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Friday April 19, 2024

Arsenal can use Porto loss to fuel title charge, says Arteta

By REUTERS
February 24, 2024

LONDON: Arsenal must use their last-gasp Champions League defeat in Porto as extra fuel for Saturday’s home clash against Newcastle United, manager Mikel Arteta said on Friday.

Arsenals Spanish manager Mikel Arteta gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on November 4, 2023. — AFP/File
Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on November 4, 2023. — AFP/File

Galeno’s stoppage time goal for Porto in the last-16 first leg tie stunned Arsenal and interrupted a superb run of form since the turn of the year. Arsenal will be confident of overturning that deficit in the second leg but before that the priority for Arteta will be maintaining his side’s Premier League title challenge.

The Gunners have won their last five league games, scoring 21 goals, and have the chance to close the gap on leaders Liverpool to two points with victory over Newcastle in a Saturday night clash at The Emirates Stadium.

“What happened in another competition is there, but what you cannot deny is what is in your tummy after a defeat,” Arteta told reporters. “We have to use it in a really powerful way to be better.” Newcastle beat Arsenal 1-0 in November - a bitter defeat that left Arteta seething at the match officials. While Newcastle’s season has been impacted by injuries since then, Eddie Howe’s side still pose a considerable threat.