A hard fought draw against an abstruse Sunderland team saw Arsene Wenger’s team exit the Stadium of Light with all three points in the bag. The Gunners started the game brightly, and barely 10 minutes into the half, debutant Mesut Ozil teed Oliver Giroud to fire Arsenal to an early lead.
The German international was enormously expected to display his tantalizing talents in the league, and his half-time performance alone was too emphatic for a player who fell sick on the eve of the clash, and had no idea about his new team playing style- That simply augurs what to expect from the player.
Predictably, the black cats upped their tempo in the second proceedings probably due to Di Canio’s effect at halftime. And they were finally rewarded when Lauren Koscielny plunged to a reckless challenge- giving the ref no option but to point to the spot-Gardner leveled matters for the home team.
At that point, Sunderland looked threatening, and with the home crowd cheering on, their vibrant passing tempo was increased. Most certain to cause the gunner’s problem, they made use of both flanks proficiently. Unfortunately though, it wasn’t to be the story- an admirable Ramsey’s volley from a Carl Jenkinson’s cross catapulted Arsenal in front for the second time.
Like a thunderous flash, glimpse of hope was seen again, as Altidore seemed to have scored for the cats, despite the ref blowing for a tangle with Bacary Sagna, but horrendously, the goal was disallowed.
Finally, combinations of Ozil and Giroud, neatly dispatched a goal-scoring pass for Ramsey, who in return, beat the keeper to increase his goal tally to seven this season. And, diminished any sort of a fairy-tale come back from the home-team.
The Uefa Champions League is here again, and Arsenal will battle against a Marseille side at the Stade Velodrome Stadium, with the host coming into this clash with full spirits, despite scraping an understandable draw at Toultouse during the weekend fixtures.
The previous time both teams met, Arsenal came out victorious at Velodrome with Ramsey scoring a well placed shot. The 2nd leg ended in a stalemate.
With both sides showing ambition in the summer transfer- Arsenal securing the signature of Mesut Ozil, and Marseille completing the switch of Florian Thuavin, it sure promises to be a different footballing affair come Wednesday night.
Arsene Wenger revealed during his Monday night pre-match conference the return of Merteshacker (Who missed the weekend’s game due to illness) to Arsenal’s defense. New boy Mesut Ozil is in contention to start, while the club is sweating over the fitness of Oilvier Giroud.
Highly influential attack orchestrator Santi Cazorla is out with an ankle injury. The striker limped off the stadium of light with a suspected knee injury. Marseille are more likely to field the same side that participated in the weekend draw.
Andrew Ayew is doubtful to start, whilst Senegalese International Diawara is unavailable. Gignac will spear-head the l’OM attack line, Valbuena, Mendez and Dimitri Payet all probable to start.
Arsenal are in super-hot form, and with a host of creative talents in their side, they are bound to create chances for in-form striker Olivier Giroud who has 4 in 4 in the Premier League.
Marseille have lost their last 3 matches in the Ucl, and should be approaching this game in a positive manner. An early goal could be the antidote for a victory; otherwise, giving Arsenal room to display their brilliance on the pitch would be disastrous for Elie Baup’s side.
Predicted scoreline: Marseille 0-2 Arsenal
Written by Femi Hilekaan
Follow Femi on Twitter @femi4arsenal
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