2006-11-03

Arsenal got a 0-0 draw with CSKA

Arsenal got an amazing 0-0 draw with CSKA Moscow. And it is amazing because they had 24 attempts on goal at the Emirates Stadium, but failed to find a way past Russian keeper Igor Akinfeev, and are now under threat of not qualifying for the next round of the Champions League.

Arsenal team is still a point behind the unbeaten Russians, and Porto have now drawn level with Arsenal on seven points after their 3-1 triumph in Hamburg on the same night.

However, Wenger was adamant that his side had played superbly, only to lack the killer touch that would have brought the all-important win.

"It was the best Champions League match we've played since I've been here," said Wenger afterwards.

"Of course it is frustrating with the result. The normal score in this game is 7-0. Or maybe 7-1 because they had a chance as well. But I feel that there's a lot of positives for my team.

"In fact, I don't think tonight we are guilty of wanting to score the perfect goal. We created clear-cut chances and we didn't take them - it happens in the game.

It's important to notice that Cesc Fabregas and Tomas Rosicky both missed open goals in the first half of Wednesday night's game, while Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie also missed several gilt edged chances apiece as Arsenal could just not find the vital breakthrough.

And they almost fell for the sucker punch when Vagner Love broke clear for CSKA in the second half, only for goalkeeper Jens Lehmann to deny the Brazilian striker with a fine double save.

Arsenal's next match is another home clash, this time with group whipping boys Hamburg on November 21.

Because of the situation, even a victory will not gaurantee them progress ahead of the final game at Porto on December 6 where, in all likelihood, Wenger's side will need to secure at least a draw to qualify.

"The group is really close," admitted Wenger. "And that decision in Moscow to cancel our good goal (Henry's strike disallowed for handball) looks costly at the moment.

"However, I think we are strong enough to deal with that. The team is at a crucial moment, because this team can really explode and be sensational if we deal well with what we are facing, because there is so much potential in the squad."