Aaron Ramsdale reaction speaks volumes as David Raya the hero for Arsenal

Aaron Ramsdale ran straight to celebrate with Arsenal goalkeeper rival David Raya after the Spaniard’s penalty heroics against Porto. Raya saved two spot-kicks to help the Gunners enter the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2009-10.

Arsenal struggled to overcome a tactically-astute Porto side at the Emirates Stadium and needed to go the distance to finally see off their Portuguese opposition. There were some fears that the north Londoners might suffer deja vu, having been knocked out of the Europa League last-16 last season in a penalty shootout against Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon.

But Raya kept out Wendell and Galeno to ensure there was no repeat for Mikel Arteta’s side. The 28-year-old has gone a step closer to justifying Arteta’s decision to replace the popular Ramsdale.

Arteta has previously insisted that he has two No. 1 goalkeepers but it is clear that he prefers Raya, having started the Brentford loanee in every match for which he has been available since September.

There might have been some bitterness from Ramsdale, who had been the undisputed first-choice at Arsenal for the previous two seasons before his surprise demotion. But if that is the case then it was abundantly obvious after Raya’s penalty saves.

England international Ramsdale was seen racing straight onto the pitch to celebrate with Raya. The pair jumped together in front of the TNT Sports cameras.

Ramsdale was later seen celebrating with midfielder Jorginho as Arsenal basked in their success. They have reached the last-eight of the competition for the first time in 14 years – having lost their last seven last-16 ties.

Raya said afterwards: “It’s a great feeling you know. Especially for me personally – the first time in the Champions League. First time for the club in so many years to get to the quarter-finals.

“It’s great for the team. We played a really, really good game.

“From the start we dominated and created chances. It went down to penalties and we’ve been working a lot on penalties this year for nights like this, we need to be really, really good at them. All the hard work with the goalie coach and the team has paid off. It’s a great moment personally and collectively.

“I should’ve saved three, I should’ve saved the other one! But obviously over the moon to save two penalties in the Champions League to get through to the quarter-finals. It’s a crazy moment. It means everything. You play football for these kind of things. We’re over the moon.”