Arsenal legend returns to Emirates for first time in five years to watch David Raya’s Champions League heroics

AARON RAMSEY returned to Arsenal for the first time in FIVE years to watch the Champions League penalty shootout triumph over Porto.

The Gunners booked a quarter-final spot thanks to David Raya’s dramatic double spot-kick save at the Emirates on Tuesday night.

David Raya was Arsenal's hero in penalty shootout triumph over Porto as the Gunners booked a first Champions League quarter-final spot since 2010


David Raya was Arsenal’s hero in penalty shootout triumph over Porto as the Gunners booked a first Champions League quarter-final spot since 2010Credit: Reuters
Ramsey returned to the Emirates and was pictured pitchside with Faye White @Arsenal


Ramsey returned to the Emirates and was pictured pitchside with Faye White @Arsenal

And club legend Ramsey, 33, who left on a free transfer for Juventus in 2019 after 11 years at the club, reckons Mikel Arteta’s men belong back at the top table of European football again.

Ramsey was given a standing ovation from Arsenal fans as he was presented to the crowd pitchside before kick-off with his eldest boy Sonny.

He said: “It’s my first time.  It hasn’t worked out with the timings and things like that but it’s good to be back.

“It was a bit of a strange feeling driving back in having done it for so many years. I tried to jump on the team coach!

“I’m excited to be here with my little man.

“You really miss these Champions League nights having experienced them and played in many. 

“Arsenal needs the Champions League. To be in this position and progress has shown how far the club has come on again in the last few years.”

As well as breaking their Champions League last-16 hoodoo for the first time since 2010.


Now they have booked a spot in Friday’s draw alongside Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal also lie top of the Premier League with ten games to go.

Arteta’s side finished second to Manchester City but the North Londoners are pushing the defending champions and Liverpool in a thrilling three-horse title race.

Wales captain Ramsey, who now plays for Cardiff, added: “It’s evident with the position in the league at the moment.

“It’s not easy to be competing against them with what they have done over the last few years.

“To come so close last year and go toe-to-toe for such a long period. Hopefully they can go one step further and get over the line.

“It’s great to see. Mikel has done a fabulous job here, him and his staff.

“The players are really responding and everyone has bought into it. There’s a really good buzz around the place at the moment.”

Ramsey who scored two FA Cup final winning goals twice against Hull in 2014 at Wembley and Chelsea three years later, added: “They are the highlights of my Arsenal career – and career in general really. 

“To live a boyhood dream once but to do it again was an amazing feeling.

“I’m so grateful to have played a small part in this great club’s history.”

Ramsey, who joined Arsenal from Cardiff in a £5million deal back in 2008, picked his five-a-side team made up of ex-team-mates.

He said: “I would go (Laurent) Koscielny at the back. I loved him, he was a brilliant player for us.

“He had every attribute and went on to do so well for France.

“Santi Cazorla was a great player. I’d go Mesut Ozil because I didn’t think you really appreciate how good he was until you played with him.

“His weight of pass, a proper team player and oozed class.

“(Oliver) Giroud would be up top. He played some important parts in my FA Cup goals.

“And I’d go for (Cesc) Fabregas. I didn’t play too often with him but what he did for the club, he was an amazing player. 

“The way he played and his forward thinking approach. The amount of his assists he did, at his age coming into the Arsenal team was brilliant.”

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