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On-fire Gunners shoot down Villarreal

Published: Wednesday 15 April 2009, 23.30CET
Arsenal FC 3-0 Villarreal CF (agg: 4-1)
A clinical display of attacking football took Arsenal through to the last four for the second time in their history at the expense of the ten-man visitors.
by Andrew Haslam
from Arsenal Stadium
On-fire Gunners shoot down Villarreal
Theo Walcott is congratulated after making it 1-0 ©Getty Images

Match statistics

ArsenalVillarreal

Goals scored3
 
0
Attempts on target7
 
3
Attempts off target6
 
4
Corners3
 
3
Offsides6
 
2
Fouls committed15
 
8
Yellow cards1
 
4
Red cards0
1

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 15 April 2009, 23.30CET

On-fire Gunners shoot down Villarreal

Arsenal FC 3-0 Villarreal CF (agg: 4-1)
A clinical display of attacking football took Arsenal through to the last four for the second time in their history at the expense of the ten-man visitors.

A clinical display of attacking football took Arsenal FC into the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the second time in their history at the expense of ten-man Villarreal CF.

Dominant display
Arsenal's success in this competition has been founded on their solid defence, which is still to concede in five home matches in the competition this season, although it was their prowess at the other end which proved too much for the visitors. Having taken the initiative in the tie with last week's 1-1 draw in Spain, well-worked goals early in each half from Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Adebayor put the home team in complete command, Robin van Persie adding a third from the penalty spot after Sebastián Eguren had been dismissed.

Walcott chip
Arsenal came into the match on the back of an 18-match Premier League unbeaten run and perhaps inevitably their early play carried an air of considerable confidence with Cesc Fàbregas, Walcott and Van Persie all prominent. Walcott sent one dangerous centre across the face of goal before Van Persie nodded Samir Nasri's cross over, but the visitors failed to heed the warning signs and duly fell behind in the tenth minute. Fàbregas applied the faintest of touches to Emmanuel Eboué's pass yet it was nevertheless enough to wrong foot the Villarreal defence, leaving Walcott to race clear and beat Diego López with a sublime chip.

Narrow escape
Needing to score at the outset, the goal changed little for the away side, for whom Diego Godín had already tested Łukasz Fabiański with a volley from a well-worked free-kick. Indeed, falling behind seemed to settle Villarreal's early nerves as they began to find space down the flanks, Robert Pirès nearly marking his return to north London with a goal as his shot deflected behind. In the main, however, the home side's play was the more incisive. López dived to keep out Van Persie's fierce free-kick and Gonzalo Rodríguez eventually cleared Adebayor's follow-up header off the line, although Godín gave further notice of his presence at set-pieces, heading over a corner on the stroke of half-time.

Decisive spell
Villarreal adopted a more direct approach as the second period got under way and the match became stretched, with gaps opening up as Van Persie had a shot from distance charged down. When a similar opening presented itself on the hour, the Dutch international opted to slide a pass through to Adebayor, and his strike partner applied the finish, controlling with one touch and then prodding wide of López with his next. Villarreal's flickering hopes were extinguished altogether in the 69th minute when Godín was adjudged to have fouled Walcott, Eguren collecting a second yellow card for his protests before Van Persie thumped in the spot-kick.

English affair
Having lost to the Gunners in the last four on their UEFA Champions League debut in 2005/06, Villarreal's second foray in the competition was coming to a similar end as they concentrated on damage limitation. Arsenal were content with their lot, however, and now have a meeting with holders Manchester United FC to look forward to – the fourth all-English semi-final in five years and the third year in a row the Premier League has supplied three teams in the last four.

Last updated: 16/04/09 9.23CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15278/match=302807/postmatch/report/index.html#on+fire+gunners+shoot+down+villarreal

Lineups

arsenal

Arsenal

villarreal

Villarreal

21
FabiańskiŁukasz Fabiański (GK)
13
Diego LópezDiego López (GK)
4
FàbregasCesc Fàbregas (C)
2
Gonzalo RodríguezGonzalo Rodríguez (C)
5
K. TouréKolo Touré
4
GodínDiego Godín
Yellow Card59
8
NasriSamir Nasri
5
CapdevilaJoan Capdevila
11
Van PersieRobin van Persie
Goal69
Substitution77
6
EgurenSebastián Eguren
Yellow Card44
Red Card67
14
WalcottTheo Walcott
Goal10
Substitution77
7
PirèsRobert Pirès
17
SongAlex Song
10
CaniCani
Yellow Card51
Substitution70
18
SilvestreMikaël Silvestre
Yellow Card30
14
FernándezMatías Fernández
Substitution64
25
AdebayorEmmanuel Adebayor
Goal60
Substitution83
18
Ángel LópezÁngel López
27
EbouéEmmanuel Eboué
21
Bruno SorianoBruno Soriano
Substitution64
40
GibbsKieran Gibbs
22
RossiGiuseppe Rossi

Substitutes

24
MannoneVito Mannone (GK)
1
VieraSebastián Viera (GK)
2
DiabyAbou Diaby
Substitution77
11
IbagazaAriel Ibagaza
Substitution64
9
EduardoEduardo
15
Nihat KahveciNihat Kahveci
Substitution64
12
VelaCarlos Vela
16
LlorenteJoseba Llorente
15
DenilsonDenilson
Substitution77
17
Javi VentaJavi Venta
16
RamseyAaron Ramsey
20
Fabricio FuentesFabricio Fuentes
26
BendtnerNicklas Bendtner
Substitution83
27
JordiJordi Pablo
Substitution70

Coach

Arsène Wenger (FRA) Manuel Pellegrini (CHI)

Referee

Wolfgang Stark (GER)

Assistant referees

Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER), Mike Pickel (GER)

Fourth official

Babak Rafati (GER)

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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