Arsenal have a big point to prove in Porto revenge mission, says William Saliba

Arsenal have a big point to prove in Porto revenge mission, says William Saliba

William Saliba says Arsenal want to prove they belong in the Champions League ahead of their showdown with Porto on Tuesday.

The Gunners are taking on the Portuguese side at Emirates Stadium in the second leg of their last-16 tie, which Porto go into leading 1-0 on aggregate.

Arsenal have enjoyed a brilliant season in the Premier League and are firmly in the title race after making it eight league wins on the spin with victory over Brentford on Saturday.

But asked if Mikel Arteta’s side must now show they belong among Europe’s elite, Saliba said: “Yes, of course.

“We have to win on Tuesday and we will give everything, we can't wait to play on Tuesday. We were focused on the game [with Brentford] and now we prepare for Porto at home and we will be ready.

“I think we were horrible [to play against in] the last seven or eight games and now we have to keep going like this, because it is very tough to beat us at home and we will give everything.”

Arsenal had been cruising past opponents recently on their winning run, but they were made to work for the three points against Brentford.

Kai Havertz struck a winner in the 86th minute to secure a 2-1 win and Saliba described how importance it was that the Gunners were able to fight for the victory.

“We have to compete like this,” he said. “Today wasn’t an easy game and we responded well. We have to keep going like this.

“We cannot win every game 5-0 or 6-0, but it was a good mentality from the team today because we were 1-1 at half-time and we came back in the second-half with a good intention.

“We scored at the end, so it was a good day for us. Sometimes it is good to suffer like this and win at the end.”

Arsenal took the lead through Declan Rice, but they were pegged back when Yoane Wissa charged down Aaron Ramsdale’s clearance.

It was a nightmare moment for the goalkeeper, who was starting as No1 David Raya is on loan from Brentford and therefore ineligible to play.

Ramsdale responded well in the second half, making a several good saves, and Saliba says Arsenal were motivated to turn the result around for him.

“Every player make mistakes, last month I made two mistakes and my teammates were with me,” said Saliba.

“We are always together, we respond well – he responded well as well, he had three good saves and I am so happy for him.”