Sol: Away goal could prove crucial

The Gunners trail 2-1 from the first leg following a controversial

night at Estadio do Dragao last month. A blunder by Poland

goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, deputising for the injured Manuel

Almunia, had gifted Porto an early lead, only for veteran Campbell

to head in what was his first Arsenal goal since his strike in the

2006 Champions League final, after he rejoined the Gunners on a

short-term deal in January. However, the 35-year-old former

Portsmouth skipper was then involved in a bizarre incident at the

start of the second half when Fabianski picked up what was deemed

to be a back-pass from the centre-half and referee Martin Hansson

allowed a quick-free kick which Falcao swept into an empty net.

With the tie delicately poised, Campbell – who hopes to recover

from a groin problem for Tuesday night’s European encounter –

believes the away goal could yet be decisive. “The game is only

halfway done, and that should stand us in good stead for the second

leg,” he said. “Scoring away from home was important. Had we lost

1-0, it would have been harder. That one away goal could make a

massive difference. “It gives us a bit of an advantage to build on

for the second leg. “But, we are not happy because we lost the

game. “What we have to do now is take the positives from the game

and go again as a team. “There is still a big job to be done, don’t

get me wrong, but it would be much harder without that goal.”

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was less than impressed by the way

Swedish official Hansson allowed the free-kick to be taken so

quickly, with no chance to set up a proper defence. Campbell also

felt Hansson had been a touch hasty in letting play restart. “I did

touch the ball, but it was not intentional, so I guess it is down

to the referee whether he gives it,” said the former England

defender. “For the free-kick itself, the referee did not step away

from the ball. “You can go on about it, and yes it was quick

thinking from the Portuguese, but the ref has never given me a

chance to get in front of the ball – basically he gave it to them

and let them play. “There was no whistle and I do not think he even

had his arm up when the kick was taken.” Arsenal have played Porto

twice in recent campaigns, romping to a 4-0 victory at the start of

last season while also winning 2-0 at Emirates Stadium in September

2006. Captain Cesc Fabregas sees no reason why the young Gunners

cannot produce another impressive display in north London. “We knew

we would not go to Portugal and win 3-0, we expected a tight and

difficult game, but when we got back to 1-1, we were controlling

the game,” he said. “Of course we do not want to concede the type

of goals we let in, and if you take those mistakes away, it means

that they could not score from open play.” Fabregas added: “The

positive for us was the away goal – I am still confident we can go

through. “In the Champions League, you can get through playing well

or sometimes not playing well. “It is just one more game and we

will have to win by at least a goal. “I am sure we have the quality

to do that against them – we have done it before at the Emirates,

and we will have to be at our best.”