Arsenal FC forward Theo Walcott hopes to score "many, many more" goals this term after his first helped earn a "massive victory" against a frustrated Olympique de Marseille.
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Arsenal FC forward Theo Walcott hopes to score "many, many more" goals this season after opening his account for the campaign to help earn a "massive" 2-1 UEFA Champions League victory at Olympique de Marseille.
The result was a club record tenth consecutive away win in all competitions for the Gunners, and Walcott hailed that "unreal" achievement and also praised fellow scorer Aaron Ramsey. For Marseille, defender Rod Fanni lamented Arsenal's greater efficiency in front of goal but stressed that he and his team-mates "still believe in our chances".
Theo Walcott, Arsenal forward
It's a massive victory for us. I felt we were quite under the cosh at times and they showed some great football and it's a hostile place to come, but I expressed beforehand that I thought we could win this game and it's a very crucial win because Dortmund lost as well. It's going to be a very tight [group] and it just shows that every point does count. The guys were fantastic tonight.
We dug in and it was important for us to stay in the game. The first goal was always going to be crucial, I managed to get that, but there's no easy games and obviously Dortmund lost, and they were probably the favourites from our group.
[For the opening goal] the cross came in and the full-back missed it, and it felt like a decade that the ball was in the air. I managed to keep my eye on it and it was just pure technique into the top corner. It meant a lot, getting off the mark, and hopefully there'll be many, many more to come now. I started pretty late last season and I finished top scorer, so it's a good sign.
Someone told me about [Arsenal's away record] in the dressing room – that's unreal. It just shows how consistent we are away from home. We just need to be a bit more consistent at home. That's the next big step, and if we can show that, we can really go far this season. It's definitely something to be proud of, being part of it.
Aaron Ramsey has just shone in every single game. It's beautiful to play with him and it's fantastic to see him playing very well. He's had a lot of injury problems and I'm so happy for him. He had a fantastically hard pre-season, worked really hard and he's enjoying every minute of it.
Wojciech Szczęsny, Arsenal goalkeeper
It's a very satisfying win. This is a very tough place to come – the crowd was fantastic and they must have helped Marseille lot – but we stayed solid defensively for 90 minutes and managed to score two fantastic goals, and that was enough to win the game. I'm disappointed not to get the clean sheet, but what's important is the three points.
Our away record is down to the desire of the whole team to defend well. We've not conceded a lot of goals away from home; we've been defending really well and then scoring goals on the counterattack.
We've won the last six games and four of them away from home, so we know the momentum is with us. The games are coming thick and fast because we play every midweek, but I'm sure we can keep the momentum going and keep getting the results.
Every game is important in the Champions League. It's obviously vital to get off to a good start and that's what we did. We're in a strong position. I know Dortmund lost today, so it will be interesting to play Napoli in a couple of weeks' time, but we'll be confident playing at home.
Rod Fanni, Marseille defender
We're very disappointed because we put a lot of energy into the game and gave a good account of ourselves, but we conceded two goals due to small details and we don't think the result reflects what happened in the match.
What made the difference was the fact they were very clinical, which is often what makes the difference between the big teams and smaller ones. But when you look at the game, we deserved as much as them, if not more.
There were a lot of things we can build on for the rest of the competition, even if we're very disappointed now. We still believe in our chances. When we look at the performance we put in, we can't help but think we can do something – more than before even. We'll do everything we can and see where we are at the end.
André Ayew, Marseille forward
We played a good match overall – we were dominant and we showed we have the quality to be in the Champions League. Now we need to show more experience and more efficiency up front and at the back, but this game is a good omen for the rest of the competition.
We have a long road back now, but Arsenal were well-organised. They're a team that's good in the air, with [Per] Mertesacker and [Laurent] Koscielny, so they more or less let us cross as much as we wanted and tried to take care of things in the middle.
[For the first goal] it's easy to talk about things from the outside, but after the cross came in [Jérémy Morel] didn't see the ball. He tried to clear it any way he could and Walcott was fortunate that it fell in front of him. For me, that's not a mistake; it's one of those things that happen in games. Now we need to use this match to improve.
We need to look on the bright side. We're not going to give up. We have to do everything to seize our chance. Whether we manage it or not, we have nothing to lose. We have to be positive and we'll go to Dortmund with a lot of ambition.