Soccer-Arsenal through to last 16 with draw in Prague

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PRAGUE, Nov 8 (Reuters) Slavia Prague held Arsenal to a well-deserved 0-0 draw in Champions League Group H but it was enough for the Gunners to reach the last 16.

Slavia, out to make up for a 7-0 rout by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium two weeks ago, showed plenty of fight yesterday and could have caused an upset had they taken their chances.

The draw left Arsenal top with 10 points from four matches, ahead of Sevilla with nine, Slavia with four and Steaua Bucharest without a point after four defeats.

The Premier League leaders failed to create any clearcut scoring opportunities but manager Arsene Wenger was satisfied with the outcome.

''The result is quite positive, because we qualified, we did not concede a goal and we came here to qualify and the defensive performance was good. The offensive performance was average,'' he told a news conference.

''I feel Slavia felt humiliated after the first 7-0 and they defended very well tonight. They were determined not to concede a goal and our tempo was not high enough to create space for chances.'' Arsenal rested creative midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Aleksandr Hleb, while fellow midfielder Tomas Rosicky and defender Kolo Toure were missing due to minor injuries.

Slavia came close to opening the scoring in the early stages when Mickael Tavares header over from a corner.

Zdenek Senkerik had the Czech side's next chance in the 36th minute, but Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia tipped his shot from 16 metres over the bar.

Playing conditions became difficult as bitterly cold rain doused the pitch in the second half.

Though they showed more initiative after the break, Wenger's men never really looked like scoring.

''I think we did not let Arsenal have any serious chances. I think we were a little closer to victory, and we had some promising opportunities,'' said Slavia coach Karel Jarolim.

Slavia nearly broke the deadlock when Senkerik had only Almunia to beat in the 75th minute after a pass from Tavares, but his effort was blocked by the Spanish keeper.

Arsenal's best chance fell to substitute striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who headed into keeper Michal Vorel's arms from about 10 metres in the 86th minute.

REUTERS AB SSC1021

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