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Arsenal take their chances to triumph in Marseille

Published: Wednesday 18 September 2013, 23.06CET
Olympique de Marseille 1-2 Arsenal FC
The visitors were made to suffer in France before an excellent Theo Walcott volley and another goal for the in-form Aaron Ramsey made the difference.
by Chris Burke
from Stade Vélodrome

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Last updated: 19/06/2014 23:28 CET

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Published: Wednesday 18 September 2013, 23.06CET

Arsenal take their chances to triumph in Marseille

Olympique de Marseille 1-2 Arsenal FC
The visitors were made to suffer in France before an excellent Theo Walcott volley and another goal for the in-form Aaron Ramsey made the difference.

Arsenal FC set the wheels in motion on their UEFA Champions League campaign with a 2-1 victory at Olympique de Marseille as Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey fired the north London team to a hard-fought opening-day win.

Arsène Wenger's men visited the Stade Vélodrome chasing a club-record tenth consecutive away success in all competitions, yet they looked unlikely to attain it until Walcott unleashed a superbly taken strike on 65 minutes. The hosts had created the lion's share of the chances, but their hunt for at least a share of the spoils was ended by the in-form Ramsey with seven minutes remaining, despite Jordan Ayew's late penalty.

Élie Baup cast his side as the section's underdogs yesterday, yet there was nothing humble about the way they twice made Wojciech Szczęsny work early on. First, the Polish No1 had to grapple André-Pierre Gignac's flicked effort and moments later he plucked a Mathieu Valbuena shot out of the air, before his counterpart Steve Mandanda snaffled up a Walcott half-volley.

That was a rare attempt from Arsenal, however, and Marseille were harrying them with impressive energy, an approach augmented by Valbuena's quick feet and bright ideas in dangerous areas. Dimitri Payet was catching the eye too, and the French international almost served up the opener when his cross was headed wide by André Ayew.

Despite seeing more of the ball, the Gunners appeared rattled and, as the half drew to a close, Per Mertesacker had to cut out a dangerous cross destined for Ayew, with Gignac nodding too high from the subsequent corner. OM continued to take the fight to their opponents after the interval and threatened quickly as Rod Fanni then speared a bouncing ball acrobatically beyond the far post.

The home fans liked what they saw and kept up an impressive battery of noise, though Arsenal went close when Kieran Gibbs latched onto Mesut Özil's deft back-heel and drew a fine save from Mandanda. The match was now opening up delightfully, and after Szczęsny dived left to deny Payet, Mandanda kept out Jack Wilshere.

Gibbs then needed to head a sliced clearance from Mertesacker away from goal – but just as pressure looked to be building on the visitors, Jérémy Morel failed to deal with a Gibbs cross and Walcott volleyed high into the far corner.

Marseille's search for an equaliser inevitably passed through Valbuena, yet it was Ramsey who settled the contest with a low, deflected drive. The Welshman's night was not over, though, as he still had time to bring down André Ayew in the area, allowing the forward's brother Jordan to reduce the deficit.

Last updated: 14/04/14 16.35CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000479/match=2011761/postmatch/report/index.html#arsenal+take+their+chances

Lineups

marseille

Marseille

arsenal

Arsenal

30
MandandaSteve Mandanda (GK) (C)
1
SzczęsnyWojciech Szczęsny (GK)
3
N'KoulouNicolas N'Koulou
Yellow Card41
3
SagnaBacary Sagna
4
MendesLucas Mendes
4
MertesackerPer Mertesacker (C)
9
GignacAndré-Pierre Gignac
6
KoscielnyLaurent Koscielny
10
A. AyewAndré Ayew
10
WilshereJack Wilshere
15
MorelJérémy Morel
11
ÖzilMesut Özil
17
PayetDimitri Payet
Substitution73
12
GiroudOlivier Giroud
20
RomaoAlaixys Romao
14
WalcottTheo Walcott
Goal65
Substitution78
24
FanniRod Fanni
16
RamseyAaron Ramsey
Yellow Card54
Goal83
25
ImbulaGiannelli Imbula
Substitution80
20
FlaminiMathieu Flamini
Substitution90+1
28
ValbuenaMathieu Valbuena
Substitution90
28
GibbsKieran Gibbs

Substitutes

16
SambaBrice Samba (GK)
21
FabiańskiŁukasz Fabiański (GK)
7
CheyrouBenoît Cheyrou
5
VermaelenThomas Vermaelen
11
J. AyewJordan Ayew
Substitution73
Goal90+3
17
MonrealNacho Monreal
Substitution78
13
LeminaMario Lemina
25
JenkinsonCarl Jenkinson
14
ThauvinFlorian Thauvin
Substitution80
31
MiyaichiRyo Miyaichi
Substitution90+1
23
B. MendyBenjamin Mendy
37
AkpomChuba Akpom
29
KhalifaSaber Khalifa
Substitution90
45
HaydenIsaac Hayden

Coach

Élie Baup (FRA) Arsène Wenger (FRA)

Referee

Olegário Benquerença (POR)

Assistant referees

Ricardo Santos (POR), Rui Tavares (POR)

Fourth official

João Santos (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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