Marseille 1-2 Arsenal: Instant Reaction

Jamie McDonald

Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey got the goals, and Arsenal came away from the south of France with 3 points.

Arsenal have made it a club record 10 straight away wins with a 2-1 victory over Marseille. Goals from Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey were enough, and Jordan Ayew's last minute penalty was merely consolation for the hosts.

Not much of note happened in the first half--Marseille threatened with a couple of close headers from Andre Ayew and Lucas Mendes--and Arsenal were fairly poor on the ball, with Mesut Özil failing to influence the game, as he and the rest of the midfield was shut down largely by the excellent Gianelli Imbula. Arsenal needed to get on the ball more in the second half, and they did at the beginning, with Özil's impudent backheel setting in Kieran Gibbs, who's shot was saved by Mandanda. Marseille had some long range efforts from Dimitri Payet and Mathieu Valbuena, but didn't really threaten. In fact, their best chance came when Per Mertesacker sliced a clearance over Wojciech Szczesny; luckily, Kieran Gibbs had anticipated and was there to head clear.

The breakthrough did come; Gibbs cross bounced in the Marseille area, and when Jeremy Morel headed the ball straight up, Theo Walcott smashed a volley into the top-left corner for his first goal of the season. Arsenal now had a lead, and sat back a bit more, but had a couple of half-chances, with Özil's shot flashing just wide. Then came the second goal: Aaron Ramsey burst through the middle, and his shot, deflected a bit, went past Mandanda to seal the points.

A late scare came when Ramsey's touch in the penalty area was faulty, allowing Ayew to run on, and trip over Ramsey's foot. The referee, who was very lax with most things, oddly gave the penalty, despite Ramsey getting the ball away before Ayew got there. Jordan Ayew scored, but there wasn't enough time for Marseille to do anything else. With Dortmund losing at Napoli, this really is a crucial three points.

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