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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Ljungberg strike takes Arsenal to semis

Ljungberg strike takes Arsenal to semis

March 12, 2005 20:47 IST

Swede Fredrik Ljungberg scored an early goal to earn Arsenal a 1-0 win against a 10-man Bolton Wanderers in a rugged FA Cup quarter-final.

Bolton's Senegal striker El-Hadji Diouf was sent off for elbowing Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann in the ninth minute at the Reebok Stadium, shortly after Arsenal had taken the lead.

Ljungberg ran on to a pass from fellow midfielder Robert Pires in the third minute and dinked the ball coolly over goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen from the edge of the area.

The victory kept alive Arsenal's hopes of winning a trophy this season following their Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Bolton beat Arsenal 1-0 in January, one of only four Premier League defeats suffered by the champions this season but their chances of a repetition were severely reduced when Diouf was shown the red card.

As referee Steve Bennett dealt with Bolton protests over a penalty claim for a foul on striker Kevin Davies, Diouf swung an arm at Lehmann and caught the German above the eye with his elbow.

Lehmann, who required treatment, then had to be alert to keep out two headers from Greek Stelios Giannakopoulos after Gary Speed's long throws caused confusion in the heart of Arsenal's defence.

The visitors dominated possession in the second half, making their numerical advantage count to reach the FA Cup semi-finals for the fifth year in a row.

Jaaskelainen dived to keep out a fierce shot from Jose Antonio Reyes, Dennis Bergkamp volleyed inches wide and Ljungberg was guilty of an astonishing miss in the dying seconds when he scooped the ball over the crossbar from two metres with the goal gaping.

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