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  Tuesday, 17 September, 2002, 20:39 GMT 21:39 UK
Ljungberg seals Arsenal win
Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg celebrates his return to action with a goal
Ljungberg back in the groove on his comeback
Arsenal 2-0 Borussia Dortmund

Freddie Ljungberg marked his comeback with a superb goal that gave Arsenal an impressive victory over Borussia Dortmund at Highbury.

Ljungberg applied the finish to a sweeping move to get the Gunners' Champions League campaign off to the best possible start.

It was Arsenal's second of the evening after Dennis Bergkamp had finally broke down a resilient Dortmund defence in the second half courtesy of a deflected goal.

And it was worth the wait as a magnificent four-man move involving goalkeeper David Seaman, Sylvain Wiltord and Thierry Henry was rounded off by the Swedish international.

Arsene Wenger's men maintained the momentum that has seen them make an excellent start to the domestic season.

And, on this form, the London side can certainly expect to make the latter stages of Europe's elite competition.

  Key incidents
25 mins: Henry forces a good save from Lehmann
32 mins: Lehmann denies Wiltord
46 mins: Henry scores but goal is ruled out for offside
62 mins: Bergkamp's deflected shot beats Lehmann
77 mins: Ljungberg marks comeback with a goal

With Arsenal in such mesmerising form, Highbury awaited another spellbinding display from their star performers.

Yet Wenger's men found it tough going in the first half against a well-organised Dortmund.

Arsenal played some neat one-touch football and frightened the Bundesliga champions with their lightning quick break-away attacks, of which Henry was their best exponent.

Ljungberg, back in the Gunners' starting line-up for the first time since having a hip operation in the summer, looked some way off full fitness but provided a useful outlet on the left.


They didn't give us any space and we needed to find that bit of class and space to score a goal
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Indeed, the Swede's steely determination created the hosts' best chance of the opening period.

After escaping the grasp of the Dortmund midfield, he threaded the ball swiftly to the feet of Henry, who in turn laid on the perfect pass for the oncoming Wiltord.

But the Arsenal striker's first touch was not equal to the build-up and his shot was well-blocked by Jens Lehmann, who had earlier pulled off a good save to deny Henry.

Surprisingly, there had been no off-sides in the entire first half.

It was somewhat ironic then that Henry found the back of the net immediately after the restart, only for his goal to be ruled out for that offence.

That Henry was penalised again moments later for straying just offside suggested it was only a matter of time before Arsenal broke down Dortmund.

Arsenal's Dennis Bergkamp celebrates his opener
Bergkamp put the Gunners on their way to victory

And so it proved as a dinked ball by the ever-willing Wiltord fell to Bergkamp, whose shot took a significant deflection off Christoph Metzelder to leave Lehmann with no chance.

Dortmund pressed for an equaliser and almost profited from some hesitant Arsenal defending, with the newly-introduced Lauren forcing team-mate Gilberto Silva into conceding a corner.

But the Gunners soon converted defence into attack.

It took a mere 13 seconds from the moment the ball left goalkeeper Seaman's hands for Ljungberg to cap his return to action with a wonderfully-worked goal.

And there will surely be more of that to come from a side that appear virtually unstoppable at present.


Arsenal: Seaman, Luzhny, Keown, Campbell, Cole, Ljungberg, Vieira, Silva, Wiltord, Henry, Bergkamp. Subs: Taylor, Jeffers, Lauren, Cygan, Pennant, Kanu, Toure.

Borussia Dortmund: Lehmann, Evanilson, Kehl, Heinrich, Fernandez, Madouni, Metzelder, Dede, Frings, Kohler, Ewerthon. Subs: Weidenfeller, Reuter, Herrlich, Reina, Oliseh, Odonkor, De Deus Santos.

Referee: Anders Frisk (Sweden).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Nigel Adderley
"Wenger asked for a higher standard in Europe"
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"It was a real test for us"
Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg
"I'm very happy"

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