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Arsenal beats Roma on penalties

Arsenal beats Roma on penalties

Arsenal beat under-strength AS Roma 7-6 in a penalty shootout to reach the Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Max Tonetto, Roma's eighth man to step up to the spot in the shootout, sent his penalty high to give the English club the win.
Brazil defender Juan's goal in the ninth minute for Roma left the clubs tied 1-1 on aggregate through regulation and extra time.
In the first leg, Robin van Persie scored a first-half penalty for Arsenal.
"I was very happy with our strength mentally because that has been a question with our team," Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said. "We improved tremendously on that front."
Roma held an early edge in the shootout after Doni saved the opening penalty kick from Arsenal's Eduardo da Silva. However, Mirko Vucinic missed Roma's second penalty, shooting straight at Manuel Almunia who was able to parry it with his legs. All other players scored until Tonetto's decisive mistake in the eighth round of penalties.
"After an evening like this we've got to be proud of ourselves," Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said. "We've gone out of the Champions League with our heads held high."
All four English clubs advanced and all three Italian clubs were eliminated.
"I think we can be very proud that we have four teams for the second year now," Wenger said. "I was very worried tonight that if we were the only (English) team to go out, it would have been detrimental."
Arsenal has now been successful in its last five visits to Italy, beating Roma 3-1 in the 2002-03 season, routing Inter Milan 5-1 in the 2003-04 group stage and holding Juventus to 0-0 to advance to the 2005-06 quarterfinals.
Arsenal visited AC Milan in the first knockout round last year following a 0-0 home draw, and departed the San Siro with a 2-0 victory thanks to late goals from Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor.
Juan's goal came when he redirected a slow-moving cross from captain Francesco Totti that somehow rolled through the area untouched, sending the ball under Almunia.
Roma thought it earned a penalty when Arsenal defender Gael Clichy tugged down Marco Motta from behind inside the area in the 45th, but Spanish referee Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez made no call.
"It was a very close call," Wenger said. "I would like to see it on replay. It could have been. I was worried about that, yes."
Totti played with a brace on his aching right knee and Roma was without key midfielder Daniele De Rossi, who was suspended. Simone Perrotta and Cicinho missed the match due to injury, and Alberto Aquilani started on the bench with lingering ankle pain.
Souleymane Diamoutene replaced fever-ridden Philippe Mexes and paired with Juan in central defense for Roma. The injury emergency looked like it might worsen when Juan pulled up with an apparent hamstring problem five minutes in, but he came back on a minute later and scored his first goal in this season's competition.
Roma threatened again in the 23rd. First, Italy Under-21 captain Motta had a driving shot blocked by Almunia, then Rodrigo Taddei's attempt was deflected wide.
Juan exited in the 28th and was replaced by forward Julio Baptista. Later in the half, Diamoutene was reduced to a limp after hurting his foot.
Arsenal struggled to organize its attack and Roma goalkeeper Alexander Doni calmly collected a header from Abou Diaby in the 35th.
In the 44th, Arsenal's Emmanuel Eboue sent a long shot way above the crossbar.
When Motta was dragged down a minute later, the 65,000 fans inside Stadio Olimpico erupted in outrage, and Roma continued to protest for the missed penalty when the half ended.
Baptista bounced a header wide in the 49th and a long, low free kick from Riise was stopped by Almunia without problem two minutes later.
Diaby put a header on target in the 52nd but Doni was again waiting.
Diaby missed wide in the 65th and Motta and Roma midfielder David Pizarro both received medical attention after getting knocked around.
Arsenal used its first substitution in the 74th, sending on Theo Walcott for Eboue. It was the teenage striker's second appearance since dislocating his shoulder nearly four months ago.
Baptista had a golden chance directly in front of Arsenal's goal in the 79th but couldn't get a shot off.
Van Persie had his first clear look in the second half added time, and his shot was deflected wide.
Completely exhausted, both sides struggled to create chances in extra time. Wenger paced along the sideline anxiously and Spalletti sat on the bench biting his tongue.


Updated : 2021-09-20 08:16 GMT+08:00