By Richard Clarke

While the "Arsenal 2" part of Tuesday night's scoreline received the most acclaim, the "Juventus 0" bit was just as important.

In the prelude to the Champions League Quarter-Final opener at Highbury Arsène Wenger argued: "The first game of the two ties determines qualification. That psychological print in the heads of the two teams is always decisive."

Having stolen a mental march on the Serie A leaders, his captain was more circumspect but Thierry Henry still had the highest praise for the re-modelled Arsenal defence that completed a record-equalling seventh clean-sheet in the Champions League.

"I will tell you how important this result is when we have gone over there," said the captain.

"After the Real Madrid away game everybody said that we should have scored more. But at the beginning of the game if everyone had said we'd win 1-0 at Madrid then I think a lot of people would have signed for that.

"The main thing that I was pleased about [on Tuesday night] was how we defended and the fact that we did not concede a goal. Even on a day when perhaps they are not play that well, Juve can always hit people.

"The defence is doing tremendously well at the moment," Henry went on. "But there is no secret.

"For example a guy like Mathieu Flamini. He is playing out of position and maybe in the first two or three games it was not easy for him. He has had to adapt. That is not easy but game by game he is doing his job. But it is harder if Jose Reyes does not come back to help, like it is if Alex Hleb does not protect Eboue.

"If, when we lose the ball, everybody comes back then they have an easier job in defence. That is some stuff that we forgot sometimes this season."

It seems they have remembered just in time.

12/1 - Arsenal v Aston Villa: Arsenal to win 4-0 on Saturday

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Richard Clarke 29 Mar 2006