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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 21:58 GMT
Arsenal 2-0 Celta Vigo
Thierry Henry

(Arsenal win 5-2 on agg)

Two first-half goals from Thierry Henry eased Arsenal past Celta Vigo and into the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2001.

The French striker seized upon a superb through-ball from Dennis Bergkamp to fire the hosts ahead on 14 minutes.

And Henry doubled Arsenal's lead with a predator's finish, when he latched onto Freddie Ljungberg's deflected cross.

Celta Vigo were well beaten long before substitute Pablo Contreras was sent off for a 74th-minute foul on Jose Reyes.

The teams had endured contrasting fates at the weekend, with Arsenal mauling Portsmouth 5-1 and Celta Vigo losing by the same margin to Espanyol.

And they carried their respective confidence levels into the Highbury encounter.

The Spanish side squandered their early half-chances, while Arsenal scored from their first real attack.

KEY MOMENTS
14 mins: Henry latches on to a superb Bergkamp pass to score
34: Henry doubles the lead
74: Contreras is sent off for a foul on Reyes

Restored up front, Bergkamp swivelled on the edge of the area and fed Henry with a sweet outside-foot pass.

Arsenal's top scorer applied a cool finish from a tight angle as he charged into the penalty area.

After Jose Ignacio and Mauricio Pinilla had fired wide for the visitors, Bergkamp laid on the next gilt-edged opportunity, freeing Ashley Cole, who was off target.

But the hosts put the tie beyond doubt moments later.

A quality move started by Robert Pires ended with a tantalising Ljungberg cross and a poacher's finish from Henry for his 29th goal of the season.

The way we handled the game shows we've matured
Arsene Wenger

Arsenal did not have the first half all their own way, but keeper Jens Lehmann was only tested by ambitious long-range strikes, which he dealt with comfortably.

And Henry missed a golden chance for his hat-trick just before the interval, when Pires unselfishly laid the ball on for his French team-mate, only for Celta keeper Pablo Cavallero to block his shot.

Pires should have scored himself soon after the restart, but a heavy touch presented the ball to Cavallero.

By then, Arsenal were playing exhibition football and only a high tackle by Cavallero robbed Bergkamp of a goal to cap his fine performance.

Spaniard Reyes was given a run-out against his compatriots for the last 20 minutes.

And he had an immediate impact when Celta Vigo sub Contreras saw fit to bodycheck him and was sent off for a second yellow card.

By then though, the tie had been won.

Arsenal join Chelsea as England's representatives in the last eight of the Champions League.


Arsenal: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Ljungberg, Vieira, Edu (Silva 69), Pires (Reyes 69), Bergkamp (Kanu 76), Henry.
Subs Not Used: Stack, Keown, Cygan, Clichy.

Celta Vigo: Cavallero, Velasco, Sergio, Caceres, Silvinho (Contreras 21), Borja, Luccin (Jesuli 29), Jose Ignacio, Mostovoi, Lopez (Vagner 70), Pinilla.
Subs Not Used: Pinto, Milosevic, Mendez, Edu.

Sent Off: Contreras (74).

Booked: Contreras.

Attendance: 35,402.

Referee: Pierluigi Collina (Italy).






WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Mike Ingham
"It's now five successive European victories for Arsenal"


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"We controlled the game and were very professional"




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