Hero Lehmann as Arsenal make final
VILLARREAL, Spain -- Arsenal reached the Champions League final for the first time on Tuesday when Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann saved a last-minute Juan Ramon Riquelme penalty.
Lehmann's heroics secured a 0-0 second leg draw against Villarreal in Spain to send the north London club through 1-0 on aggregate.
Villarreal were awarded the penalty when Jose Mari went down under a Gael Clichy challenge in the 89th minute but Lehmann dived to his left to block.
Villarreal, playing their first season in the competition, made all the running in a ragged match but wasted their chances in front of goal.
Mexico striker Guillermo Franco had two opportunities either side of halftime. His 41st minute header from close range was blocked by Lehmann with his foot and a 48th minute effort flew wide.
Arsenal, who beat Real Madrid and Juventus in earlier rounds and have not conceded a goal in a record 10 matches, meet Barcelona or AC Milan, who play their semifinal second leg on Wednesday, in the final in Paris on May 17.
"We were a bit lucky tonight," Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger admitted.
"It is a fantastic achievement and the team has great character. We didn't manage to play tonight, I don't know if that was for physical reasons or psychological reasons.
"We never came into our fluent game -- we needed luck and resilience and we had both tonight."
Arsenal captain Thierry Henry enthused: "It was a team effort, but Jens was magnificent. He had an amazing game, not just the save.
"Today was about desire and commitment, you didn't see much of me up front but we worked hard.
"Clichy also had an amazing game and I think it was harsh. If that was a penalty then you can give a penalty every day.
"At least they cannot say they didn't have a penalty this time as they did at Highbury."
Lehmann, recently confirmed as Germany's number one for the World Cup, said: " We all deserved it, we fought very hard. It seemed as we had a grip, then this penalty, which wasn't a penalty."
Villarreal, however, will be counting the cost of their other missed chances that included Diego Forlan firing wide after 64 minutes.
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