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Patience is Arsenal's virtue for Vermaelen

Published: Wednesday 30 September 2009, 14.10CET
Defender Thomas Vermaelen celebrated a fourth consecutive clean sheet in Arsenal FC's 2-0 Group H victory over Olympiacos FC, a triumph the Belgian international put down to his side's patience.
by Trevor Huggins
from London
Patience is Arsenal's virtue for Vermaelen
Pressure eventually told for Thomas Vermaelen's Arsenal ©Getty Images

Match statistics

ArsenalOlympiacos

Goals scored2
 
0
Attempts on target12
 
2
Attempts off target4
 
2
Corners10
 
2
Offsides2
 
0
Fouls committed13
 
18
Yellow cards2
 
4
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:21 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 30 September 2009, 14.10CET

Patience is Arsenal's virtue for Vermaelen

Defender Thomas Vermaelen celebrated a fourth consecutive clean sheet in Arsenal FC's 2-0 Group H victory over Olympiacos FC, a triumph the Belgian international put down to his side's patience.

Defender Thomas Vermaelen celebrated a fourth consecutive clean sheet in Arsenal FC's 2-0 Group H victory over Olympiacos FC, a triumph the Belgian international put down to his side's patience.

Tough time
Arsenal had to bide their time in north London as wave after wave of attacks foundered through a combination of a well-drilled Olympiacos defence, the woodwork and some smart saves from keeper Antonis Nikopolidis. The hosts finally made the breakthrough in the 78th minute with a Robin van Persie strike followed eight minutes later by a killer blow from Andrei Arshavin. "It was just a tough game," Vermaelen said. "In the first half we played very well, with our quick passing game and created a lot of chances, but we didn't score."

Virtue of patience
Arsenal kept plugging away, helped by the arrival in the latter stages of substitute strikers Eduardo and Carlos Vela, and were eventually rewarded for their efforts. "You have to be patient in those kinds of situations and be confident that one chance is enough for us," said the Belgian centre-half. "If we score in the 85th minute or the 68th it doesn't matter. We're happy with the three points."

Group promise
Tuesday's victory and their 3-2 win against R. Standard de Liège on Matchday 1 have propelled Arsenal to the top of the section. Asked if he thought the Gunners were now in control of Group H, Vermaelen said: "I think so. We have one away victory and one at home, and if you win your games at home then I think you will get through in the group stage."

Disappointed Ollberg
While Vermaelen was enjoying the win, Olympiacos's Swedish defender Olof Mellberg, who tangled with the Gunners regularly during a seven-year stint at Aston Villa FC, was frustrated on his return to England. "They had a good game and we didn't," said the 32-year-old, who joined Olympiacos this season after a year in Italy with Juventus. "We're all disappointed. We were not on top of our game, we didn't perform as well as we know we can – or as well as we needed to, to get something out of the match."

Arsenal favourites
Second in the group after an opening victory over AZ Alkmaar, two points clear of both AZ and Standard, Mellberg remained upbeat about his team's chances of reaching the knockout stages. "Arsenal were the favourites before the group started and they're obviously even bigger favourites now, so we've got to look to get second place and try to improve as the season goes on," he added. "I can't make any promises about results, but I can promise we'll give 100 per cent. We should have a good chance."

Last updated: 30/09/09 13.19CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000028/match=2000394/postmatch/quotes/index.html#patience+arsenals+virtue+vermaelen

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