After a period of dominance early in the second half, it seemed that we became increasingly aware of the damage that an away goal could do to us, and so we sat back, accepting the fact that a 1-0 win was a better result than a 2-1 win.
The clean sheet was a huge bonus, which also saw us extend our record. It really is an amazing achievement when you consider that a make shift back four have accounted for most of the games during this run.
So we can go into the second leg with confidence, bring it on!
Jens Lehmann (7) His tackling efforts were great! Ccccrrrraaazzzzzeeeeeeeeeee!
Mathieu Flamini (7) Solid defending throughout.
Philippe Senderos (7) Excellent tackling, but some sloppy passes.
Kolo Toure (7) The goal capped a fine display.
Emmanual Eboue (6) Caught out a few times at the back but pegged them back with his attacking runs.
Freddie Ljungberg (6) No lack of effort, but a lack of end result became frustrating.
Cesc Fabregas (7) Dominated the midfield.
Gilberto (8) His best performance of the season by a mile. He gave Cesc the space he needed to influence the game, and restricted Villarreal to long range shooting.
Alexander Hleb (7) He is starting to look really REALLY good.
Robert Pires (6) Lacked any real impact on the game.
Thierry Henry (7) Full of running and energy, and shouldn't have had his goal ruled out.
Dennis Bergkamp (4) Struggled to get into the game.
Robin Van Persie (5) Had the commitment but very little of the ball!