Arsenal forced the lock on the quarter-finals of the Champions League, a first in fourteen years, on Tuesday by knocking out a more experienced FC Porto but carried away at the end of the suspense and penalties (1-0, 4-2 tab).

“It’s a magical evening,” summed up coach Mikel Arteta with a big smile, after thanking the supporters at the Emirates Stadium. “We love them with all our hearts,” he said, “they made it possible for us to win, it’s as simple as that.” The scorer Leandro Trossard (41st, 1-0) mainly contributed to the success, as well as the goalkeeper David Raya, winner of his face-to-face against Wendell then Galeno, the same one who had defeated them in added time at the first leg (1-0). Captain Martin Odegaard, star winger Bukayo Saka and the two star recruits of the summer, Kai Havertz and Declan Rice, did not tremble to offer their ecstatic supporters the night they had been dreaming of for ages. .

“We play football for those moments, I’m lucky to play for Arsenal, to be in the Champions League and to qualify for the quarter-finals,” relished Raya, who arrived on loan this summer from Brentford, in front of the TNT Sports camera. Arsenal had not been in the European Top 8 since 2010, and then they also had to overthrow the Portuguese Dragons to reach there, after a 2-1 defeat in the first leg.

On the scale of Arsenal, this return to the top had the taste of intoxication and the supporters made it understood by transforming the Emirates, pregnant with sometimes contained fervor, into a cauldron fueled from the first to the last minute . This Arsenal team, returned to C1 after seven years of absence, found the resources to patiently but determinedly surpass a club accustomed to continental games, guided by the unsinkable Pepe, 41 years old, three titles and 120 League matches champions on the clock.