By Richard Clarke 

Kolo Toure believes the victory his goal provided on Wednesday night has heaped pressure on Villarreal ahead of the Champions League Semi-Final second leg next week.

The defender stabbed home a cross from Alexander Hleb four minutes before half time to give Arsenal a crucial advantage in the opening rubber. It was the Ivorian's first goal at Highbury and it came in the last European fixture ever to be played at the famous old stadium.

"I used to say that I don't score a lot but the ones I do score are really important for the team," said Toure afterwards. "We are leading and that is really, really important. The pressure is going to be on Villarreal now. They play in front of their own crowd and they know that Arsenal are a really difficult team to play against.

"It is going to be the same type of game as tonight. If we score a goal there it will be really costly for them. And when you have a player like Thierry Henry you can score a goal at anytime. Most importantly, we need to defend well but, if we have a chance, we can kill the game there."

To go through, Villarreal must score as many goals next week as Arsène Wenger's side have conceded in their entire Champions League campaign so far.

Arsenal let in one goal in each of their first two ties, since then they have kept nine consecutive clean sheets. Toure has played on all but one of those and, during the Knockout Stages, has been the senior defender at just 25.

 "We defend very well as a team," said the centre back. "We help each other and that makes the job much more easy. We are lucky sometimes because we could have let in a goal but God helps us not to concede any at the moment.

"We have a big chance now and we need to take that, but we know we are going to play against a really big team at Villarreal. It is going to be hard but we are in a good position to make it."

40/1 - Arsenal v Tottenham - Adebayor to score first and Arsenal to win 3-1

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 20 Apr 2006