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Lee Dixon hails Arsenal mentality after Champions League win against Porto

Arsenal squeaked past Porto in their Champions League last-16 tie, hauling back a 1-0 first-leg deficit at the Emirates Stadium before progression via penalties.

Mikel Arteta’s men were not at their best in this tie, but they showed a winning mentality and mental fortitude to come out on top and set up a mouth-watering quarter-final showdown against Bayern Munich.

Despite performing below their high standards, the Gunners have qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2009/10.

Club legend Lee Dixon delivered his verdict on Arsenal’s performance in both legs, admitting they failed to impress but did enough to keep their continental dream alive.

“Sometimes, when you go into European games, you can kind of derail your form a little bit, as we saw in the reverse game against Porto,” Dixon stated in an interview with Flashscore.

“Arsenal weren’t at their best last night either, but the impetus they’ve built up from their league form and the confidence that they’re carrying into every game now was a big part of this win.

“I was very confident before the game that they would win it, even in the penalty shootout.

“I know it’s a lottery, but there’s a kind of inner belief now that something quite special could happen, and when you win like that, it breeds another type of confidence.”

Like Dixon, Arteta felt the urge to praise his team for reaching the Champions League quarter-finals, sharing his thoughts with in the aftermath.

Crashing Porto out of Europe’s top table has historically proved a good sign, with the last four teams to achieve this feat going on to reach the grand final.

Last season’s beaten finalists, Inter Milan, did the same in the round of 16, dispatching the Dragons en route to their first Champions League title-deciding fixture since lifting the trophy in 2010.

Before them, Chelsea, Liverpool and Juventus overcame Porto on their way to Europe’s most prestigious game, with the former two conquering the competition in those seasons.

It’s been almost 20 years since Arsenal last appeared in the Champions League showpiece. Arsene Wenger’s side did that in 2005/06, only to lose to Barcelona in the iconic Stade de France final.

That was the closest the North London outfit came to winning the most coveted club title under the new format, but Arteta’s group of players seems capable of doing one better.

While preparing his side for the upcoming Premier League and continental challenges, Arteta keeps a keen eye on the summer transfer window.

According to, the Spaniard is ready to sanction as many as seven exits at the end of the season to raise funds for new arrivals.

But there’s plenty of time until the summer. From his and fans’ perspective, what will happen between now and the end of May is far more significant.

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