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banner Tuesday, 30 October, 2001, 21:34 GMT
Arsenal sunk at Schalke
Oleg Luzhny is shown the red card
Oleg Luzhny is shown the red card
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Schalke 3-1 Arsenal

Arsenal's woeful away form in Europe continued in their final match of the first phase of the Champions League at Schalke.

Arsene Wenger sent out a much-changed side, but the result remained the same - a third loss on the road this season.

But Schalke's efforts, with goals from Youri Mulder, Sven Vermant and Andreas Moeller counted for little at the final whistle.

  Key moments
2 mins: Mulder gives Schalke an early lead
16 mins: Luzhny sees red for lashing out at Boehme
59 mins: Vermant strokes in a second from the edge of the area
63 mins: Moeller makes it three finishing off a counter-attack
70 mins: Wiltord scores a consolation goal
Mallorca's win at home to Panathinaikos meant the Germans finished bottom of the group, out of reach of a Uefa Cup place.

And by the time Sylvain Wiltord scored a consolation goal in the 70th minute the game was more than beyond Arsenal.

In truth the match was beyond Wenger's second string within 20 minutes.

Having gone a goal down within 90 seconds, Arsenal were a man down on 16 minutes.

A catalogue of errors, from an innocuous long throw, allowed Mulder to steal in through Arsenal's statuesque defence to score from Ebbe Sand's knock down after 82 seconds.

But having had another let off when Sand pounced on a poor Ashley Cole clearance only to shoot wide, Luzhny made Arsenal's task even harder.

Making only his third appearance of the season, the Ukranian lashed out at Joerg Boehme off the ball.

It was an act of petulance that left the overly fastidious Polish referee Rysard Wojick with little alternative but to show a red card.

Sven Vermant and Youri Mulder celebrate
Vermant celebrates his goal with Mulder
However against 10 men the previously spritely Schalke became ponderous as they probed for an opening, allowing Arsenal to get back into the game.

Kanu ploughed a lone path upfront, with Wiltord dropping deep, and the Nigerian and Robert Pires offered hopes of relief to Arsenal's travelling fans.

But as the match wore on Arsenal's attacking efforts lost their verve and their incisiveness became more laboured.

Their play became more disjointed and their efforts at creating an equaliser, against a side who had lost their previous two home matches, became overly reliant on cameos.

Wiltord chose his moment to conjure something deep in defence, but he dallied and was duly robbed.

A quick exchange of passes through Arsenal's paper thin defence found Vermant in an ocean of space to stroke in a second from the edge of the area.

Four minutes later it was 3-0 when Moeller, so often the scourge of English ambitions, rounded off a counter attack and, like Vermant, had enough time to pick his spot past Wright.

Insult and injury came in equal measure as Matthew Upson left the field with a hamstring injury and Sol Campbell with a limp.

At least we've now scored an away goal - my next ambition is to play 90 minutes with 11 men
Arsene Wenger
Wiltord's goal on 70 minutes made amends for his earlier mistake and gave those who have followed Arsenal to Europe's foreign fields something to cheer, a first goal in five away matches.

If Arsenal are going to pass the bigger tests that await in the second phase more goals need to flow.

And at the other end Wenger needs to find a quick fix to the defensive frailties that were again so obvious.

Schalke: Reck, Matellan, Hajto, Waldoch, Van Hoogdalem, Vermant, Nemec, Mulder, Bohme, Moller, Sand.
Subs: Grodas, Kmetsch, Thon, Djordjevic, Buskens, Pinto, Trojan.

Arsenal: Wright, Luzhny, Campbell, Upson, Cole, Parlour, Grimandi, Edu, Pires, Kanu, Wiltord.
Subs: Taylor, Keown, Ljungberg, Inamoto, Pennant, Stepanovs, Aliadiere.

BBC Sport's Simon Brotherton reports
"Another frustrating night for Arsenal"
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"The task was difficult with 10 men"
See also:

30 Oct 01 |  Champions League
Champions League clockwatch
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