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Arsenal stand firm to advance

Published: Thursday 9 March 2006, 0.55CET
Arsenal FC 0-0 Real Madrid CF (agg: 1-0)
Thierry Henry's winning goal in Madrid proved decisive as the London club reached the last eight.
by Timothy Collings
from Highbury

Match statistics

ArsenalReal Madrid

Goals scored0
 
0
Attempts on target2
 
5
Attempts off target4
 
5
Corners5
 
3
Offsides2
 
2
Fouls committed21
 
17
Yellow cards1
 
4
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Thursday 9 March 2006, 0.55CET

Arsenal stand firm to advance

Arsenal FC 0-0 Real Madrid CF (agg: 1-0)
Thierry Henry's winning goal in Madrid proved decisive as the London club reached the last eight.

Arsenal FC secured their place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the third time when they survived an examination of their credentials by Real Madrid CF in a tense, but hugely entertaining, goalless draw at Highbury.

Henry goal
The result meant Arsenal won on aggregate by the single goal scored by Thierry Henry at the Santiago Bernabéu in the first leg. For Madrid, it spelt elimination and possibly the end of an era for some of their star-studded squad, but only after they had given their all to repair their reputation. The Londoners can now look forward to Friday's draw in Paris, while Madrid are left to contemplate a third successive season without a trophy.

Attacking mood
Heavy rain gave way to a slight drizzle at the start when, from their own kick-off, Madrid began an intense spell of possession football - using the full dimensions of the narrow Highbury pitch to express their attacking mood. The visitors included eight outfield players aged 28 or more, compared with three in the Arsenal lineup, and this experience showed as the hosts struggled to gain possession.

Outstanding opportunity
Madrid cut through midfield but found it difficult to create chances, even with Ronaldo and Raúl González both recalled to attack in a 4-4-2 formation. The Brazilian had an outstanding opportunity after only three minutes when Thomas Gravesen found him at the far post with a deep cross, but he headed down and Jens Lehmann saved at his near post.

Flamboyant move
In the tenth minute a typically flamboyant move, in which Raúl back-heeled Ronaldo clear, was only ended by a last-ditch tackle by Gilberto on his fellow Brazilian. Clearly encouraged by surviving Madrid's initial onslaught, Arsenal started to enjoy some possession of their own. When Guti was cautioned after 16 minutes for a foul on Emmanuel Eboué, Henry lifted the free-kick in and Philippe Senderos headed just wide when unmarked in a central position.

Reyes chance
Encouraged by this Arsenal indulged in some intricate moves of their own and Spanish duo Cesc Fabregas and José Antonio Reyes each had a shot deflected before the Gunners' best first-half effort came on 42 minutes. Persistence and skill by Henry enabled him to nudge Sergio Ramos off the ball and elude Míchel Salgado before finding Reyes whose shot from near the penalty spot rebounded off the bar.

Lehmann brilliance
The second half began at the same furious pace with Madrid and Arsenal immediately trading attacks like prize fighters. David Beckham had Lehmann stranded when he lofted a 40-metre free-kick over him and on to the roof of the net, then on the hour Madrid came agonisingly close to levelling. Beckham headed a diagonal Roberto Carlos pass into the path of Raúl, who struck a right-foot shot against Lehmann's right post. The goalkeeper was beaten but recovered to lift his right hand and push Raúl's follow-up narrowly wide.

Battling Eboué
Henry then took the limelight and, after sinuous dribbles, twice made room for shots from the edge of the area. His first was pushed brilliantly away for a corner by the diving Iker Casillas and his second flew narrowly wide. Both sides had chances to score in a frenetic final few minutes. With Casillas stranded after heading upfield for a corner, Robert Pirès broke out of defence and shot towards goal from his own half only to see Roberto Carlos race back and stop the ball as it trickled towards the line. Madrid then swept forward and Antonio Cassano worked an opening for Robinho, whose low shot was gratefully smothered by Lehmann. Arsenal were through.

Last updated: 09/03/06 10.49CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2005/matches/round=2202/match=1102846/postmatch/report/index.html#arsenal+stand+firm+advance

Lineups

arsenal

Arsenal

real madrid

Real Madrid

1
LehmannJens Lehmann (GK)
1
CasillasIker Casillas (GK)
8
LjungbergFredrik Ljungberg
2
Míchel SalgadoMíchel Salgado
Substitution84
9
ReyesJosé Antonio Reyes
Substitution68
3
Roberto CarlosRoberto Carlos
Yellow Card44
13
HlebAleksandr Hleb
Substitution87
4
RamosSergio Ramos
14
HenryThierry Henry (C)
Yellow Card83
5
ZidaneZinédine Zidane
15
FàbregasCesc Fàbregas
7
Raúl GonzálezRaúl González (C)
Substitution73
16
FlaminiMathieu Flamini
9
RonaldoRonaldo
19
Gilberto SilvaGilberto Silva
14
GutiGuti
Yellow Card15
20
SenderosPhilippe Senderos
15
Raúl BravoRaúl Bravo
Yellow Card85
27
EbouéEmmanuel Eboué
16
GravesenThomas Gravesen
Yellow Card62
Substitution68
28
K. TouréKolo Touré
23
BeckhamDavid Beckham

Substitutes

24
AlmuniaManuel Almunia (GK)
13
Diego LópezDiego López (GK)
2
DiabyAbou Diaby
6
Iván HelgueraIván Helguera
7
PirèsRobert Pirès
Substitution68
8
Júlio BaptistaJúlio Baptista
Substitution68
10
BergkampDennis Bergkamp
Substitution87
10
RobinhoRobinho
Substitution84
17
SongAlex Song
11
CicinhoCicinho
32
WalcottTheo Walcott
19
CassanoAntonio Cassano
Substitution73
36
DjourouJohan Djourou
21
DiogoCarlos Diogo

Coach

Arsène Wenger (FRA) Juan Ramon Lopez Caro (ESP)

Referee

Ľuboš Michel (SVK)

Assistant referees

Roman Slyško (SVK), Martin Balko (SVK)

Fourth official

Pavel Olšiak (SVK)

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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