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Rediff.com  » Sports » PSV down Arsenal with second-half goal

PSV down Arsenal with second-half goal

February 21, 2007 06:34 IST

Champions League
First knock-out round

PSV Eindhoven 1 Arsenal 0
Manchester United 1 Lille 0
Real Madrid 3 Bayern Munich 2
Celtic 0 AC Milan 0

An inspired second half goal from Edison Mendez was enough to give PSV Eindhoven a slender 1-0 win over Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League first knockout round match on Tuesday.

Ecuador midfielder Mendez, set up by Arouna Kone, scored with a spectacular low drive from 25 metres which nestled in the bottom right hand corner of goalkeeper Jens Lehmann's net as the ball eluded his desperate lunge. 

"This was the maximum result we could get and based on the second half I think we deserved it," PSV coach Ronald Koeman told reporters.

"We can defend and proved that today but in London Arsenal will raise the pressure and we will need to reach our second half level to get through."

Last year's finalists Arsenal had the better chances in the first half with Tomas Rosicky and Thierry Henry both testing goalkeeper Gomes who made good reflex saves to deny both of them.

Rosicky was the outstanding player in the opening period and as well as having a shot well saved by Gomes, he dominated in midfield and went close with a curling right foot shot that went narrowly wide.

OFFENSIVE POWER 

"We had a decent first half and created chances, after the break we dropped our game," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

"It is hard to say what happened but now we are in a tricky situation as we have to score twice in the return and concede none. We attacked less well in the second half and made the mistake that resulted in their goal."

The absence of Jefferson Farfan with a foot injury robbed PSV of their offensive power and his replacement Diego Tardelli struggled to play alongside Kone up front.

The hosts were therefore forced to resort to long distance strikes early on but efforts from Phillip Cocu and Mendes were easy for Lehmann.

PSV improved in the second period and Kone missed with a volley having escaped the attention of Philippe Senderos and Gael Clichy.

Three minutes later though Kone found Mendes and his fierce 20-metre shot left Lehmann with no chance as it flew into the net.

Arsenal desperately searched for an equaliser but PSV's Brazilian keeper Gomes proved his worth with fine saves from Cesc Fabregas and a deflected header from Emmanuel Adebayor.

PSV's Sun Xiang became the first Chinese player to feature in a Champions League match when he came on as a 66th minute substitute.

The return leg at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium takes place on March 7.

Source:
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