Raya ‘should have saved three’ but thrilled to help Arsenal through

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Raya ‘should have saved three’ but thrilled to help Arsenal through

David Raya said it was a “great feeling” to help Arsenal into the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in 14 years.

Goalkeeper Raya was Arsenal’s hero with two penalty saves as they won a shootout against Porto 4-2.

Leandro Trossard’s goal four minutes before half-time levelled the tie at 1-1 on aggregate.

David Raya is mobbed by his Arsenal team-mates after his penalty saves in the shootout

Image: David Raya is mobbed by his Arsenal team-mates after the shootout win

Extra-time could not separate the sides and in the shoot-out, Martin Odegaard and Kai Havertz buried their penalties before Raya tipped Wendell’s spot-kick on to his left-hand post.

Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice then converted and Raya made another fine save from Wenderson Galeno to send the Gunners through.

“Obviously it’s a great feeling, especially for me personally – my first time in the Champions League and the first time in a long time club has got to the quarter-finals,” the Spaniard told TNT Sports.

David Raya saved two penalties in the shootout as Arsenal beat Porto to reach the Champions League quarter-finals

Image: David Raya saved two penalties in the shootout as Arsenal beat Porto to reach the Champions League quarter-finals

“We’ve been working a lot on penalties this year because on a night like this you need to be good and the hard work has paid off. It’s a great night.

“I should have saved three, but I’m over the moon to save two and get through to the quarter-finals.

“Porto made it so difficult over there and here. But we scored the goal that we needed and it went to penalties. Obviously, mentally it’s tough but the team played really, really well, we kept a clean sheet, scored the goal and went to penalties.

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Paul Merson feels the decision to disallow Arsenal’s second goal against Porto was harsh.

“It means everything, You play football for these kind of nights. Over the moon and I’m going to celebrate and enjoy the night.”

Mikel Arteta hailed a “magic moment” from Raya as they progressed beyond the last 16 for the first time since 2010.

“So happy – 14 years is a long time for a club like Arsenal not to do what we’ve done today,” he told TNT Sports.

“We had to dig in and find the magic moment we did at the end today. So proud and so happy.

Leandro Trossard celebrates scoring for Arsenal against Porto

Image: Leandro Trossard celebrates scoring for Arsenal against Porto

“You are very nervous. You are hoping for the best but you know it’s a bit of a lottery. We did our preparation yesterday and the day before just in case and it really helped so credit to the goalkeeping coaches as well.

“We have started to create an unbelievable energy in the stadium and we are all pushing to get it done, and together we’ve done it.

“Unbelievable. That’s where we want to be. We have been patient and this is where we want to be.”

Saka, who scored the third penalty, was thrilled to get through.

“I’m buzzing, we’re going through and I’m so proud of the team,” he said. “To win on penalties is great for the spirit.

“I prepare myself, practising penalties so I was more than ready. Just pleased to see it go in.”

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Paul Merson reacts to Leandro Trossard’s opener for Arsenal against Porto in the Champions League.

England winger Saka immediately set his sights on the potential title decider at Manchester City next.

“Right now we’re top of the league and in the quarter-finals of the Champions League so that gives us confidence that we can go to the Etihad and get a result,” Saka added.

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