Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We Won't Slip Up This Time, Vows Freddie; Ljungberg Says Arsenal Can Erase Blunders to Lift Euro Title

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We Won't Slip Up This Time, Vows Freddie; Ljungberg Says Arsenal Can Erase Blunders to Lift Euro Title

Article excerpt

Byline: STEVE STAMMERS

EVEN now, some 10 months on, Freddie Ljungberg cannot forget the goal that ended Arsenal's European dream last season. There were less than five minutes left when Chelsea's Wayne Bridge struck to clinch a win that proved that the quarterfinals have been an insurmountable hurdle for Arsenal.

That setback remains the hardest defeat Ljungberg has had to bear in his seven years at the club.

"We all thought we had the tie won," he said. "And it all ended with the biggest disappointment of the lot for me.

"We had drawn 1-1 at Stamford Bridge and we were playing well at Highbury.

In fact, we were leading.

Then they came back and scored with so little time left. There wasn't much we could do after that."

So why should this season be any different? Arsenal play their first match in the knockout stage at Bayern Munich tonight with Ljungberg convinced that this year he may be participating in the final, not just watching it.

He said: "I would love to win one. I won everything back in Sweden and here in England and I would love to win the Champions League. That would be the one.

"This season? There is no reason we should fear anyone. Our biggest problem has been that we have let in sloppy goals and we can't afford to do that in the Champions League.

"You need to concentrate for the whole game. If you have lapses in the Premiership, you can sometimes get away with it. They won't punish you for it. But the good teams in Europe do.

"If I knew the answer as to why we can't get further than the quarterfinals, then we would have done something about it. I don't think there is one reason. There are very small margins in the Champions League. A small mistake and you are punished. There was Chelsea last season and before that Valencia.

We were playing well over there, leading 2-1 from the game at Highbury and set to go through.

"Then a long cross from far out was headed in and we were out. …

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