By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger described his young side as "heroes" after their 2-1 defeat against Barcelona in the Champions League Final.

The Arsenal manager watched his team shrug aside the early sending off of Jens Lehmann to take the lead through Sol Campbell's header before two goals in the space of four second-half minutes ended their brave resistance.

"I don't see how much more we could have done," said Wenger after the game. "I just think my players were absolutely magnificent, they were heroes tonight but unfortunately they were not rewarded.

"We will work with them to transform their frustration to come back. This team deserves a lot of credit, we lost one game in Europe all season when it was 10 versus 11 in the Final.

"I believe they deserve a massive credit and they have not been rewarded."

Wenger singled out Sol Campbell for praise after the England defender put in a stirring display at the back.

Campbell's towering header got Arsenal's noses in front at the Stade de France and he coped with everything Barcelona's attacking riches could muster before those damaging late strikes.

"I feel that [Sol's performance] is reassuring for England, so you can have at least one satisfaction tonight," said Wenger. "He is rested as well because he has not played much and is very fit.

"I saw in the last two games that he was sharper and I am very happy for him because I know that when he has to deliver in a big game he can do it.

"You could see how happy he was with his goal and I knew there was a goal in this game for him tonight because Barcelona were weak in the air in defence."

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Chris Harris 18 May 2006