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Draws ensure PSV's progress

Wednesday, 24 November 2004

By Jules Marshall at Philips stadium

[1] PSV Eindhoven advanced from the group stage of the UEFA Champions League for the first time ever despite failing to overcome nine-man Arsenal FC in Eindhoven.

Qualification assured

[2] The Dutch side, who had qualified for the group stage for the eighth successive season, had never made it beyond that hurdle but tonight's result, coupled with the 2-2 draw between Rosenborg BK and Panathinaikos FC, ensured Guus Hiddink's side one of the first two positions in Group E. Arsenal, who had Lauren and Patrick Vieira sent off, will still progress if they defeat Rosenborg at Highbury on Matchday 6.

Campbell cheer

[3] PSV coach Guus Hiddink was without striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink due to a shoulder injury so Gerald Sibon came in, while Arsenal were boosted by the return of influential centre-back Sol Campbell after a month out with a calf problem. It took Arsenal just 20 seconds to score the last time these two teams met in Eindhoven two years ago, and Thierry Henry nearly struck early again, flicking José Antonio Reyes's cross just wide in the fifth minute.

Set-piece threat

[4] The home side had already threatened from a corner, however, and took the lead from an identical set-piece after eight minutes. Mark van Bommel's pinpoint inswinging corner was met by André Ooijer, who escaped four static Arsenal defenders and beat goalkeeper Jens Lehmann to the ball to head in.

Arsenal rally

[5] Jefferson Farfán was causing trouble down the right, jinking past Lauren to win another corner on 15 minutes, but Arsenal responded well to falling behind and Henry nearly put Fredrik Ljungberg through on 18 minutes but Heurelho Gomes was quick off his line to gather. Henry then robbed Wilfred Bouma inside the PSV penalty area, but shot wide.

Well-worked equaliser

[6] Arsenal continued to probe the parsimonious home defence will some neat, fast passing, and drew level with a typically well-worked strike in the 31st minute. Henry cut inside from the right and laid the ball in to Ljungberg inside the penalty area, collecting the Swede's back-heeled return to drill into the corner of the net.

Aerial danger

[7] PSV tried to regain the initiative as half-time approached, and won two corners in quick succession. Both sides picked up bookings in the closing minutes of the first half, Vieira tripping Van Bommel while Ooijer was also shown a yellow card after bringing down Henry from behind.

PSV press

[8] PSV started the second half determined to assure themselves a place in the first knockout round in style. Arsenal full-back Lauren was booked for unsporting conduct within three minutes of the restart as PSV began to threaten, although Gomes had to be at his best to block Reyes's rising drive from outside the area in the 51st minute.

Lauren off

[9] Van Bommel forged through the penalty area to draw a strong save from Jens Lehmann two minutes past the hour, the Arsenal goalkeeper punching the ball away. Former Feyenoord player Robin van Persie then replaced Reyes to a raucous reception, but within two minutes the visitors were down to ten men, Lauren receiving his second yellow card for a high tackle on Young-Pyo Lee.

Second caution

[10] Despite the numerical disadvantage, Arsenal continued to threaten, but the visitors' hopes of victory effectively disappeared when Vieira was dismissed 12 minutes from time, the Arsenal captain collecting his second yellow card for a foul on Ji-Sung Park. PSV continued to press, with Lehmann spilling DaMarcus Beasley's cross and Alex heading wide, but the home side had already done enough and the final whistle prompted scenes of celebration.

Jefferson Farfán tangles with Lauren, who was later sent off