Former Arsenal goalkeeper blames ball as the reason for Arsenal’s painful Champions League defeat to Chelsea

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Arsenal were a top side in the early 2000s, and Arsene Wenger’s side were favourites to go through to the Champions League semi-final when they faced Chelsea in the quarterfinal.

Both sides had played a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, with the Gunners expected to get the win at the Highbury Stadium.

Jose Antonio Reyes had given Arsenal the advantage before the break at Highbury, but the tie turned around six minutes after the interval when Jens Lehmann spilled Claude Makelele’s long-range strike and Frank Lampard scored up the rebound.

Chelsea left-back Wayne Bridge rifled home a left-foot finish on 87 minutes after being set up by Eidur Gudjohnsen to end Arsenal’s unbeaten run against Chelsea.

Photo: Getty Images

Lehmann has now claimed that Nike’s Total 90 Aerow ball was partly to blame for Chelsea’s opening goal.

He told beIN Sports: “I didn’t understand and sometimes it still happens to big teams that the Premier League puts you on a schedule where you have to perform at the end of the season. In 10 days what happened at the time (we had to play) against top, top teams.

“No team, however good it is, can perform every two or three days on such a high level. It was our disadvantage against Chelsea.

“I remember I made a mistake against Chelsea because we played with a brand new Nike ball and it came swerving like that and I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t catch it.

“It was a draw then with Frank Lampard and then in the last minute all of a sudden, because we were so tired, we couldn’t defend a draw and we lost that game.”

About the Author

Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.

1 Comment on "Former Arsenal goalkeeper blames ball as the reason for Arsenal’s painful Champions League defeat to Chelsea"

  1. Nick Lambert | May 4, 2020 at 10:27 am |

    Am I religious? Not unless you can call Chelsea FC a religion!… After all… Stamford Bridge is my church and Peter Osgood is my God!

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