Rio Ferdinand shoots down Arsenal ‘potential winners’ claim with blunt response to Gunners legend

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand comments on Arsenal.

Rio Ferdinand shot down Martin Keown after the Arsenal legend argued that Mikel Arteta’s side are “potential winners” of the Champions League this season.

The Manchester United icon was speaking after Arsenal booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Potential winners?

The Gunners were 1-0 down on aggregate heading into their round of 16 second leg against Porto at the Emirates on Tuesday night.

Leandro Trossard scored a vital winner to take the tie into extra-time and Arsenal ended up beating Porto 4-2 in a penalty shootout to advance in the competition. 

Goalkeeper David Raya has been lauded after saving two penalties to help his team progress in Europe and Keown suggested Arsenal are “potential winners” after their “really big night” against Porto.

“What it means is momentum. It means that Arsenal now go into that Manchester City game full of confidence,” Keown told TNT Sports.

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“You know what they have achieved, six trophies last year, it’s the ultimate test. But they go there now really confident and in good form.

“I think it would have been a bit of a downer if they had lost tonight and gone into the City game. This keeps it ticking along beautifully, the players, they grow from it, there is a lot of confidence now and it’s a really big night where they can feel like potential winners.”

Ferdinand interrupted, saying: “A bit early man, don’t go there man. Let’s not go there, Martin. It’s too early.”

“It does feel good…”

Club legend Thierry Henry meanwhile acknowledged that it was always “going to be difficult against Porto” but he thought this tie was going to be a “bit easier”.

“It does feel good. I told you, It doesn’t matter how, we had to go through. I knew it was going to be difficult against Porto. I called it at home and I called it here,” Henry said on CBS Sports.

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“I thought it was going to be a tiny bit more easy, if I say, at home, but it wasn’t. You know, it’s the Champions League, you’re not playing in your league and it’s not the same thing.

“When teams come here, especially Porto and the likes of Pepe, when they arrive in the tunnel, they look at you, they’re not scared. You have to show them on the field that you can beat them.

“We went through on penalties, well done. It didn’t happen to us for a very long time to be in the quarter-final, so that’s a good result. And we’re not playing at the weekend, that’s also important.”