Arsenal needed to get off to a good start, with our Belgian opponents Anderlecht having their own problems with injuries, form and recent results. This game offered the Gunners a great chance to claim a morale boosting win and keep the hopes of winning the group alive.
But we started porly, giving the ball away and not playing with enough tempo. So that encouraged the home side and they started giving us problems at the other end, which did not help our nerves. Arsenal still created chances, of course, with Alexis Sanchez looking the most likely to find a way through a hard working defence.
But Ramsey still looks short of match fitness and Santi Cazorla was having another off day. His free kick in a great position hit the wall below waist height and you have to wonder why Alexis, who has already scored a beauty for us, did not take it. The Chilean found Welbeck with a great gross but the England striker couldn;t keep it down.
Wilshere was doing some good work in the tight spaces around their box, but overall it was a disjoited first half from Arsenal and the Belgians were good value to be level at the break.
And there was more toil to little effect in the second half. There were a couple of close calls from Alexis and Cazorla but it was Anderlecht who had the most chances and they got their reward with 20 minutes to go. Some poor defending from us and some good play from them and Arsenal were staring down the barrel.
Campbell and the Ox replaced Welbeck and Flamini as we tried to make something happen. Alexis came inches from levelling the scores with a great free kick, but the hosts also hit the bar to finish us. The Gunners defence was in disarray by now and Martinez had to save us a few times.
Wenger had one last throw of the dice, with Podolski replacing Wilshere but chances were not coming. Then out of nowhere the two full backs combined, Chambers’ cross finding Gibbs who produced a lovely drilled finish to rescue a point. And then unbelievably POdolski grabbed us a winner after good work from the Ox and Alexis. Phew, Gooners, we got away with one there.