Arsenal beat Real Madrid 1-0

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:38 IST

Thierry Henry scored a spectacular solo goal to give Arsenal a 1-0 victory at Real Madrid in the first leg of a Champions League knockout match on Tuesday.

Arsenal beat Real Madrid 1-0

Madrid:

Thierry Henry scored a spectacular solo goal to give Arsenal a 1-0 victory at Real Madrid in the first leg of a Champions League knockout match on Tuesday. Henry embarked on a 47th-minute run from just inside Madrid's half, beating four players before sending an angled shot past goalkeeper Iker Casillas. The goal made Arsenal the first English team to win at Santiago Bernabeu stadium and boosted its hopes of reaching the quarterfinals. The second leg will be played at Highbury in London on March 8. Brilliant defence Madrid, a nine-time European champion, made little impact in the teams' first competitive meeting despite Arsenal's shortage of fit players and poor domestic form. Henry said he hadn't seen an Arsenal team play as well "for a very long time". "We were brilliant defensively, but more importantly, we were not scared to play. You see that as soon as Arsenal is not scared to play, we can play good football," Henry said. "We have only won one game. We are not there yet so we have to stay calm and focus," he added. Clinching the win Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said his side now had an opportunity to clinch the two-leg series at Highbury. "You expect Madrid to be at their best but I'm sure my players will give their all from the very first minute," Wenger said. "They (Madrid) have to come out and not defend, and it will be a very interesting game". Madrid coach Juan Ramon Lopez Caro praised Arsenal for being "efficient in every aspect" but said the return leg will be "totally different". Poor start Madrid never recovered from a poor start, losing its central defender Jonathan Woodgate to a left hamstring injury after eight minutes. It then almost conceded a goal on three occasions in the opening 10 minutes - Jose Antonio Reyes, Fredrik Ljungberg and captain Henry all failed to finish clear chances. Restricted by Arsenal's five-man midfield, Madrid came close to scoring only twice before halftime in Lopez Caro's Champions League debut. Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann saved David Beckham's shot with his legs in the 33rd minute and punched away Roberto Carlos' fierce free kick nine minutes later. Penalty claim Arsenal continued to look the more incisive team after scoring, prompting Lopez Caro to bring on Raul Gonzalez for his 100th Champions League appearance in the 63rd minute, in place of Robinho. Madrid had a penalty claim rejected in the 77th when Lehmann appeared to trip Beckham, although Casillas was forced to make further saves to prevent a second Arsenal goal. Striker Ronaldo, playing his first Champions League match of the season, was greeted by banners in his favour and received a cheer from the crowd with his first touch in the seventh minute. The Brazilian had hinted on Monday he might leave at the end of the season because of recent jeers by Madrid supporters. (AP)

Topics : Football Real Madrid France Arsenal
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