FC Twente 0-2 Arsenal
Arsenal’s young midfield were put through a stern test at Arnhem tonight, and though the first half tested Arsenal to the maximum, they slowly took control in the second half and ran out 2-0 victors and have all but secured their place in the group stage of the Champions League.
The paucity of the squad was there for all to see tonight, Ramsey at 17 making his senior debut alongside Denilson. They struggled in the first half and Arsenal failed to play any of the trademark flowing football.
Arsenal were fortunate not to fall behind on a couple of occasions; firstly Denneboom waltz through the defence but blasted his shot over the bar, then the hapless Arnautovic missed the first of a couple chances, when he was clean through only to stumble and present Almunia with an easy save.
Arsenal failed to trouble the FC Twente defence and the whole first half was a very disjointed performance.
The second half saw more concerted Arsenal performance. The fluidity was not there, but Arsenal persisted with attack after attack, but failed to create any meaningful chances. The best chance fell to Arnautovic, who placed the ball wide off the Arsenal post.
An innocuous foul on the 63rd minute, led to Arsenal’s breakthrough, a looping cross from van Persie was met by Gallas who managed to scramble the ball past the goalkeeper, From that moment Arsenal controlled the game and it was a matter of whether Arsenal were going to add to the scoreline.
A long ball from Denilson found Walcott, who had been fairly ineffective for the whole game, his first touch was good and he squared the ball to Adebayor who made no mistake in scoring Arsenal’s second of the night.
Arsenal saw out the remaining minutes, and have booked their place into the next round. Wenger knows that going into the new season with the inexperienced midfield is suicied and a new addition is required soo. With Alonso playing for Liverpool, this player can now be written-out of the equation.
Walcott failed to impress last night, but he was not the only player to be be below par. Denilson did an admirable job in central midfield. For young Ramsey, this was certainly a good work out and justification for choosing Arsenal over Manchester United.
Line up – Almunia; Sagna, Djourou, Gallas, Clichy; Eboue, Ramsey, Denilson, Walcott (Randall -82); Adebayor, van Persie (Bendtner – 85)