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BBC football correspondent Mike Ingham
"Arsenal can have little complaint"
 real 14k

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"We needed a little luck which we didn't get tonight"
 real 14k

BBC Sport's Richard Fleming
reviews Tuesday's Champions League action
 real 14k

Tuesday, 11 September, 2001, 20:48 GMT 21:48 UK
Mallorca sink Arsenal
Thierry Henry
Henry: Struggled to breakdown the Spanish defence
Real Mallorca 1-0 Arsenal

Ashley Cole was dismissed for the first time in his senior career as Arsenal were swept aside by Real Mallorca in the opening game of Champions League Group C.

It was a tough initiation exercise for the Gunners, playing for nearly 80 minutes with 10 men after falling behind to Vicente Engonga's well taken penalty.

Thierry Henry thought he had earned Arsene Wenger's side a lifeline in the second half after being sent sprawling in the Mallorca penalty area.

However, instead of pointing to the spot, Danish referee Knud Fisker booked the Frenchman for diving.

Substitute Francis Jeffers turned a late shot wide of the post as Arsenal tried to break down the Spaniard's defence but, in truth, Mallorca were good value for their victory.

Ashley Cole
Cole: Early dismissal

The Gunners made the worst possible start to their latest European adventure, allowing Alberto Luquea a clear sight of goal with just six minutes played but he steered his header inches over the bar.

Things got decidedly worse in the 11th minute when Cole brought down the lively Luque in the penalty area.

A sombre looking Cole was given his marching orders and Vicente Engonga coolly slotted home the resulting penalty.


Cole went for the ball, and I personally believe it is very harsh to get a red card
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

The Gunners took evasive action, switching Giovanni van Bronckhorst to left-back and asking Sylvain Wiltord to bolster the midfield.

But the dismissal seemed to spur Mallorca into life and Seaman was forced into two fantastic saves as Eto'o and Engonga both threatened to double the hosts lead from long range.

Wiltord, one of the few players to impress in Arsenal colours, had the Gunners' only real chance of the first half, sending a stinging left foot drive straight at Leo Franco.

Mallorca began the second half the brighter of the two sides, Fernando Nino spurning an early opportunity and the ever-probing Luque slicing a left-foot effort into Seaman's side netting.

Wenger threw on Kanu, Parlour and Jeffers in a bid to salvage something from the game but, although Jeffers looked lively, Arsenal ensured a poor start to their European campaign.


Mallorca: Leo Franco, Olaizola, Nadal, Nino, Miquel Soler, Campano, Marcos, Engonga, Ibagaza, Luque, Etoo. Subs: Paunovic, Carlos, Diaz, Soler, Novo, Vicente, Miki.

Arsenal: Seaman, Lauren, Keown, Campbell, Cole, Ljungberg, Vieira, Pires, van Bronckhorst, Henry, Wiltord. Subs: Jeffers, Parlour, Grimandi, Inamoto, Upson, Kanu, Wright.

Referee: Knud Fisker (Denmark)

 VOTE RESULTS
Who will go furthest in the Champions League?

Arsenal
 12.87% 

Celtic
 12.52% 

Liverpool
 31.25% 

Man Utd
 43.35% 

15102 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

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