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Home > Sports > Football > Reuters > Report

Lehmann loses out in keeping duel

Iain Rogers in Munich | February 23, 2005 11:24 IST

Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann came off worst in his personal duel with Oliver Kahn on Tuesday, as Bayern Munich secured an emphatic 3-1 win over the London side in the first leg of their Champions League clash.

Lehmann, battling with Kahn for the number one spot in time for the 2006 World Cup on home soil, was powerless to stop two goals from Claudio Pizarro and one from Hasan Salihamidzic.

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But Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann, who has yet to decide who will be in goal at the World Cup finals, praised them both and said he is lucky to have such good keepers at his disposal.

"Tonight Olli got out in front but only in the sense that Bayern won," said Klinsmann, who watched from the stands.

"We have two super goalkeepers and they're both going to get their club matches and their international matches. A lot of countries envy us that we've got two such great goalkeepers," Klinsmann told German TV.

The first goal will have particularly riled Lehmann after Kahn's punt forward and an error from defender Kolo Toure let in Pizarro to lash past the Arsenal keeper.

Lehmann might have done better on the third goal, when he was only able to flap the ball into the path of Salihamidzic, but Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger defended him.

"I don't think he could have stopped the ball," said the French coach.

Lehmann, asked if he blamed himself for any of the goals, told Sky Sports News: "I am the goalkeeper. I blame myself for all the goals.

"It is the first time we have conceded three easy goals like that since I have been at Arsenal."

Lehmann was much the busier of the two keepers as the English champions enjoyed sustained periods of possession but failed to penetrate a solid Bayern defence marshalled by Lucio and Robert Kovac.

Kahn was barely troubled until Toure made up for his error by scoring in the 89th minute.

"All I can say is that Olli [Kahn] again made no mistakes," said Bayern coach Felix Magath.

Arsenal keeper Lehmann can take heart from a brave diving save to deny prolific Dutch striker Roy Makaay in the 51st minute.

On a freezing Munich night, Lehmann was given a hostile reception by the noisy Bayern faithful, his every action greeted with whistles and jeers while Kahn was given his usual hero's welcome.

The Bayern keeper can expect similar treatment for the second leg at Highbury in two weeks' time.

(Additional reporting by Erik Kirschbaum)

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