Two Jack Wilshere goals gave Arsenal control of Group F in the Champions League as they played out a comfortable 2-0 victory against a very average Marseille side.
Arsenal knew a win should be enough to cement their place in the last sixteen. They would also qualify if Napoli beat Dortmund tonight. A draw in that game would see Arsenal win the group.
Within 32 seconds Arsenal were ahead. Jack Wilshere’s individual effort found the top corner of the net in Arsenal’s first attack on the Marseille goal and many surely thought that the game would now be an easy, controlling exhibition for the Gunners just because of how quick the goal came.
It was nearly two for Arsenal in the sixth minute as they once again cut the visitors defence apart. Jack Wilshere was involved again and his square ball should have been tucked into the net by starlet Aaron Ramsey, who is having the season of his career, but his shot was saved by French goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.
Wojciech Szczesny was as much a spectator for much of the first half as us watching the game on the television or the fans in the stadium, and it wasn’t until the twentieth minute that he was called upon to come and gather the ball from Marseille forward Gignac’s feet.
Arsenal were in complete control throughout the first half and ten minutes before half time they received a penalty after Aaron Ramsey was tripped but Mesut Ozil saw his penalty saved by Mandanda, a penalty which to be honest was awful. And with that Arsenal held a 1-0 lead at Half Time.
The second half started like the first ended- with Arsenal dominating the ball and comfortably playing it around a sluggish Marseille. The closest Arsenal got to a second early on was Olivier Giroud’s deflected shot which spun just wide. A couple of minutes later Mesut Ozil had his poked effort saved by Marseille captain Mandanda who was having a very busy night.
Arsenal finally made it 2-0, and again it was Jack Wilshere who put the ball past a helpless Mandanda after clever play by Ozil.
Marseille finally tested Szczcsny after 70 minutes when substitute Thurian had two shots saved by the polish international in just a couple of minutes.
Arsenal could have buried the game and nailed Marseille’s coffin shut but Santi Cazola and Theo Walcott missed their chances and the game ended 2-0; A comfortable victory for the Gunners. Another Champions League knockout stage beckons…