Sevilla derail Gunners | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 29, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 29, 2007

UEFA Champions League

Sevilla derail Gunners


Sevilla midfielder Seydou Keita (R) is the toast of his teammates after his wonder-goal against Arsenal in the Champions League match at the Sanchez Pizjuan on Tuesday.Photo: AFP

Sevilla gained revenge for their humiliating 3-0 defeat by Arsenal in the opening game of this season's Champions League when they turned the tables with a 3-1 win here on Tuesday.
First half goals by Seydou Keita and Luis Fabiano, followed by a late penalty by Fredi Kanoute, put them on top of Group H after an early strike by Arsenal's Eduardo Da Silva had put the London side in front.
The loss was The Gunners' first in any competition this season.
"We are now back to where we were in the summer before so many things occured," said Sevilla coach Manolo Jimenez, refering to the disruption caused by the departure of former coach Juande Ramos.
After months of public division between Ramos and Sevilla president Jose Maria Del Nido, Ramos left last month to coach Arsenal's local rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
"This was a great game against a great rival. We've shown that we can compete with the best like Real Madrid, Valencia and now Arsenal. Our task is now to play like this in La Liga against every team," added Jimenez.
Sevilla now have 12 points from their five games, with first place in their group vitally important to keep them away from European giants and former winners like Manchester United and AC Milan in the draw for the last 16.
The English Premiership leaders are now second, two points behind the two-time UEFA Cup champions who are playing in Europe's top club competition for the first time in 50 years.
Both teams will have reasons to celebrate though on Wednesday as a 1-1 draw between the group's other two teams, Steaua Bucharest and Slavia Prague, ensure that Sevilla and Arsenal have qualified for knockout stages with one game in hand.
"They deserve their win. We gave everything, and that's the way football goes. The most important thing to do is to work hard and think about the next game," said Arsenal captain Kolo Toure.
"We need to start again and show great character. To be a winner, you need to come back from 'heartache'," added the Ivory Coast international defender.
Da Silva opened the scoring for Arsenal just 11 minutes into the game when he was left with enough space to chest down a Nicklas Bendtner cross before sending his left foot shot just inside the left post of Andres Palop.
Keita then equalized for Sevilla after 24 minutes when Gilberto Silva failed to clear a Jesus Navas cross.
The hosts' Malian midfielder was the first to the loose ball and fired a left foot thunderbolt into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.
The goal was the first conceded by Arsenal's Spanish goalkeeper Manuel Almunia in the Champions league this season, after 384 unbeaten minutes.
Luis Fabiano then made Almunia and Arsenal's night doubly miserable by putting Sevilla into the lead 10 minutes later.
The Spanish first division's leading scorer, with eight goals in domestic games, produced a superb header from 10 metres out after connecting with a cross from the right flank by his Brazilian compatriot Daniel Alves.
Da Silva and Kanoute also went close in the remaining minutes but both goalkeepers rode their luck to keep the scoreline 2-1 at the break.
Both sides stayed on the offensive for the next 45 minutes although confusion reigned for several minutes midway through the second half.
Dutch referee Eric Braamhaar ruled that a falling Philippe Senderos had handled the ball in the area and signalled a penalty against Arsenal.
Eventually, after Arsenal protests and discussions with his linesmen, Braamhaar admitted that he'd been wrong and gave a drop ball.
"I don't like to talk about the referee, but tonight he made it a bit difficult for us," added Toure.
There were no questions though about the penalty awarded with one minute to go after a rampaging Kanoute was simultaneously sandwiched and bundled to the ground by Toure and Bakari Sagna.
Kanoute then coolly stepped up to sidefoot his spot kick past Almunia to clinch the victory.

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