Champions League review by KJ
Marseille 1 – 2 Arsenal; we survived the first half and punished them in the second. The game started off decently with us getting Walcott through on goal numerous times. Unfortunately Theo struggled to put those chances away. We were forced to defend resolutely for the remainder of the half as Marseille were really strong with the likes of Valbuena dictating the attack.
The second half started with a scare as Mertesacker got a clearance horribly wrong and Gibbs had to brilliantly clear it off the line. We finally managed to score a goal thanks to a poor header by Morel that allowed Theo to shoot across goal with a very restricted angle but he blasted it in. 0 – 1. Soon after, Ramsey scored the second thanks to a significant deflection. 0 – 2
Finally, in the dying minutes, Marseille were awarded a penalty (wrongly in my opinion) as Ramsey overran the ball in our box. Ayew scored with ease. 1 – 2.
Szczesny – 7.5
He had to make some very good saves to keep us in the game and was generally commanding.
Sagna – 6.5
Struggled at times to deal with Valbuena and Payet but was good enough.
Mertesacker – 6
Wasn’t the best today and his defensive error could’ve been very costly.
Koscielny – 6.5
Decent shift by him but nothing outstanding.
Gibbs – 8 (MOTM)
Simply a brilliant performance by Kieran and prevented what could’ve been a crucial goal for Marseille.
Flamini – 6.5
Was decent but gave Valbuena too much space.
Ramsey – 7
Was good on the ball and scored but did give some passes away and his overconfidence did give away a penalty.
Walcott – 6.5
Did miss a few good chances and struggled to punish Morel. But he took his goal very well.
Özil – 6.5
Very timid game from the German and understandable as he’s still learning. Was stronger in the second half.
Wilshere – 7
A very nice performance by the Englishman. Did give the ball away but his dribbling and control got us out of tricky spots and helped transition defending into attack.
Giroud – 5.5
Very poor game by the Frenchman especially considering his form. Nothing seemed to go well and his link up play was really non-existent.
Subs – N/A
Not enough time to judge our subs.
All in all, this was a crucial win for us. If we can now punish Napoli at home in a fortnight we are really on our way to qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions league.