Premier League • England

Rio Ferdinand names ‘most impressive’ Arsenal trait as Gunners tipped to ruin Liverpool, Man City title hopes

Rio Ferdinand, Mikel Arteta and Arsenal

Rio Ferdinand has praised Mikel Arteta and Arsenal

Rio Ferdinand has sung the praises of Arsenal after they showed brilliant mental strength to brush Newcastle United aside on Saturday after being left frustrated in midweek.

Arsenal fans were delighted when the Gunners were drawn against Porto in the Champions League round of 16, as it represents one of the easier ties in the competition. However, Arsenal were stunned by a fantastic injury-time strike from Galeno, which saw Porto secure a memorable home win and take the advantage in the tie.

While Arsenal will be confident that they can turn the clash on its head and book their place in the quarter-finals, Galeno’s late goal will have certainly come as a body blow to the squad.

However, Arsenal did not show any signs of disappointment on Saturday as they reacted to that loss by beating Newcastle 4-1. Following a Sven Botman own goal, Kai Havertz, Bukayo Saka and Jakub Kiwior all got among the goals, while Jorginho put in another classy performance and picked up the Man of the Match award.

Ferdinand has now praised Arsenal for the strong mentality they showed, which will help them massively as they look to end Manchester City and Liverpool’s Premier League dominance.

“It was a really impressive performance, especially after going away in Europe and not getting the result you want,” Ferdinand said during an appearance on TNT Sports.

DON’T MISS: Arteta in ultimate Arsenal praise as surprise star labelled ‘world-class’ after proving all doubters wrong

“They got beat last minute, that can dampen any team’s spirits, but their intensity, their intent from the first whistle was there for all to see.

“That was the most impressive thing, the response to the midweek result was huge. It was imperative they got back to winning ways but the style with which they did that today was hugely impressive.

Ferdinand impressed by Arsenal ‘character’

“It shows a character, it shows the personality, shows the belief, but it shows actually, these guys, they’re sniffing something, there’s a league title to be won here.

“There’s three teams in it now and they’re saying we are involved as well. They lost it last season and it looks like they’re going to be there again this season.”

The victory over Newcastle put Arsenal on 58 points from 26 matches. They are one point behind second-placed City and are trailing leaders Liverpool by two points.

Prior to the Champions League return leg against Porto, Arsenal will come up against Sheffield United on March 4 and Brentford on March 9 – both in the Premier League.

READ MORE: Major star ‘ready to quit’ Arsenal and join ‘big six’ rival as shock Arteta decision backfires