Arsenal's recent Champions League outing ended in dismay as Mikel Arteta, the team's manager, openly criticized his squad's performance following a 1-0 defeat against Porto. The match, which took place at Estádio do Dragão, saw the Gunners struggling to assert their dominance, failing to register even a single shot on target. Arteta's frustration was palpable in his post-match remarks, where he emphasized the need for significant improvement if Arsenal aims to advance in the competition.

"We were not good enough," Arteta stated, highlighting the team's shortcomings in ball management and aggression, particularly in the final third of the pitch. His comments reflect a broader concern for Arsenal, which has shown considerable promise in the Premier League with convincing victories over Liverpool, West Ham, and Burnley.

The first leg of the last-16 clash was decided by an injury-time goal from Porto's Brazilian forward, Galeno, leaving Arsenal with a considerable challenge for the return leg at the Emirates Stadium. Arteta underscored the importance of overcoming the opponent in their home leg to secure a spot in the quarter-finals, signaling a call to action for his players to elevate their game.

Despite the setback in Porto, Arsenal remains a formidable force in the Premier League, currently holding the third position in the standings. With upcoming fixtures against Newcastle United, Sheffield United, and Brentford, Arteta's side has an opportunity to regain momentum before hosting Porto for the crucial second leg of their Champions League tie.

Arteta also acknowledged the difficulty posed by Porto's gameplay and expressed his frustration with the officiating, which he felt hindered Arsenal's ability to capitalize on offensive set pieces, a strength of the team throughout the 2023-24 season. "We couldn't even touch anybody because everything was a free kick," Arteta remarked, indicating the challenges his team faced in adapting to the referee's decisions.

As Arsenal prepares for its upcoming Premier League and Champions League commitments, Arteta's candid assessment serves as both a critique and a motivational call to his players. The coming weeks will be pivotal for the Gunners as they seek to reaffirm their status as contenders on both domestic and European fronts.