Marseille 1 (Ayew 90) – 2 Arsenal (Walcott 65, Ramsey 84)
Man of the Match – Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
The away juggernaut just keeps rolling. Arsenal secured their 10th consecutive win on the road, a run that started at the Allianz Arena, when Arsenal beat Bayern Munich 2-0 back in March.
Arsenal, already struggling with injuries started with only 2 changes to the squad that took to the field against Sunderland. Per Mertesacker was declared fit to start, which meant Bacary Sagna moved to his preferred right back position.
Arsenal started off pretty well, but Theo Walcott was pretty wasteful. His header was cleared off the line, having been set up by Ozil, before he failed to get power behind his shot off a Ramsey long ball.
Marseille, backed by their brilliant home support were slowly building in confidence. Dmitri Payet’s shot was blocked by Aaron Ramsey, before Andre Ayew’s header went wide. The home crowd were building a fantastic crescendo of noise at this point of time.
Apart from that, the first half was dull, with Arsenal having much of the ball, but doing little with it. The French side were defending well, and allowing little inroads into their defence. Arsenal survived a late scare towards the end of the first half, when Per Mertesacker cleared a dangerous ball from Payet. Moments later, Andre Pierre Gignac almost scored off a header from a corner.
The first half ended a dull 0-0, but the second half was sprightly. A delightful back heel from Ozil almost resulted in a goal for Kieran Gibbs, but the left back could only force a save from Mandanda.
The game became end to end, with Payet again creating problems for Arsenal’s defence with a low drive. Walcott couldn’t get his feet sorted for an Ozil pass, before Wilshere’s volley forced a save from Mandanda. And, it got crazier when Kieran Gibbs headed the ball off the line, after Mertesacker’s clearance went horribly wrong over Szczesny.
Arsenal manage to break the deadlock in the 65th minute, when a fine cross from Gibbs was misjudged by Morel, and Walcott was on hand to score a fine volley. It was the Englishman’s first goal of the season.
Marseille had a go, with Mathieu Valbuena, but Aaron Ramsey made sure of the points, when he collected a Kieran Gibbs pass, beat a couple of defenders and directed his low drive past Mandanda. It was the Welshman’s 6th goal of the season, and he seems to be growing in confidence, more than ever before.
Arsenal again failed to keep a clean sheet, when Aaron Ramsey conceded a harshly adjudged penalty, dispatched by Jordan Ayew.
Overall, a fantastic performance. Walcott was lively last night, and hopefully he can kick off from here. Aaron Ramsey was at his best again, and his form in midfield will be vital to Arsenal’s season. Kieran Gibbs was brilliant again last night, with his runs from back to front.
Next up is a home game to Stoke in the league, before Arsenal kick off their Capitol One Cup campaign at West Bromwich Albion.
Jai Arsenal 🙂
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