Premier League Arsenal can use Porto loss to fuel title charge-Arteta

Manager Mikel Arteta stated on Friday that Arsenal needs to use their dramatic Champions League loss in Porto as added motivation for their home match against Newcastle United on Saturday.

Arsenal was taken aback by Galeno’s stoppage-time goal for Porto in the first leg of the round of 16, which also ended Arsenal’s incredible run of play from the year’s beginning.

While Arteta will prioritise keeping his team’s Premier League title challenge going, Arsenal will be confident in their ability to overcome that gap in the second leg.

The Gunners, who have scored 21 goals in their past five league games, will play Newcastle on Saturday night at The Emirates Stadium with the chance to cut the margin over leaders Liverpool to just two points.

“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.”

In November, Newcastle defeated Arsenal 1-0; Arteta was incensed at the match officials after such a crushing loss.

Even if injuries have affected Newcastle’s season since then, Eddie Howe’s team is still a serious threat.

“They are a really good team. They are very well coached, they have fantastic players,” Arteta said.

“They have great spirit within the team and they are difficult to beat for us and for many, many opponents.”

At this time last year, Arsenal and eventual champion Manchester City were in a two-horse battle for the championship, with his team finally giving in to pressure.

However, Arteta stated that his team is exactly where he wants them to be this year, with Liverpool also in the running and a roster that is getting close to full fitness.

“I feel a lot of excitement especially internally because we’re right in the mix and we want to continue to be there,” he said.

“Externally probably it’s different because the expectations are focused much more on the other two teams.

“I think we are in a really good position, we are what we want to be.

“I don’t know if we can be better, I think the most important thing is that we continue to believe to perform at the level that we are doing and we have the squad available.

” And if we have those two things, we’re going to give them a real go.”

This weekend, Arsenal may benefit from the near-return of midfielder Thomas Partey from injury.

“We have another session today and obviously he’s been out for many, many months now and we need to really nail the timing and when he has enough in the tank to compete, but I think he’s very close,” Arteta said.

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