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Arsenal FC 2 - 0 S.S. Lazio
Wed 27 September 20:45
Highbury, London
Watch the Video highlight of the Match
Arsenal FC put themselves clear at the top of Group B after a convincing 2-0 home victory over S.S. Lazio in their UEFA Champions League encounter at Highbury.

Two goals from Swedish midfielder Fredrik Ljungberg gave the home side the valuable three points that now increases their chances of reaching the Second Group-Match Stage of the competition. Lazio created few clear-cut chances during the match and were punished by some excellent Arsenal finishing.

Bright start
Dejan Stankovic and
Thierry Henry clash
for the ball at
Highbury.
(© Reuters)
Arsenal looked to be the brighter of the two sides from the first whistle, laying siege to the Lazio goal during the opening exchanges. Tony Adams was unlucky not to put the Gunners ahead, when his shot, from a Dennis Bergkamp corner, was blocked well by Sinisa Mihajlovic after just ten minutes. Nigerian striker Nwankwo Kanu was the next to miss out, as his low drive flew just wide of Lazio 'keeper Luca Marchegiani's goal. The Italian side struggled to find their feet at the start, and didn't have a real effort on goal until the 33rd minute, when Mihajlovic flashed a curling free-kick just wide of David Seaman's left-hand post.

Near miss
It was Arsenal defender Martin Keown who almost opened the scoring, but his shot through a crowded Lazio penalty area was well held by Marchegiani. After scoring twice against FC Shahktar Donetsk on Matchday Two, few would have been surprised to see the England international defender on the scoresheet, but this time it wasn't to be.

In a first half littered with chances for the home side, Thierry Henry was unfortunate not to open his account for the night, but the Lazio 'keeper was off his line quickly to save at the forward's feet. Keown was back in the thick of things when Lazio forward Simone Inzaghi deflected an Henry cross towrds his own goal. As the big Arsenal centre-back rushed to pounce on the loose ball, Marchegiani foiled him again, clearing the ball behind for a corner.

Opening goal
Despite a short spell of Lazio pressure that saw the visitors push into the Gunners half, Arsenal looked in control and thoroughly deserved their 1-0 lead when it came in the 43rd minute.

A raking cross-field ball by Kanu found Dennis Bergkamp lurking at the far post. He headed back across goal, and the on-rushing Fredrik Ljungberg drove the ball into the roof of the Lazio net from 6 metres out.

The second-half saw much of the same, as Arsenal continued to pressure the Lazio defence. Thierry Henry was a constant danger for the Italian defence to deal with, and he almost double his side's lead in the 54th minute. The ever-busy Marchegiani was called into action again, sweeping up before Henry could reach Kanu's flick-on. Lazio's star midfield man Juan Sebastián Veron was quiet throughout the match, as Patrick Vieira man-marked the Argentinian playmaker out of the game.
Killer goal
Arsenal took a 2-0 lead in the 56th minute after Bergkamp burst through the Lazio defence and fed an inch perfect pass for Ljungberg to tuck past the helpless Marchegiani. The goal was no more than the Gunners deserved, and it clearly rocked Lazio, who hadn't conceded a goal before tonight's game.
Damage done
Lazio coach Sven Göran Eriksson tried to rally his troops in the latter stages, introducing Marcelo Salas and Fabrizio Ravanelli into his forward line, but the damage had already been done. As the full-time whistle approached, Arsenal looked increasingly comfortable and almost made it 3-0, when substitute Sylvain Wiltord was unlucky to see his cross-shot gathered by Marchegiani. The victory sens Arsenal clear at the top of Group B and Gunners coach Arsčne Wenger will be delighted with his side's dominating performance.
Matches
First Half  1 - 0
23'  14 Henry  AR
37'  20 Stankovic  LA
43'  8 Ljungberg  AR
Extra 1'08"
Second Half  2 - 0
46'  20 Stankovic (out)
25 Lombardo (in)
LA
56'  8 Ljungberg  AR
57'  21 Inzaghi (out)
9 Salas (in)
LA
61'  5 Keown  AR
67'  15 Parlour  AR
74'  25 Lombardo (out)
32 Ravanelli (in)
LA
79'  10 Bergkamp (out)
23 Vivas (in)
AR
84'  14 Henry (out)
11 Wiltord (in)
AR
Extra 3'06"
Full Time Statistics
11 Shots on goal 2
4 Wide shots 6
19 Fouls committed 22
7 Corners 4
3 Off sides 8
27'37" Ball Possession (time) 28'32"
49% Ball Possession (%) 51%
•  
Detailed Match Player Statistics >>
Gunners prove that it's 'home-sweet-home'
Arsenal FC showed once again that they are more comfortable playing their UEFA Champions League home games at Highbury, after they gained a valuable 2-0 win over S.S. Lazio in their Group B encounter.
London Post Match Reaction
Arsenal FC - S.S. Lazio: Minute by Minute
Arsenal tame Lazio in Highbury clash
Gunners aim to shoot down Lazio
Lineups
Arsenal FC
1 Seaman 
4 Vieira 
5 Keown 
6 Adams (C)
8 Ljungberg 
10 Bergkamp 
14 Henry 
15 Parlour 
16 Silvinho 
22 Luzhnyi 
25 Kanu 
Substitutes
24 Lukic 
2 Dixon 
11 Wiltord 
18 Grimandi 
23 Vivas 
29 Cole 
30 Vernazza 
Coach
WENGER Arsčne
S.S. Lazio
1 Marchegiani 
2 Negro 
7 Lopez 
11 Mihajlovic 
13 Nesta (C)
14 Simeone 
15 Pancaro 
18 Nedved 
20 Stankovic 
21 Inzaghi 
23 Veron 
Substitutes
22 Orlandoni 
6 Sensini 
9 Salas 
24 Couto 
25 Lombardo 
32 Ravanelli 
33 Colonnese 
Coach
ERIKSSON Sven-Göran
Officials
Referee
GARCÍA - ARANDA José María (ESP)
Assistant Referee
VASQUEZ RIVEIRO Modesto (ESP)
ROZAS Vincente Egido (ESP)
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