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Arsenal Kept Waiting After Marseille Stalemate‎

by on November 2, 2011

Arsenal were held by Marseille at the Emirates, which leaves them one point clear at the top of Group F in the Champions League. Arsène Wenger made three changes to the side which defeated Chelsea on Saturday. Carl Jenkinson came in for Johan Djourou at right back. Thomas Vermaelen returned to the starting line up and captained the side as well. South Korean Captain Park Chu-Young started his first Champions League game for Arsenal. Which meant Robin Van Persie and Laurent Koscielny both dropped down to the bench.

In the opening minutes it was the Ayew brothers coming close for Marseille, Jordan’s backheel went wide and Andre met Loic Remy’s cross to go inches wide past the post. Gervinho played in Walcott on the right and his strike was saved by Mandanda. Brazilian attacking full back Andre Santos got forward for the gunners and his chipped cross found Ramsey’s run but the Welshman’s shot went wide. Remy was causing problems on the right, getting first to Cheyrou’s flick but shooting wide of the Arsenal goal.

Minutes in to the second-half Van Persie starting to begin to warm-up. Vermaelen’s header went well over the gunners,  Cheyrou’s low cross went past Szczesny and went through the six yard box. Robin Van Persie and Thomas Rosicky both came on for the Noth London side for Park Chu-Young and Aaron Ramsey.

It didn’t have an immediate effect for Arsenal, they weren’t creating many chances in the second-half. Within thirdteen minutes to go Van Persie found some space from the Marseille defence and opted a chip shot which was comfortably saved by Mandanda.

Arsenal last substitute was Russia captain Andrey Arshavin replacing Gervinho. Both teams failed to create any major chances in the later stages of the second-half and it finished in a stalemate.

Defensively the gunners looked much better, Metersacker and  Vermaelen forming a good understanding at the heart of the defence. Andre Santos looked good going forward but question marks about his defensive duties. Arsenal lacked that cutting edge going forward was it down to Van Persie being on the bench?

Arsenal 0-0 Marseille

Arsenal team which played Marseille – Szczesny, Santos, Mertersacker, Vermaelen (C), Jenkinson, Song, Arteta, Ramsey (Rosicky 66), Walcott, Gervinho (Arshavin 76), Park Chu-Young (Van Persie 62)

Subs not used – Fabianski, Koscielny, Djourou, Benayoun

Attendance – 59,961

Now Arsenal turn there attentions towards Saturday they are playing against Roy Hodgson’s West Brom. I fully expect Robin Van Persie to return to the starting line up as well.

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