GGM 11: Lehmann heroics book place in Paris

Jens Lehmann emerged as Arsenal's hero after a tough, tense but ultimately magical night at El Madrigal in April 2006.

The Germany No 1 kept Villarreal at bay throughout the second leg of their Semi Final in Spain to secure Arsenal's place in their first Champions League Final.

Lehmann had to be at his best as Villarreal pinned Arsenal back for much of the game. Guillermo Franco and Diego Forlan were both inches from levelling the aggregate scores at 1-1 but the visitors clung on to the lead given to them by Kolo Toure's first-leg strike.

Villarreal's best chance arrived two minutes from time when Gael Clichy was harshly adjudged to have fouled Jose Mari and the hosts were awarded a penalty. But Lehmann saved his best for last, diving to his left to push away Juan Roman Riquelme's spot kick.

Shortly afterwards the final whistle blew, sparking joyous scenes on the Arsenal bench and among the small but noisy band of travelling supporters. Lehmann threw his shirt into the away end as the Arsenal squad celebrated on the pitch.

The Arsenal keeper was a fitting hero after helping to marshal an inexperienced Arsenal back four to a record-breaking run of 10 successive clean sheets in the Champions League. Manuel Almunia played his part earlier in the tournament but it was Lehmann who secured that trip to Paris.

If only things had gone better for him once he reached the French capital.

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