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Van Persie and Walcott take Arsenal past Udinese

Published: Wednesday 24 August 2011, 23.12CET
Udinese Calcio 1-2 Arsenal FC (agg: 1-3)
Arsenal recovered from a goal down to defeat their Serie A hosts and reach the group stage for the 14th successive season.
by Paolo Menicucci
from Stadio Friuli
Van Persie and Walcott take Arsenal past Udinese
Arsenal goalscorers Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott celebrate victory against Udinese ©Getty Images

Match statistics

UdineseArsenal

Goals scored1
 
2
Attempts on target7
 
13
Attempts off target5
 
5
Corners3
 
3
Offsides5
 
4
Fouls committed14
 
16
Yellow cards2
 
4
Red cards0
 
0
Possession (%)41
 
59

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 24 August 2011, 23.12CET

Van Persie and Walcott take Arsenal past Udinese

Udinese Calcio 1-2 Arsenal FC (agg: 1-3)
Arsenal recovered from a goal down to defeat their Serie A hosts and reach the group stage for the 14th successive season.

For the fifth time in the last six seasons, Arsenal FC booked their place in the UEFA Champions League group stage via the play-offs, the Gunners coming from behind to beat Udinese Calcio at the Stadio Friuli.

Antonio Di Natale's 39th-minute header cancelled out the Zebrette's 1-0 first-leg deficit, but goals after the break from Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott − the latter ten minutes after Wojciech Szczęsny brilliantly saved a Di Natale penalty − ensured Arsène Wenger's side of a 14th successive campaign in Europe's premier club competition.

Both sides started at a high tempo, with Gervinho and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu quickly testing the opposing goalkeepers with shots from outside the penalty box. Midway through the first half, Agyemang-Badu found Mauricio Isla on the right of the area. The Chile winger then fed Di Natale, who shot against a post. It was yet more frustration for last season's Serie A top scorer, who hit the woodwork twice in the first leg.

Six minutes later it was Arsenal who had a glorious opportunity to take the lead. Gervinho broke down the left, dribbling past two Udinese defenders in the process, before pulling back to the unmarked Walcott, who was denied by the outrushing Samir Handanovič. The Slovenia goalkeeper then sprang to his feet to thwart Van Persie from the rebound.

The stifling heat was having little effect on the pace of proceedings, with Di Natale next to threaten when he forced Szczęsny into a difficult save from an acute angle. The veteran forward, however, did not have to wait too much longer to give Udinese the lead. From Giampiero Pinzi's perfect cross, the 33-year-old looped a header over Szczesny and in off the far post.

Arsenal hit back in the 55th minute when Van Persie beat Handanovič with a simple finish following enterprising approach play by Gervinho down the left. Udinese, however, had an immediate opportunity to retake the lead on the night when Thomas Vermaelen's handled in the box but Szczesny leapt to his right to palm Di Natale's spot-kick over the crossbar.

Things went from bad to worse for Udinese 21 minutes from time when Walcott played a nice one-two on the halfway line with Bacary Sagna, surged towards goal and beat Handanovič at his near post. Udinese's consolation is a berth in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

Last updated: 26/08/11 1.05CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000262/match=2007566/postmatch/report/index.html#arsenal+triumph+udine

Quotes

  • Arsène Wenger

    Read more"We showed belief in the way want to play football, we kept our focus on the way we wanted to play, and we slowly made the difference in the game"

  • Francesco Guidolin

    Read more"Our dream ended tonight, that's the truth, but our supporters gave us a long applause, which means that we played our part"

Lineups

udinese

Udinese

arsenal

Arsenal

1
HandanovičSamir Handanovič (GK)
13
SzczęsnyWojciech Szczęsny (GK)
3
IslaMauricio Isla
Yellow Card52
Substitution83
3
SagnaBacary Sagna
Yellow Card70
5
DaniloDanilo
5
VermaelenThomas Vermaelen
Yellow Card58
7
BaduEmmanuel Badu
10
Van PersieRobin van Persie (C)
Goal55
10
Di NataleAntonio Di Natale (C)
Goal39
Penalty59
14
WalcottTheo Walcott
Goal69
Yellow Card74
Substitution90+1
13
NeutonNeuton
16
RamseyAaron Ramsey
17
BenatiaMehdi Benatia
Yellow Card74
Substitution87
17
SongAlex Song
20
AsamoahKwadwo Asamoah
20
DjourouJohan Djourou
24
EkstrandJoel Ekstrand
25
JenkinsonCarl Jenkinson
Yellow Card75
27
ArmeroPablo Armero
26
FrimpongEmmanuel Frimpong
Substitution46
66
PinziGiampiero Pinzi
Substitution63
27
GervinhoGervinho
Substitution86

Substitutes

6
BelardiEmanuele Belardi (GK)
21
FabiańskiŁukasz Fabiański (GK)
8
BastaDušan Basta
7
RosickýTomáš Rosický
Substitution46
19
DenisGermán Denis
Substitution83
15
Oxlade-ChamberlainAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain
23
AbdiAlmen Abdi
23
ArshavinAndrey Arshavin
Substitution90+1
26
PasqualeGiovanni Pasquale
Substitution87
29
ChamakhMarouane Chamakh
30
DoubaïThierry Doubaï
30
TraoréArmand Traoré
Substitution86
31
FabbriniDiego Fabbrini
Substitution63
49
MiquelIgnasi Miquel

Coach

Francesco Guidolin (ITA) Arsène Wenger (FRA)

Referee

Olegário Benquerença (POR)

Assistant referees

Bertino Miranda (POR), João Santos (POR)

Fourth official

Rui Manuel Gomes Costa (POR)

Additional assistant referees

Artur Dias (POR), Carlos Xistra (POR)

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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