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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 22:16 GMT 23:16 UK
Experts' views on Arsenal

BBC Radio Five Live pundits Mark Lawrenson, Graham Taylor and Lee Dixon give their views on Arsenal's night of anguish in the Champions League final.

MARK LAWRENSON, European Cup winner with Liverpool

Arsenal's Thierry Henry and manager Arsene Wenger
Henry and Wenger reflect on what might have been

The game changed when Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was sent off.

Although they took the lead through Sol Campbell and were excellent, it proved hard to keep Barcelona at bay - especially playing with just 10 men for over 70 minutes.

When the first goal went in for Barca there were major doubts and then the second killed the game off. But the fact Arsenal kept them in check for so long showed how well the Premiership side played.

I thought Arsene Wenger's side were excellent throughout. But they may rue missing three chances in the second-half while they were still 1-0 up.

Aleksander Hleb, Thierry Henry and Freddie Ljungberg all went close and had one of those chances been taken, then Arsenal would have won.

GRAHAM TAYLOR, former England coach

There is no doubt that Arsenal did well. Unfortunately for them, when you do lose a keeper and go down to 10 men, it is always going to be tough.

Gunners coach Arsene Wenger will be looking to see how they can improve after this performance.

If I was going to be a little bit critical, then I think Emmanuel Eboue lost it a little bit.

This season, the absence of usual first-choice right-back Lauren hasn't been noticed - but I noticed it against Barcelona. Eboue was a bit impetuous and lost his runners now and again.

I think Wenger will pick up on these lapses and try to iron them out to make sure Arsenal return to the final and next time win it.

LEE DIXON, former Arsenal defender

Barcelona celebrate
Barcelona celebrate while Ljungberg sits dejected

Arsenal should be proud of how they played against Barcelona.

This young team will bounce back and I'm sure there's plenty of success round the corner.

It's been a huge season for them. They were criticised for selling Patrick Vieira and I know at the start of the campaign they were feeling down in the dressing room and looking for a leader.

Wenger sat back and encouraged them to continue playing. As a result, they began to play a little better in the Premiership and we all know they were brilliant in Europe.

It was just unlucky that in the final they were playing the majority of the match a man short and against arguably the best team in the world.

In big parts, Arsenal were definitely the better team - before the sending off and at the start of the second half, when they created three chances. Had they taken one of them, it would have changed the game.



SEE ALSO
Barcelona 2-1 Arsenal
17 May 06 |  Europe
Champions League final photos
17 May 06 |  Photo Galleries


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