Arsenal hosted Deportivo La Coruna in the Champions League but super Depor who won the Copa del Ray last week were in inspired form as they looked to make it to the quarterfinals. Robert Pires nearly gave Arsenal the lead in the fifth minute after some great passing by the host. Arsenal had another chance to take the lead after Dennis Bergkamp produced a magical touch but it hit the cross bar. England manager Sven Goran Eriksson who is trying to finalise his team for the World Cup was in the stands. Deportivo then went on the attack and it all came together in the 30th minute as they scored their first. Seven minutes later Valeron could have made it 2-0 but for a brilliant save by David Seaman. In the 40th minute Deportivo exposed Arsenal's poor defending once again, Nourredine Naybet scoring to put Deportivo 2-0 ahead. Diego Tristan nearly made it 3-0 with a free kick beating Seaman completely but the crossbar came to his rescue. And the match got a bit heated as well with Patrik Viera losing his cool after Tristan tripped Bergkamp. Arsenal brought on Freddie Ljungberg and his first touch got the gunners a penalty after he was fouled in the area by Deportivo's keeper. Molina, however, more than made up for his poor challenge as Arsenal failed to convert. A minute later Arsenal looked to have scored but Kanu's header was disallowed for a challenge on Molina. At the final whistle, Deportiva went on to win 2-0 and seal their place in the quarterfinals. Arsenal now have to win against Juventus in Turin next week to qualify for the last eight. In another group D encounter at the Champions League Bayer Leverkusen, the current Bundesliga leaders, took on Juventus. Bayer Leverkusen had the early chance against the Italian side Juventus. However, Gianluigi Buffon came up with a great reflex save off a header in the third minute. The Bundesliga leaders kept the pressure on Juventus and in the 24th minute it paid off. Brdaric was fouled in the area and Leverkusen were awarded a penalty. The German side's keeper Joerg Butt had no trouble beating his counterpart to put Leverkusen ahead. Juventus managed to level the game in the 61st minute, substitute Igor Tudor heading home a Zenoni cross. Ten minutes later Juventus were down a goal once again with Brdaric finding the back of the net off a Ze Roberto cross. And the German side sealed the win in the last minute. Babic slotted the ball into the empty net on the counter attack for a 3-1 win. Leverkusen are still in the hunt for a last eight place from Group D. One spot is already taken by Deportivo after their 2-0 win over Arsenal. The English side is likely to battle it out with Leverkusen for the second spot. Real Madrid fielding a virtual reserve side guaranteed themselves a first place in Group C by recording an emphatic 3-0 win over Sparta Prague. Madrid had already qualifed for the quarters. Panathinaikos could have joined them but they were beatenby FC Porto. The Greek side now need just a draw against Madrid at home to reach the last eight.
Topics : Football