Arsenal V Udinese – Advantage to Arsenal

WTTGT Reporter: Tashan Deniran-Alleyne

Arsenal 1 – 0 Udinese

Arsenal kicked off their Champions League campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 first-leg win against Serie A side Udinese, but they struggled to build on the early goal given to them by Theo Walcott.

With Samir Nasri and new captain, Robin van Persie suspended, Arsenal also made two changes to the team that drew 0-0 with Newcastle at the weekend, with Walcott and Marouane Chamakh coming into the team in place of Andrei Arshavin and the Dutchman.

It took only 4 minutes for the gunners to take the lead through the England international as he turned in Aaron Ramsey’s cross, which settled all nerves inside the Emirates. But as the first 45 minutes wore on the more Udinese started to control the game and created chances to snatch a precious away goal. Antonio Di Natale saw his free-kick come back of the crossbar while Pablo Armero forced Wojciech Szczesny into a smart save. Arsenal managed to get to half-time one up but were by no means comfortable.

The second half started with one way traffic as Udinese stepped up the pressure with half-time substitute Johan Djourou producing a fantastic last-ditch tackle to deny Di Natale from equalising, the Italian again called Szczesny into action by forcing him to parry away his free-kick. Arsenal were struggling to retain possession in midfield whilst Chamakh offered little up front and Udinese continued to expose the much talked about defensive weaknesses the home team have.

With the minutes ticking away Walcott had two chances to increase the lead, but missed timed his first effort and saw the Udinese goalkeeper produce a superb save to deny him in injury time. It was a surprise the Arsenal defence managed to keep their second clean sheet in a row, but it could prove to be vital.

So Arsenal take a slender advantage to Italy next week and will need to dig in again if they are to stand any chance of progressing in to the group phase of the UEFA Champions League.


2 Responses to Arsenal V Udinese – Advantage to Arsenal

  1. [email protected] August 16, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    Yes Its me..Geddy. The Geddy Lee- longtime fan – since 1975 (when we toured the UK).

    Please Wenger Sire purchase TWO Defenders……
    And a reputable striker……
    And an esteemed midfielder….

    And lets see what happens.

    Then spend a little more in JAN. but selling ARSHAVIn is key. He is already a spent force. A waster if you will.
    Time stands still.


  2. chris from Cambridge August 17, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    With such a depleted team and only one game plan against a team as good as Udinese I fear we will go out of the Champions League. When we are going forward we go ape and forget about our shape. So when we lose the ball (especially in our own half !) we are all over the place and wide open to counter attack. Wide open with a full back caught up field (?) or the midfield protection up field (?) and etc. The oppo pour into the gaps in our shape and run at what's left of our back 4. No back 4 can live with that.

    If we do go out … which top players will then join us ? It is proving hard enough already without being able to pay top dollar and looking like a club in trouble.

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