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Thursday, 9 March, 2000, 21:47 GMT
Arsenal stroll into quarters

Arsenal: Down but definitely not out
Deportivo La Coruna 2-1 Arsenal
Arsenal win 6-3 on aggregate.

Arsenal breezed into the last eight of the Uefa Cup, despite losing to Spanish league leaders Deportivo La Coruna on the last kick of the night.

They will face Werder Bremen in the next round after the German side beat holders Parma 3-2 on aggregate.

Uefa Cup draw
Arsenal v Werder Bremen
Celta Vigo v Lens
Leeds v Slavia Prague
Mallorca v Galatasaray

1st leg 16 March
2nd leg 23 March
The Gunners went into the game with a 5-1 cushion from the home leg and the result was a thoroughly dispirited match that the visitors did not need to win and Deportivo almost lacked the will to try.

Thierry Henry gave the Premiership side the lead, only for Sanchez Victor to equalise in copycat fashion a few minutes later.

Perez Munoz Ivan wrapped up proceedings as the Gunners - happily home and dry - went AWOL in defence.

The first half was a strangely limp affair, with Arsenal having to exert little effort to keep the Spanish league leaders out and Deportivo making little effort to break in.

Even given the Gunners' makeshift back line, the home side seemed to have given up the ghost before the game had even started.

Thierry Henry
Henry claimed Arsenal's only goal of the night
Arsenal's defence had been ravaged by injuries to captain Tony Adams and Matthew Upson and suspensions for Frenchman Gilles Grimandi and Martin Keown.

In their absence, boss Arsene Wenger took the option of switching midfielder Emmanuel Petit to central defence to partner the Ukranian Oleg Luzhny.

Deportivo produced just three chances before the interval. Flores forced a good save from David Seaman with a low strike to the left after 27 minutes

A free-kick six minutes later was almost nodded past the Gunners' keeper by Luis Ramis, but found the post and was cleared by Henry.

Then just before half-time, Jaime Sanchez wasted a good scoring opportunity by effectively passing it to Seaman, and Ray Parlour was only just kept out at the other end following a quick break.

The second half started in similarly stultifying fashion, with Kanu casually looping the ball over the Deportivo bar, then handing the ball to the opposition even though it was ajudged not to have gone out.

Match facts
63 mins: Henry makes it 1-0
69 mins: Victor equalises for Deportivo
72 mins: Henry shown yellow card
82 mins: Deportivo winner ajudged offside
86 mins: Dixon booked
90 mins: Ivan slots the winner
But Arsenal did show more shape and purpose as the minutes ticked by and it came as no surprise when Henry slammed the ball home from 15 yards off a deft through-ball from Fredrik Ljungberg after 63 minutes.

That goal sparked the match into life and the Spanish side, which was booed into the tunnel at half time, came out with all guns blazing.

Fittingly, it was Flores - the source of almost all that was good about his sleepwalking team - who set up the equaliser by beating Lee Dixon and Parlour to cross for Victor.

The substitute took the ball on the volley and slotted it home behind Seaman.

Henry earned himself a booking three minutes later when he refused to retire 10 yards in the face of a free-kick.

Keen to preserve his striker for the quarter-finals, Wenger subbed him off for Davor Suker.

Amid a rash of substitutions, the home side found the back of the Gunners' net only to be ruled offside.

The final flourish came after three minutes of injury time had elapsed as the Arsenal defence forgot all about playing offside.

Patrick Viera's half-hearted amble forward was not enough to spring the trap as Ivan stroked the ball home from point-blank range.


Deportivo Coruna: 13-Petr Kouba; 17-Manel Menendez, 4-Nourredine Naybet, 19-Luis Ramis; 25-Fernando Sanchez, 21-Jaime Sanchez, 6-Mauro Silva, 12-Lionel Scaloni; 11-Turu Flores, 7-Roy Makaay, 9-Pauleta Resendes

Arsenal: 1-David Seamen; 2-Lee Dixon, 3-Nigel Winterburn, 16-Silvinho, 22-Oleg Luzhny; 17-Emmanuel Petit, 4-Patrick Viera, 15-Ray Parlour; 8-Fredrik Ljungberg; 25-Nwankwo Kanu, 14-Thierry Henry

Referee: Oguz Sarvan (Turkey)
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See also:

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