Arsenal 0 - Deportivo La Coruña 2
Lauren, Campbell, Stepanovs, Luznhy; Wiltord (Ljungberg 63'), Vieira, Grimandi
(Kanu 63'), Pires; Bergkamp, Henry. 4-4-2.
Group D league table:
Deportivo La Coruña qualified for the quarter final stage with another competent display of football, beating Arsenal for the second time in this group stage by 0-2. Irureta took no chances, lining up with his first choice side against the Gunners, who were missing two or three key players at the back. Both sides came close in an energetic first few minutes, with Pires seeing his shot just touched wide by Molina and Bergkamp hitting the bar, and Seaman saving well from Fran at the other end. However Deportivo took control from then on and the game was over as a contest by half time, with the Spanish side scoring twice and very nearly getting one or two more before the break. The excellent Valerón gave them the lead after good work by Fran and Romero down the left flank, and only a reflex save by Seaman stopped him from adding a second a few minutes later. Then a brilliant move involving four or five players left the Arsenal defence in disarray, and Naybet took advantage to fire in a shot which Stepanovs could only deflect into his own net.
For a few minutes in the second half the story continued, with Seaman saving twice and Diego Tristán hitting the bar with a free kick. But then Wenger brought on Ljungberg and Kanu, and the English side got back in the game. Within a minute Ljungberg won himself a penalty when Molina brought him down in the area, referee Urs Meier deciding not even to book the relieved keeper. That was fortunate for Depor, as Molina dived low to his right to stop Henry's spot kick and then Kanu's follow up, his second penalty save in three matches. Kanu got the ball in the net two minutes later but Meier ruled it out for a foul on the keeper, and after that Irureta went for safety first, making defensive substitutions to be sure of the three points. Depor lead the table on ten points, and a draw next week at home to Bayer Leverkusen will be enough to see them through as group winners.