1-0 To the Arsenal – Just
Arsenal beat Udinese 1-0 in the first leg of the Champions League play-off. Ramsey looked good in midfield, Gervinho ran his heart out, Vermaelen was solid and Szczesny showed why we do need another goalkeeper.
The game started well for Arsenal, with Theo given us the lead after four minutes, after that though it was backs to the wall as Udinese caused us many problems. The midfield was a bit ragged, Rosicky looked a bit lightweight and was taken off once again as the pace of the game was too much for him. Song was advancing too far forward and left us exposes on many occasions, we looked more secure once Frimpong came on and allowed the other players to move forward and we created two more chances which Walcott failed to take.
The defence looked adequate, Koscielny appeared comfortable playing alongside Vermaelen and Szczesny pulled off two great saves top keep us in the tie.
Arsenal have escaped with 1-0 victory to take away to Italy where we will need to perform better if we are to make it through to the Champions League group stages.
The squad was very threadbare last night, with Bendtner making the bench on the day that both Eboue and Vela left the club (£4M sale to Galatasaray and season long loan to Real Sociedad respectively). The only players to come in for the rest of the season from the 18 on display last night are van Persie, Squillaci, Traore and Diaby.
Injuries hit the team once more with Gibbs and Djourou both having hamstring injuries. The squad for Liverpool will also be without the suspended Gervinho and Song, so it could be a long Saturday for the Gooners.