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Thierry Henry makes intriguing analysis of what people didn’t notice about important Arsenal star against Porto

Thierry Henry provides an intriguing analysis of what people may have overlooked about important Arsenal star in the match against Porto

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Arsenal legend Thierry Henry
Image credit: Getty Images

Arsenal may have suffered a 1-0 defeat against Porto at the Estadio do Dragao in the UEFA Champions League last-16 first-leg clash on Wednesday, but it was not a terrible performance by the Gunners, who were unlucky to concede through Galeno’s late strike.

Despite dominating possession, Mikel Arteta’s men struggled to penetrate a resilient Porto defense. Frustratingly, Arsenal failed to register a single shot on target, while Porto managed to create more promising opportunities throughout the match. Porto’s threat on the counter was evident, and Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice found himself booked early in the game. However, the Englishman showcased discipline thereafter, avoiding further trouble despite the intensity of the match.

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice

Thierry Henry praised Declan Rice’s performance for Arsenal against Porto, highlighting his ability to deliver a strong performance despite receiving a yellow card in the first minute of the game (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Rice’s standout moment came with a crucial block just after the hour mark, denying Porto a clear goal-scoring chance with a ‘block’ just like he always does. His performance did not go unnoticed, earning praise from Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta mentions two ‘unacceptable’ things Arsenal did against FC Porto

Speaking on CBS Sports, Henry commended Rice’s contributions, praising his ability to make crucial interventions while carrying a yellow card. Henry highlighted Rice’s defensive awareness and his importance to the team’s structure.

“Him stopping what people don’t notice at times,” Henry said. “What I like is he took a yellow after two minutes and he stayed in the game. You will see, you can see him here. He blocks the shot. But at the beginning he is looking at what is happening here [on the edge of the box]. He did it so many times in the game. With a yellow. That’s not an easy one; this is why he’s so important for the team.”

Since Rice’s arrival at Arsenal in the summer, the team’s defensive solidity has notably improved, and the club boasts the best defensive record in the Premier League. The Englishman is constantly making crucial blocks as he shields the back four. While this part of his performance often goes unrecognized, it is integral to Arsenal’s defensive prowess.

Despite the disappointment of the Porto defeat, Arsenal remains optimistic about their chances in the tie, especially with the second leg scheduled to take place at the Emirates Stadium.

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