Arsenal 2-0 Marseille: 4 Positives Taken From The Gunners Win
Arsenal beat Marseille 2-0 at the Emirates on Tuesday to go one step closer to the Champions League last 16. Here, Gunner333 gives us 4 positives from the game
Arsenal beat Marseille 2-0 at the Emirates on Tuesday to go one step closer to the Champions League last 16. Here, Gunner333 gives us 4 positives from the game.
After positive starts to both domestic and European competitions, the Gunners were looking to practically guarantee a spot in the last 16 with victory over a struggling Marseille side in the Champions League. Despite the quality of opposition, Arsene Wenger resisted the temptation to rotate his squad and fielded a strong side.
The game took very little time to unfold as Jack Wilshere fired himself back into the spotlight with a goal after the opening thirty seconds. The Englishman polishing of a neat piece of play, sending a delectable finish past the stretching Mandanda. A resurgent Wilshere bagging a vital opener.
Just moments later and another chance arose but this time went begging, Aaron Ramsey failing to dispatch an accurate pull-back from Olivier Giroud. Marseille responded at the other end as a late-run from Gignac drew a top save from Szczesny.
A foul from N’Koulou then signalled for an Arsenal penalty and the Gunners’ puppet-master, Mesut Ozil, stepped up only to be surprisingly denied by an inspired Mandanda. Half time and worrying sights as Arsenal were struggling to put a pretty average side to the slaughter.
No changes from Wenger but some look of intention sparked from the Marseille camp as both midfield maestro Valbuena and promising talent Thauvin took to the field in the opening fifteen minutes of the second half.
Arsenal had strung together an impressive 404 passes at an accuracy of 90% up to this stage but had only a goal to show for it. A sentiment Jack Wilshere set out to change as he grabbed his second after poking home a sharp pass from Mesut Ozil.
Either end saw little action as the game progressed, youngster Thauvin forcing yet another sharp save from Szczesny, but the Pole remaining strong. The ex-Lille prodigy troubled the Gunners again with his effort flew towards goal after Szczesny originally denied him, but Nacho Monreal cleared off the line.
With the exception of a late Cazorla swipe, no further response from either side and the game ended with Arsenal victorious and with Dortmund’s defeat of Napoli, we are still to secure qualification to the last 16 heading into the final group match-day.
As we won comfortably in this game, I have highlighted four key positives from the match.
1) Jack is Back!
Evidently this was a sharp performance from our main Young-Gun and his impressive brace capped of a night of wonderful football from him. Wilshere remained fully-fit all night long and was a constant threat to the visitors.
His opening goal highlighted great confidence whilst he echoed his excellent positional sense in the second. If he remains fit and shows the same kind of high work-rate he is assured to be a regular starter and vital part of our current crop of sublime talent.
2) Another Clean Sheet
An important element of our early-season form has been a solid defence. This game told no different story either as yet another clean sheet was accumulated by our back-line. Our fourth in five games. Although we were against pretty flat opposition in truth, Wojciech was called upon more than once and remained strong.
Mertesacker and Koscielny looked at their best and quickly broke down any Marseile attack efficiently. They pushed up and held back in unison, while Sagna and Monreal offered a threat going forward and did their part at the back as well.
3) Ridiculously Dominant in Possession
As mentioned, part way through the second half we had strung together a mass of passes with incredibly accuracy. This ability can be used to tire teams out or penetrate on the counter. Last night, we sat back after breaking the ice and looked to attack at any given opportunity.
Of course it helps when you lock horns with a side lacking the ability to break you down quickly, but our possession play truly was remarkable. Ramsey and Wilshere played deeper roles and surged forwards when it fancied them. To win the bigger games in future this tactic is something we must abide by.
4) Mesut Exhibits Human Side, but Grabs Assist
There was always gonna be a risk pouring an eccentric financial influx into one player but Mesut Ozil is one of the few who will consistently repay you. His early season form has been a little inconsistent and last night was no different.
His missed penalty and consistent bad touches from the first half rendered his performance poor and highlighting the fact that the almighty German is human like the rest of us. But you can never keep a good-man down and before departing the field of play, Mesut set up the second for Wilshere and if he is able to produce just a spark of his flair in the early days of his Arsenal career, then so be it, because we’re going to see the best of him soon.
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