Arsenal must still attempt to top group, says Henry

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The formbook may not lie but it can mislead. Arsenal are on an eight-match unbeaten run but, if the reserves' League Cup exploits are disregarded, have won just once in six matches. In the Champions' League they are unbeaten this season but have won once in the five ties.

It is not the stuff of champions but, as they returned from Eindhoven in the early hours of yesterday morning, Arsenal drew strength from the belief that it was the stuff of survivors.

Thierry Henry, who played through pain to complete 90 minutes as all around him were departing through injury or dismissal, said of the 1-1 draw with PSV: "This is a vital result. Once again everyone is questioning our commitment but you saw a team with commitment with the way we played and the way we came back in the game.

"After all the draws we have had in the competition this is the one that we could leave the stadium afterwards with our heads up because overall we fought well. When we were down to 10 men we still looked as if we could get another goal. But when we were down to nine it was a bit too much to ask."

Henry and his team-mates were aware that, had it not been for a display of defiance from Rosenborg, Arsenal's point could have been rendered pointless. In holding Panathinaikos in Trondheim the Norwegian champions ensured that Arsenal retained control of their destiny in Group E. A win over Rosenborg on 7 December will put them into the knock-out stages. "It's in our hands and we can't ask for more than that," Henry said. "We can still go through and can still top the group so let's try to do that."

Arsenal will be without Lauren and Patrick Vieira for the Highbury tie which, with Edu and Gilberto Silva injured, could mean Arsenal fielding a raw central midfield partnership of Mattieu Flamini and Cesc Fabregas. Henry is doubtful for Sunday's Premiership match at Anfield after twice receiving knocks on his sore right foot.