said. “You can see what he had to go through on the first day and the composure. You can see the gestures and the decisions he makes. This is the key quality of a goalkeeper.”

Raya made an important save when the penalty came, turning Wendell’s second penalty against Porto into the post, kicking the rebound with his heel and confirming the win with Galeno’s flying save.

It heralds a final outbreak of unrest between scenes of wild celebrations around the Emirates and his fiery Porto counterpart Sergio Conceicao, who cut out his angry and agitated figure for most of the night when he was on edge.

The conversation followed after the match with Conceicao, who claimed Arteta “insulted” his family in Spanish during the match. The Arsenal manager must record that he denied the claim.

Leandro Trossard’s soft strike four minutes before the end of the first half was made with remarkable footwork and a perfect pass from Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard, who tied the score for Arsenal but this street and battle-torn Porto team went nowhere.

Oedegaard thought he had Arsenal in the lead in the second half, but his strike was nullified when French referee Clement Turpin ruled Kai Havertz had fouled Pepe. This was a case where Arsenal felt they had been taken away by Turpin.

Dear Pepe, 41, it’s not surprising that he welcomed the decision with a knowing smile. The evergreen defender is still in amazing shape, knows all the tricks, but he’s a savvy reader of the game, although not all tricks are good.

Pepe was shown a yellow card for fouling Havertz in the second half. There was a completely brazen trademark look at what was perceived to be injustice, even if he thought there was nothing behind it. It’s also impossible not to be surprised that an old player who has put so much time into it can still look so relaxed at this level.

It was part of a night that would be crucial to Arsenal’s Champions League education with a team that still included too many new players in the tournament’s demands.

It wasn’t an evening where you can see the fluency that Arsenal have shown so easily in their run to the Premier League summit.

Porto have been around the block too often to allow Arsenal to dictate in a normal way. This was unnatural, with many interruptions that created a game where patience was needed, frustration had to be overcome, and the guard had to always face potential punches from Portugal.

Arsenal didn’t have the best performance but it was all about winning and this is a mission accomplished, moving in the latter stages with such eminent players as Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

The Gunners probably haven’t shown enough to justify the Champions League’s “dark horse” rating yet. But who knows if they can avoid one of the giants in the quarter-final draw and some of them stick together?

What is certain is that Arsenal will be hugely driven and optimistic not only in the Champions League quarter-finals but also in their next big Premier League match against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on March 31.

And a lot of thanks for that should go to Raya, a malicious person (in this observer’s case, it’s wrong).

Source: 토토사이트

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