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Pires puts Arsenal in pole position

Published: Thursday 25 March 2004, 0.50CET
Chelsea FC 1-1 Arsenal FC Robert Pires cancels out Eidur Gudjohnsen's opening goal for Chelsea.

Match statistics

ChelseaArsenal

Goals scored1
 
1
Attempts on target5
 
5
Attempts off target4
 
3
Corners10
 
2
Offsides2
 
8
Fouls committed20
 
11
Yellow cards3
 
0
Red cards1
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Thursday 25 March 2004, 0.50CET

Pires puts Arsenal in pole position

Chelsea FC 1-1 Arsenal FC Robert Pires cancels out Eidur Gudjohnsen's opening goal for Chelsea.

By Trevor Haylett at Stamford Bridge

Arsenal FC's run of five successive victories in the UEFA Champions League came to an end at Stamford Bridge but they will be the happier with a 1-1 scoreline against Chelsea FC which puts them in control of this quarter-final tie.

Desailly dismissed
The all-London confrontation edged Chelsea's way when Eidur Gudjohnsen scored a fine goal early in the second half. But Arsenal's renowned fighting spirit saw them equalise six minutes later through Robert Pires and it is they who will be fancied to go through to their first-ever semi-final. A further blow to Chelsea came seven minutes from time when captain Marcel Desailly was sent off following two yellow cards in quick succession.

Chelsea changes
Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri made three changes to the team which defeated Fulham FC at the weekend. Claude Makelele, Adrian Mutu and Scott Parker all came in at the expense of Geremi, Joe Cole and Hernán Crespo. Arsenal's only change was to restore Fredrik Ljungberg in place of Gilberto.

Desire aplenty
Arsenal were looking for their fourth victory against their London rivals this season and showed plenty of desire to push forward early on. They had scored twice in each of those domestic meetings and saw no reason to be in inhibited by Chelsea's penchant for clean sheets: five in succession in this competition.

Rigorous contest
Marco Ambrosio, continuing to deputise for the injured Carlo Cudicini, was involved for the first time when Dennis Bergkamp tried to curl a shot past him. In the main, however, flowing moves were the exception, so rigorously was every area of the pitch being contested. A Mutu free-kick proved no more than catching practice for Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, but at the other end a high, hanging set-piece from Bergkamp offered Sol Campbell a heading opportunity, which he squandered.

Parker artistry
Arsenal always looked capable of breaking through but gradually Chelsea succeeded in pushing them back and began to look the more likely to score. Parker's craft twice set up dangerous raids. From the first he could do no more than knock a low cross into Lehmann's arms, with the second he enabled William Gallas to cross and although Gudjohnsen made a good connection on the volley, there was Lauren with the important block.

Lampard unlucky
Chelsea began the second half with renewed purpose and Lampard was unlucky when his volley deflected off Campbell's head and skidded wide with Lehmann wrong-footed. Arsenal responded as Henry cut in dangerously from the left but Ambrosio held the Frenchman's shot.

Difficult angle
Then, in the 53rd minute, Chelsea took the lead with a fine piece of opportunism from Gudjohnsen. Lampard's long ball down the left was followed by a momentary hesitation in the away rearguard but Lehmann nevertheless looked to have won the race for the loose ball. However, in the nick of time, Gudjohnsen charged down his clearance and from a difficult angle turned to squeeze the ball into the empty net.

Rampant Chelsea
Chelsea were suddenly rampant. Parker fed Gudjohsen in space but Kolo Touré blocked the low cross. Soon after Lampard fired one in, which Lehmann saved, and was then also on hand to deal with Gudjohnsen's follow-up.

Pires parity
Chelsea could have been two up; instead Arsenal went to the other end and grabbed an equaliser from one of their trademark counterattacks. The ball was played out wide to Ashley Cole and when he lofted it over, there was Pires timing his leap ahead of John Terry to wonderfully head the visitors back on level terms.

Last updated: 25/03/04 10.57CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2003/matches/round=1714/match=1062125/postmatch/report/index.html#pires+puts+arsenal+pole+position

Lineups

chelsea

Chelsea

arsenal

Arsenal

31
AmbrosioMarco Ambrosio (GK)
1
LehmannJens Lehmann (GK)
4
MakeleleClaude Makelele
Yellow Card65
3
A. ColeAshley Cole
6
DesaillyMarcel Desailly (C)
Yellow Card80
Red Card83
4
VieiraPatrick Vieira (C)
7
MutuAdrian Mutu
Substitution72
7
PirèsRobert Pirès
Goal59
8
LampardFrank Lampard
8
LjungbergFredrik Ljungberg
Substitution78
11
DuffDamien Duff
10
BergkampDennis Bergkamp
Substitution72
13
GallasWilliam Gallas
12
LaurenLauren
18
BridgeWayne Bridge
14
HenryThierry Henry
19
ParkerScott Parker
Substitution72
17
EduEdu
22
GudjohnsenEidur Gudjohnsen
Goal53
Substitution86
23
CampbellSol Campbell
26
TerryJohn Terry
28
K. TouréKolo Touré

Substitutes

34
SullivanNeil Sullivan (GK)
33
StackGraham Stack (GK)
10
J. ColeJoe Cole
Substitution72
5
KeownMartin Keown
14
GeremiGeremi
9
ReyesJosé Antonio Reyes
Substitution78
15
MelchiotMario Melchiot
Substitution86
18
CyganPascal Cygan
21
CrespoHernán Crespo
Substitution72
19
Gilberto SilvaGilberto Silva
Substitution72
29
HuthRobert Huth
22
ClichyGaël Clichy
30
GrønkjærJesper Grønkjær
25
KanuNwankwo Kanu

Coach

Claudio Ranieri (ITA) Arsène Wenger (FRA)

Referee

Manuel Mejuto González (ESP)

Assistant referees

Oscar David Martinez Samaniego (ESP), Rafael Guerrero Alonso (ESP)

Fourth official

Julian Rodriguez Santiago (ESP)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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