Red tide sweeps Porto aside

Bendtner hat-trick and stunning solo effort from Nasri fire Arsenal into quarter-finals of the Champions League

Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, expressed his desire to play either Manchester United or Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after seeing his team book their place in the last eight with a spectacular 5-0 victory over Porto.

Nicklas Bendtner, who had been ridiculed for missing several easy chances in recent games, scored an unlikely hat-trick as Arsenal won the tie 6-2 on aggregate on a memorable night at the Emirates.

It was the first time Arsenal have won in the Champions League knockout stages after having lost the first leg, and the first time the club have managed a comeback in any European competition since 1978.

Wenger said his ideal draw would be to face either United or Chelsea, as long as both English clubs progress from their respective last 16 ties.

"I have a funny feeling that maybe it is good for us to play an English team because we have not done well against Chelsea, not done well against Manchester United this year and it will be a good opportunity to show that we can do it against them," said Wenger. "If I had choice I would say yes. If we get them we cannot do worse than we did in the championship, we can only do better."

Arsenal totally dominated the opening 25 minutes and went ahead with two goals from Bendtner. The 22-year-old Dane put the home side ahead in the 10th minute in controversial circumstances. The Porto goalkeeper Helton was lying on the turf in pain after taking an accidental kick to the head from Andrei Arshavin, and Bendtner pounced to poke the ball into the unguarded goal.

Bendtner added a second after 25 minutes, a tap-in after a mesmerising run by Arshavin. Samir Nasri added a third with a stunning individual goal in the 63rd minute. The Frenchman picked up the ball wide on the Arsenal right before cutting inside and beating three Porto defenders before dispatching an unstoppable shot past Helton and inside the far post.

Minutes later substitute Emmanuel Eboué brought the stadium to life with a wonderful fourth goal, a flowing move from one end of the pitch to the other than ended with him rounding Helton and scoring from a narrow angle. Bendtner then added a penalty in stoppage time to register his first hat-trick for the club.

Wenger said: "If I don't smile tonight I will never smile. We controlled the game, played our fluent football and had a positive start with early goals which gave us the belief."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Angel Di Maria is shown the red card
tech
Sport
Roger Federer after his win over Tomas Berdych
sport
Life and Style
News in briefs: big pants in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'
fashionBig knickers are back
Sport
James Milner is set to sign for Liverpool this week despite rival interest from Arsenal
sportReds baulk at Benteke £32.5m release clause
News
The controversial Motor Neurone Disease Association poster, featuring sufferer Michael Smith, has drawn a series of angry complaints
newsThis one has been criticised for its 'threatening tone'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral