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Bayern through despite loss to Arsenal
March 10, 2005 03:28 IST
Last Updated: March 10, 2005 03:52 IST
Champions League pre-quarter-finals
Bayern Munich squeezed through to the Champions League quarter-finals 3-2 on aggregate despite a 1-0 defeat by a frustrated Arsenal side at Highbury on Wednesday.
The four-times European champions had to endure a nervy finish after Thierry Henry's 66th-minute winner for the English champions in the second leg of the first knockout round tie.
France striker Henry controlled a long ball forward neatly and fired home to crack the resistance of the German Bundesliga leaders who had barely been troubled until then.
Arsenal have never progressed beyond the quarter-finals of Europe's elite club competition and again came up short as they found a 3-1 first-leg deficit too much to overcome.
Bayern outplayed Arsenal in the first leg a fortnight ago and picked up where they had left off.
Felix Magath's side were missing top scorer Roy Makaay through injury but had Germany midfielder Michael Ballack back to bolster the midfield.
The Germans' all-Peruvian strike force of Paolo Guerrero and Claudio Pizarro, who scored twice in Munich, carried more of a threat than Arsenal's attack in a tense first half.
The home side's only real effort of note came at the end of a frustrating opening period. Bayern's German international goalkeeper Oliver Kahn stood his ground, however, when Henry escaped down the left and blocked the France striker's shot with his legs.
Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira dragged a volley wide at the start of the second period as the English side desperately sought a goal to get back into the tie.
With 25 minutes left Wenger threw on a barely match-fit Robert Pires and almost immediately Arsenal scored.
Left back Ashley Cole chipped diagonally towards Henry and he controlled the ball in an instant before slamming it low across Kahn and into the corner of the net.
Ballack clattered Vieira soon after as the temperature rose on a chilly north London night and the German then dribbled through before drawing a brilliant save from Kahn's rival for the Germany shirt, Arsenal's Jens Lehmann.
Kolo Toure, scorer of Arsenal's goal in the first leg, forced Kahn to push over a late header but the visitors looked more likely to score in the final stages and, over the two legs, thoroughly deserved to progress to the last eight.