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Awesome Arsenal progress in style

Published: Wednesday 8 December 2004, 0.29CET
Arsenal FC 5-1 Rosenborg BK Four goals in a devastating first half put the English champions top of Group E.

Match statistics

ArsenalRosenborg

Goals scored5
 
1
Attempts on target6
 
2
Attempts off target9
 
6
Corners1
 
6
Offsides2
 
2
Fouls committed11
 
12
Yellow cards1
 
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:21 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 8 December 2004, 0.29CET

Awesome Arsenal progress in style

Arsenal FC 5-1 Rosenborg BK Four goals in a devastating first half put the English champions top of Group E.

By Trevor Haylett at Highbury

With their first victory in the UEFA Champions League since Matchday 1, Arsenal FC safely secured their passage through the group phase for the fifth successive season. It was an unfamiliar lineup that Arsène Wenger sent out but the English champions nevertheless always carried too much strength and firepower for Rosenborg BK.

Quick goal
A goal after only three minutes by José Antonio Reyes settled the London side's inexperienced players and further strikes from Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas gave the home side a 3-0 lead by the 29th minute. Although Erik Hoftun pulled a goal back, Robert Pires made it 4-1 from the penalty spot shortly before half-time, and substitute Robin van Persie added a late fifth. The victory, together with Panathinaikos FC's win against PSV Eindhoven, ensured Arsenal finished as the Group E winners.

Inexperienced lineup
With Patrick Vieira and Lauren suspended and Wenger opting to leave first-choice goalkeeper Jens Lehmann on the sidelines once again, Arsenal could ill afford to lose another player, but when Fredrik Ljungberg reported feeling unwell it necessitated a further switch. Matthieu Flamini and Justin Hoyte were the young replacements in midfield and at right-back respectively while Manuel Almunia remained in goal. It was an inexperienced lineup with so much riding on the result but at least Arsenal could call on Dennis Bergkamp again after injury.

Reyes breakthrough
The Dutchman was at the heart of the instant breakthrough. It began with a foul on Reyes and after the free-kick was rolled to Bergkamp he played a neat ball into Reyes's feet. Stepping around Torjus Hansén, the Spaniard placed a low shot under the body of Espen Johnsen.

Perfect start
It was a dream start for the Gunners, removing the intensity from the fixture and lending their inexperienced players a platform to find their feet. Arsenal were strolling and looked capable of breaking through with every attack. They still had to guard against complacency, however, and were almost caught out when a high ball from the left found Harald Brattbakk, but Almunia was quickly down to make a fine save.

Henry second
Rosenborg did score before the interval - through Hoftun after the Spanish goalkeeper had dropped a free-kick - but it proved a mere interruption to the flow of Arsenal goals. In the 24th minute Henry sprinted past Hansén and beat Johnsen to the ball, lifting it high over the goalkeeper and into the net.

Cool finish
Shortly after Fabregas showed outstanding skill and composure to make it three. Receiving a pass from Pires in the area he nonchantly took the ball over his marker before controlling on his chest and dispatching a left-foot volley into the far corner, in the process becoming the second-youngest goalscorer in Champions League history. After Rosenborg had pulled a goal back there was still time for Arsenal to add a fourth before the break, Pires easily putting away a penalty after Henry had been tripped by the goalkeeper.

Pace drops
The second half was bound to suffer in comparison and with the game all but decided Arsenal inevitably sacrificed a little pace and purpose with Sunday's crucial Premiership meeting against Chelsea FC in mind. Henry shot into the side-netting and Van Persie, seconds after emerging, might have made it five only to miss the target.

Late fifth
Van Persie was more accurate with his right foot soon after but Johnsen saved well. Then Reyes applied a delightful chip to beat the goalkeeper but only found the roof of the net. Van Persie did finally find the net, however, to apply a late flourish.

Last updated: 08/12/04 11.04CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2004/matches/round=1968/match=1077234/postmatch/report/index.html#awesome+arsenal+progress+style

Lineups

arsenal

Arsenal

rosenborg

Rosenborg

24
AlmuniaManuel Almunia (GK)
1
Espen JohnsenEspen Johnsen (GK)
Yellow Card41
3
A. ColeAshley Cole
Substitution75
3
HoftunErik Hoftun (C)
Goal38
7
PirèsRobert Pirès
Goal41
Substitution88
4
WinsnesFredrik Winsnes
Substitution89
9
ReyesJosé Antonio Reyes
Goal3
6
StrandRoar Strand
Substitution62
10
BergkampDennis Bergkamp (C)
Substitution72
9
Frode JohnsenFrode Johnsen
14
HenryThierry Henry
Goal24
11
SolliJan Gunnar Solli
15
FàbregasCesc Fàbregas
Goal29
16
HansénTorjus Hansén
16
FlaminiMathieu Flamini
Yellow Card62
21
StensaasStåle Stensaas
23
CampbellSol Campbell
22
BrattbakkHarald Brattbakk
28
K. TouréKolo Touré
24
HelstadThorstein Helstad
Substitution78
31
HoyteJustin Hoyte
25
BraatenDaniel Braaten

Substitutes

1
LehmannJens Lehmann (GK)
30
RønningenIvar Rønningen (GK)
11
Van PersieRobin van Persie
Substitution75
Goal84
2
OlsenOdd Inge Olsen
Substitution89
22
ClichyGaël Clichy
Substitution72
17
StorflorØyvind Storflor
Substitution78
42
Owusu-AbeyieQuincy Owusu-Abeyie
Substitution88
18
GeorgeChrister George
Substitution62
20
SenderosPhilippe Senderos
8
RussellRobbie Russell
39
LarssonSebastian Larsson
15
SkjelbredPer Ciljan Skjelbred
19
TetteyAlexander Tettey

Coach

Arsène Wenger (FRA) Per Joar Hansen (NOR)

Referee

Stefano Farina (ITA)

Assistant referees

Vincenzo Mitro (ITA), Silvio Gemignani (ITA)

Fourth official

Antonio Danilo Giannoccaro (ITA)

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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