FC Porto beat Arsenal 2-1 in a pulsating game full of errors played at the Stadium of Dragons.
By Eugene YS Han
Was busier in the first half and did well to push away Bendtner’s header. Hardly had to break sweat in the second 45 minutes.
Jorge Fucile: 5
The Uruguayan full-back was involved in several systematic fouls on Fabregas.
Had a relatively easy time cancelling out Bendtner. Made a brilliant late game-saving interception to prevent Eboue’s pass from finding Fabregas.
Bruno Alves: 6
Was rattled in the first half by Arsenal’s incessant attacks but gradually dominated the game for Porto.
Alvaro Pereira: 5
Was lucky to escape conceding a penalty when he took down Rosicky.
Ruben Micael (off 85th min): 6
The new signing from Nacional was involved in several lighting counter-attacks from the right flank. Had great chance to open the scoring but his shot was blocked.
A one-man whirlwind in midfield and helped to shield the Porto back-four from Arsenal’s attacks.
Raul Meireles (off 68th min): 6
Showed great thinking to take a quick indirect free-kick for Falcao’s goal.
Silvestre Varela: 7
Basically rang rings around Clichy all game and was involved in most of Porto’s counter-attacks down the flanks. It was his ‘cross’ that led to Fabianski’s error in the first half.
Did not get much change from the Arsenal defence and was well-shackled by Campbell.
Hulk (off 80th min): 5
Made several useful runs on his return to match action but did little else.
Tomas Costa (on 68th min): 5
Mariano Gonzalez (on 80th min): 5
Fernando Belluschi (on 85th min): 5
Lukasz Fabianski: 5
If Arsenal are to progress in this tournament, they cannot depend on this type of indecisive goalkeeping. Fabianski had a good chance to stake a claim for the goalkeeping spot but he made two elementary errors which led to Porto’s goals. His shaky display spread like a virus as the Arsenal defenders panicked every time they make a back-pass.
Barcary Sagna: 6
Put in a proper shift at right-back with several crunching tackles.
Sol Campbell: 6
A fairy tale return for the giant defender on his 200th appearance for the Gunners. Also Playing in his first Champions League match since the UCL final against Barcelona four years ago, he not only scored a goal but also put it several match-saving tackles and interceptions.
Thomas Vermaelen: 6
Did well early on to block a goal-bound shot from Ruben Micael. It was his flick-on that created Arsenal’s away goal.
Gael Clichy: 4
Has again failed to distinguish himself in defence. Easily shrugged off the ball numerous times and was easily beaten by Varela for Porto’s first goal.
Abou Diaby: 5
Diaby ghosted into great shooting positions but strangely tried to pass his way into the box.
Hardly saw the ball and was a virtual passenger in the game.
Cesc Fabregas: 7
Tried to lift the team through his inspirational play but was systematically fouled by the Porto players. He gradually lost his cool in the game as a result and his hold on the game.
Tomaz Rosicky (off 68th min): 6
One of his better games for Arsenal, the little Mozart was a class apart the rest with his close dribbling skills and control. It was his header that led to Arsenal’s equaliser.
Nicklas Bendtner (off 83rd min): 5
Lacked match sharpness and frequently lost the ball in promising positions.
Samir Nasri (off 88th min): 5
Was promising in the first-half when he was involved in almost every attack. But as Arsenal lost their way in the second half, so did Nasri.
Theo Walcott (on 68th min): 5
Made a few runs into the box but ultimately did not contribute much after coming on.
Carlos Vela (on 83 min): 5
Emmanuel Eboue (on 88th min): 6
The full-back made a late surging run into the box and almost found Fabregas with his cross.