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  Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 21:36 GMT
Arsenal top Group
Kolo Toure (left) challenges Dennis Rommedahl
Toure was dismissed after a challenge on Rommedahl
Arsenal 0-0 PSV Eindhoven

Arsenal and PSV contested a dour goalless draw at Highbury - enough to ensure the Gunners finished top of Champions League Group A.

Auxerre's shock win against Borussia Dortmund not only handed Arsenal top spot but means PSV finish bottom and miss out on a Uefa Cup place.

Arsenal, already assured of qualification to the second phase, left a multitude of first-team regulars on the bench and failed to score in a match for the first time in 32 games.

PSV appeared happy to absorb pressure, collect a point and rely on Auxerre failing to overcome Dortmund.

Only when Auxerre took the lead - and word reached the PSV players - did the Dutch team show any real sense of urgency.

The first half was particularly poor, with hardly any chances of note.

  Key moments
35 mins: Toure is sent off for Arsenal
54 mins: Arsenal's Shaaban saves from Kezman
76 mins: Auxerre score against Dortmund - meaning Arsenal top Group A
Rami Shaaban - making his debut on goal for Arsenal - had precious little chance to impress and stake his claim for regular selection.

The only decent scoring chance of a low key opening phase fell to Francis Jeffers, but the striker headed Giovanni van Bronckhorst's cross wide of Ronaldo Waterreus' goal.

The major incident of the half was undoubtedly Kolo Toure's dismissal.

The Ivory Coast international rashly hacked at Dennis Rommedahl and was shown a second yellow card.

Minutes later, Jeffers appealed for a penalty after a challenge from Andre Ooijer left him sprawling but the referee was not interested.

Toure was dismissed for two bookable offences
Toure is red carded after 35 minutes
Edu - in the context of the match - came close to scoring with a free kick that flew several feet wide of the post on half-time.

Shaaban made the first meaningful save of his Arsenal career nine minutes into the second half when he denied Mateja Kezman with his legs.

Kezman - the leading scorer in the Dutch league - was completely unmarked and should have done better.

Van Bronckhorst almost broke the deadlock with a viciously swinging corner that Waterreus did well to tip over.

Substitutes Dennis Bergkamp and Sylvain Wiltord then linked well, but the Frenchman shot narrowly wide.

In the latter stages - with PSV desperately chasing a winner - the Dutch team did push forward and pressurised the Arsenal goal.

But they paid for their lack of ambition in the early stages of the match and are now out of European competition.


Arsenal: Shaaban, Luzhny, Stepanovs, Cygan, Toure, Pires, Vieira (Silva 77), van Bronckhorst, Edu, Henry (Bergkamp 63), Jeffers (Wiltord 69).
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Cole, Ljungberg, Tavlaridis.

Sent Off: Toure (35).

Booked: Toure.

PSV: Waterreus, Ooijer (Vennegoor of Hesselink 80), Bogelund, Bouma, Hofland, Vogel (Lucius 41), Van Bommel, Rommedahl, Robben, Kezman, Bruggink (Van der Schaaf 71).
Subs Not Used: Ten Rouwelaar, Faber, Heintze, Ramzi.

Booked: Vogel, Ooijer, Hofland, Van Bommel, Vennegoor of Hesselink.

Attendance: 35,274.

Referee: T Obrebo (Norway).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Jonathan Pearce
"Arsenal were still the far better side"
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"It's unusual for us not to score goals"

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01 Nov 02 | Arsenal
Links to more Champions League stories are at the foot of the page.


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