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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 22:20 GMT 23:20 UK
Gunners fans drown their sorrows
Arsenal fans

Many Arsenal fans were in tears after their team was beaten by Barcelona in the Champions' League final in Paris.

The north London club took the lead in the first half, despite having had a man sent off, but Barcelona scored twice in the last 14 minutes.

Around 21,000 Arsenal fans travelled to Paris after securing tickets for the biggest match in the club's history.

Pubs in the Highbury area of north London were packed with Arsenal supporters watching the game.

Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon said Arsene Wenger's men had done what they could, considering they had goalkeeper Jens Lehmann sent off early on.

"It seemed to be his destiny that he was going to go and win the trophy this year, but it wasn't to be," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

"He's got to be so proud of his team tonight. They've been heroic, all of them, and the fact that they've had 10 men, they should be very proud of themselves."

'Absolutely gutted'

Hundreds of supporters had crowded around screens in the Gunners pub on Blackstock Road in Highbury to watch the match.

Spirits were high among fans at half time, when Arsenal led 1-0, with many boisterously chanting: "We've only got 10 men".

Arsenal fans
The mood went from euphoria to despair

But the atmosphere deflated after Barcelona equalised through Samuel Eto'o.

Ricky Bradley, 44, from Enfield, north London, said he felt "absolutely gutted" by the result.

"I couldn't even speak to my daughter on the phone when she called me just now. I thought today was the day we were going to win," he said.

He blamed Norwegian referee Terje Hauge's for the final result.

"The referee cost us the game. Every foul that Barcelona did, they didn't get a yellow card. Every foul Arsenal did he was producing yellow and red cards," he said.

Mr Bradley's friend Robert Anderson, 37, also from Enfield, said the game had left him feeling "hollow".

Daren West, 36, from Barnet, Herts, said he thought Arsenal had "battled well".

"It was a proper Cup Final," he said.

"At 1-0 I always felt that there was a possibility of Barcelona equalising."


SEE ALSO
Barcelona 2-1 Arsenal
17 May 06 |  Europe
Champions League final photos
17 May 06 |  Photo Galleries
Experts' views on Arsenal
17 May 06 |  Europe

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