UCL: Marseille Played Well, But Arsenal Wiped Them Clean
Arsenal traveled to the Stade De Velodrome to face Marseille in their UCL group stage opener. The game was expected to be a bit easier than it was for the Premier League side, but the French Ligue 1 powerhouse actually made Arsenal earn their moneys worth.
The first half began with home side playing very nice possession, but they were looking to their most creative player — Mathieu Valbuena — a bit too much during the opening segment of the match. He is clearly their best midfielder as his vision brings so much success to this side. In fact, he had a couple of shots inside the opening five minutes that almost troubled the Arsenal keeper.
The first half ended in a 0-0 draw with Marseille being the better of the two sides since they managed to keep the quick and creative players of the English side quiet for the most part.
However, in the second half, matters began to take a swift and sour turn for the French.
A cross from the left hand side was headed backwards by MAR defender Morel, who had no idea that Theo Walcott was creeping up behind him to volley that ball hard into the top far corner. The defender had trouble with the Englishman throughout the match, and simply gifted him the goal.
Later on, Aaron Ramsey, who is on the form of his life right now, dribbled then ripped home the clincher. Marseille’s goal arrived on a last-minute penalty kick from Jordan Ayew.
This is a game that Arsenal began slowly and certainly quietly, but in the end, they got the result they definitely needed to silence all critics and quietly break their consecutive away win records, as they now have 10 straight on the road. With opponents such as Borussia Dortmund and Napoli also in this group, three points on the road is what Arsenal needed just in case they end up slipping against one of these two high-profile sides.
Currently, Arsenal sit atop the group with three points and a +2 goal difference ahead of Napoli, who have a +1 goal difference after defeating Dortmund 2-1 at home.