Wenger and Giggs' Champions League centuries prove a draw

Updated on Feb 21, 2008 01:40 PM IST
Arsenal were held 0-0 at home by holders AC Milan while United grabbed a late goal through Carlos Tevez to draw 1-1 with six-time French champions Lyon in France.
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AFP | ByPirate Irwin, Paris

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs failed to get victories on their 100th Champions League matches on Wednesday but both can still dream of a place in the last eight.

Arsenal were held 0-0 at home by holders AC Milan while United grabbed a late goal through Carlos Tevez to draw 1-1 with six-time French champions Lyon in France.

The two Spanish sides involved in the action both had five goal thrillers.

A double by Argentinian star Lionel Messi and one from former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry saw Barcelona come from behind twice to beat Celtic 3-2 in Glasgow while two-time UEFA Cup titleholders Sevilla lost 3-2 to Fenerbahce in Istanbul.

Wenger was still happy with the result even though the Gunners missed a host of chances, none more so than when on fire Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor saw his header come off the bar.

"We didn't take advantage of our many chances but overall I am very happy with the response shown by the team (to the 4-0 FA Cup defeat by Manchester United). The second leg should also be an open game, it is only a shame we can't transfer our pitch over there!"

Wenger, whose previous Champions league involvement came as former manager of Monaco, wasn't even fazed by the fact that no English club has beaten AC Milan at the San Siro.

"Well we beat Inter Milan there," smiled the 58-year-old Frenchman.

AC Milan handler Carlo Ancelotti admitted his side could play a lot better with Brazilian playmaker Kaka all but muzzled by the Arsenal defence.

"We can show a lot more than we did here tonight (Wednesday)," said the former AC Milan and Italy midfielder.

"We were pretty tense and not in the best condition physically. It is nonetheless a good result heading into the second leg, but nothing is certain against a team of real quality like Arsenal."

Lyon manager Alain Perrin admitted that the Tevez strike - which fell to him somewhat fortuitously off Brazilian striker Fred - had been a real blow.

"Unfortunately we couldn't hold out to the end and now we are behind having conceded the away goal," said the former Marseille boss, who is rumoured to have fallen out both with the coaching and playing staff.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was both delighted with the result and to have something to complain about - in this case claims that Portuguese wing Cristiano Ronaldo had had a laser shone in his eyes in the warm-up before the match.

"I am delighted to get the draw and it gives us a a good chance to qualify," said Ferguson.

"I think it was a setback to lose the goal as at that moment we were in control.

"We filed a complaint to UEFA over the Ronaldo incident," he added.

Barcelona assistant coach Johan Neeskens said that the result against Celtic was the one they had hoped for and was especially proud that they had cracked the fortress the Scottish side had built up at home.

"We're happy with the result as no-one has beaten Celtic in Glasgow in the Champions League since we did almost four years ago," said Neeskens, who stood in for coach Frank Rijkaard as he was serving a touchline ban.

His Celtic counterpart Gordon Strachan was left seething with a display which he said was not up to the standards required.

"It might have been a great game to watch for the neutrals but not for me," said the Scot.

"When you're playing one of the best teams in the world you need a bit of luck and nine or 10 of your players to be at their peak.

"We had neither and to have had a chance we needed to pass the ball better. We kept giving the ball away and that meant we needed to do a lot of chasing, became tired and made mistakes.

"The positives are we scored two goals against one of the best teams in the world but we lost two silly goals and lost the game."

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