Arsenal 2 - 0 Marseille
After dealing with Southampton at home, The Gunners turned their attention back to the Champions League. If they could beat Marseille, and if Dortmund failed to win against Napoli, Arsenal would qualify.[quote_right]”As the half time whistle blew, Arsenal knew they were the dominant side overall, but they also knew that they had little to show for it.”[/quote_right]
The game escalated almost immediately, as Jack Wilshere took just thirty seconds to break the deadlock.
Sagna released the Englishman down the right hand side, who drove into the box. He cut back inside to his left, and curled the ball into the far corner. It was a beautiful goal,and a beautiful way to start the match.
Unfortunately, the beauty stopped there. For the rest of the first half, both Marseille and Arsenal were sluggish moving forward, creating little.
However, in the thirty-eighth minute, Aaron Ramsey intelligently spun the ball over his markers head on the edge of Marseille’s area. Aaron was brought down, and the penalty was given, despite the challenge being just outside the box.
Ozil, who was having an average game, stepped up. He didn’t look convinced of himself, and his penalty reflected that. He attempted to floor Mandanda before shooting with a start-stop run up, but the Frenchman stayed on his feet, forcing Ozil to produce a weakened shot. The Goalkeeper parried with ease, and the game continued.
The rest of the first half was eventless, and as the half time whistle blew, Arsenal knew they were the dominant side overall, but they also knew that they had little to show for it.[quote_left]”In truth, it was another plain game, but a win is indeed a win.”[/quote_left]
The second half was pretty much the same as the first. The tempo was slow, Marseille were siting back, and Arsenal were struggling to create.
It took until the sixty-fifth minute for the next goal to come. Ramsey played a neat ball through to Ozil on right side of the penalty area. Mesut then quickly squared the ball to Wilshere, who once again finished well.
The second goal allowed Arsenal to cruise even more seadily to the final whistle. Marseille threw one Valbuena and Thauvin, but Arsenal held firm thanks to two great saves from Szczesney.
In the end, Arsenal started,and finished the strongest team, whilst Marseille never truly looked like they would mount a comeback. In truth, it was another plain game, but a win is indeed a win.
[title]Arsenal Player Ratings[/title]
Had almost nothing to do until late in the second half. He made a number of good saves, especially for Thauvin’s bottom corner shot. Looking more and more solid every game.
Sagna was largely untroubled at the back, and so he spent a lot of time helping out attacks - and he did so brilliantly. He got in and amongst the buildup play, whipped in crosses and kept the ball moving down the flank all game.
Per made one on two good tackles and interceptions, but Gignac caused him no trouble at all. A pleasantly quiet game for the German.
Like Per, Laurent had a quiet game, for all the good reasons. Gignac, like many before him, was safely tucked away into Koscielny’s pocket.
Nacho came in for an injured Gibbs, and played remarkably. His crossing was excellent, his heading was impressive, and his overall defensive display was as good, if not better than Gibbs. Did well to clear Thauvin’s chance off the line.
Aaron showed glimmers of his confidence once again, turning players to win penalties, sliding in to challenges and passing well throughout the game.
Flamini,like the rest of Arsenal’s defence, had an easy night. He sat back, patrolled the midfield, and kept the ball moving. Simple.
Tomas was on fire in the first half, as well as during the first period of the second half. He showed elegant touches, accurate passes and tough tackling. Unfortunately, his performance levels dropped as time went on. He’s no spring chicken. Subbed.
Wilshere: [8.5/10] - MOTM
Like against Southampton, Jack was helping to spearhead Arsenal’s attacks right from he get go. A goal in the thirtieth second and the sixty-fifth minute is great for confidence too, and that’s without mentioning the beauty of the first. A great game overall. Subbed.
Had a poor game really, and missed a penalty. Yet, he still produces some chances, made good passes and got the assist for Jack’s second goal. It’s early days guys - chill.
Worked his socks off as usual, and put himself about a bit physically. Olivier won headers, got involved in good link-up play, and was a thorn in Marseille’s side.
Santi came on and looked lively. He looked energetic on the ball, and produced some good passes towards the end of the game. Should have scored though.
Theo didn’t get on to the ball much, but when he did, you could feel he was hungry. He provided the initial cross for what was nearly a Cazorla goal, and almost scored himself in the last minute. Great to have him back.
Tongiht’s game was weirdly similar to Arsenal’s last game against Southampton.
It was a composed, professional performance, with a small number of chances, but a good conversion rate overall. These past two games haven’t been typical Arsenal. Tika-Taka Football has taken a holiday, and it’s been down to us to grind out wins when our performance isn’t quite there. That’s a good thing.
Marseille never really wanted it, but they still put up a defensive fight. Arsenal were tame, but efficient - thanks to Jack Wilshere’s great finishing on the night. You hear that? Jack Wilshere, great at finishing!
Next up, Cardiff away. Tough game. Anther Jack Attack would do nicely.
What do you think of the Arsenal vs Marseille match? Share your views in the comments section below!