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Walcott gives Arsenal advantage over Udinese

Published: Tuesday 16 August 2011, 23.11CET
Arsenal FC 1-0 Udinese Calcio
Theo Walcott's fourth-minute goal separates the sides going into the second leg after an open encounter in north London.

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Match statistics

ArsenalUdinese

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target4
 
4
Attempts off target1
 
8
Corners6
 
7
Offsides3
 
2
Fouls committed20
 
13
Yellow cards2
 
4
Red cards0
 
0
Possession (%)54
 
46

Standings

 
Published: Tuesday 16 August 2011, 23.11CET

Walcott gives Arsenal advantage over Udinese

Arsenal FC 1-0 Udinese Calcio
Theo Walcott's fourth-minute goal separates the sides going into the second leg after an open encounter in north London.

Arsenal FC are one step away from a 14th consecutive appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage after a narrow first-leg play-off win against Udinese Calcio.

Theo Walcott's fourth-minute goal proved the difference in an open contest in which the Friulani were unfortunate not to score an away goal. The Serie A side will attempt to turn round the tie when the teams reconvene in north-east Italy next Wednesday.

Arsène Wenger's charges took the lead when Bacary Sagna played in Aaron Ramsey down the right and the Wales captain delivered to Walcott for the simplest of finishes at the near post. Encouraged by their early breakthrough, the hosts might have doubled their lead when Thomas Vermaelen diverted Marouane Chamakh's header away from Gervinho as he shaped to turn the ball in.

The visitors had threatened little in the opening stages but gave the hosts cause for concern when Antonio Di Natale curled a 20-metre free-kick against the bar. Udinese, deployed in a 4-1-4-1, were content to sit back and hit Arsenal on the break, a ploy that almost paid off when Pablo Armero set off on a 50-metre sprint that took him through on goal. An equaliser seemed a certainty, but Wojciech Szczęsny pulled off a wonderful save, Alex Song blocking Mauricio Isla's follow-up.

Di Natale was a perpetual menace, finding space to wriggle free in the area and fire off a snapshot that skimmed Szczęsny's near post before half-time. By now it was Udinese making all the running and Di Natale could have levelled after Song ceded possession in his own half. However, the Italian international tried to round Szczęsny rather than shoot and Johan Djourou was able to make a crucial tackle.

Like Kieran Gibbs, Djourou was forced off with an injury, and Francesco Guidolin's side continued to take the game to the Gunners, Armero coming close with a fierce shot that flew just over. Indeed just as Arsenal looked like being overrun Walcott squandered a glorious chance, latching on to Ramsey's measured pass only to scuff an elaborate chip with just Samir Handanovič to beat.

His profligacy was almost punished by another free-kick from Di Natale which Szczęsny palmed away on 74 minutes. Arsenal were clinging on and almost carved out a flattering second following a flowing move on the break which culminated in a fine save by Handanovič from Walcott to keep the one-goal margin.

Last updated: 27/11/12 20.33CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000262/match=2007556/postmatch/report/index.html#walcott+earns+arsenal+edge

Lineups

arsenal

Arsenal

udinese

Udinese

13
SzczęsnyWojciech Szczęsny (GK)
1
HandanovičSamir Handanovič (GK)
3
SagnaBacary Sagna
3
IslaMauricio Isla
5
VermaelenThomas Vermaelen (C)
5
DaniloDanilo
6
KoscielnyLaurent Koscielny
7
BaduEmmanuel Badu
7
RosickýTomáš Rosický
Substitution73
10
Di NataleAntonio Di Natale (C)
14
WalcottTheo Walcott
Goal4
Yellow Card11
13
NeutonNeuton
Yellow Card11
Substitution59
16
RamseyAaron Ramsey
17
BenatiaMedhi Benatia
17
SongAlex Song
20
AsamoahKwadwo Asamoah
27
GervinhoGervinho
24
EkstrandJoel Ekstrand
Yellow Card1
28
GibbsKieran Gibbs
Yellow Card45
Substitution46
27
ArmeroPablo Armero
Yellow Card79
29
ChamakhMarouane Chamakh
66
PinziGiampiero Pinzi
Yellow Card71
Substitution88

Substitutes

21
FabiańskiŁukasz Fabiański (GK)
6
BelardiEmanuele Belardi (GK)
15
Oxlade-ChamberlainAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain
19
DenisGermán Denis
20
DjourouJohan Djourou
Substitution46
Substitution56
21
VydraMatěj Vydra
23
ArshavinAndrey Arshavin
23
AbdiAlmen Abdi
Substitution88
25
JenkinsonCarl Jenkinson
Substitution56
26
PasqualeGiovanni Pasquale
Substitution59
26
FrimpongEmmanuel Frimpong
Substitution73
30
DoubaïThierry Doubaï
52
BendtnerNicklas Bendtner
31
FabbriniDiego Fabbrini

Coach

Pat Rice (NIR) Francesco Guidolin (ITA)

Referee

Kevin Blom (NED)

Assistant referees

Nicky Siebert (NED), Patrick Langkamp (NED)

Fourth official

Danny Makkelie (NED)

Additional assistant referees

Reinold Wiedemeijer (NED), Tom van Sichem (NED)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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