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Arsenal and Marseille locked in Battle

Written By: Robert Halter

An Aaron Ramsey stoppage time goal separated Arsenal and Olympique Marseille in France and put the Gunners in pole position at the top of Group F going into match day four as the repeat fixture took place in the Emirates Stadium at the beginning of November. Marseille began the match on the ascendancy and went close when the Ayew brothers might have both scored in the opening exchanges, firstly Jordan’s back heel going wide of the post and then Andre pushed Loic Remy’s cross fractions wide of the other post. But the Gunners got into their stride on ten minutes after Gervinho’s pass to Theo Walcott was steered wide. Midway through the first half, Ramsey spurned an opportunity as he turned the ball over from close range from an Andre Santos cross. However, Remy still caused havoc on the right as he cut inside and raced onto Benoit Cheyrou’s flicked pass, before firing wide. Another chance fell to Arsenal when Gervinho tested Steve Mandanda with a well struck shot but the Marseille goalkeeper reacted well and as Walcott followed up the rebound, he was unable to provide a final ball to Park Ju-Young. Marseille began the second half in the same fashion as the first when Cheyrou’s cross flew past Wojciech Szczesny and spliced the six yard box on the hour. The emergence of Robin Van Perise was unable to break the deadlock as the Dutchman went one on one with the Marseille keeper twelve minutes from time but he was unable to execute the finish in the Gunners first clear cut chance after the re-start. Marseille gathered in confidence again when Andre Ayew headed wide and Morgan Amalfitano dragged his shot wide. A goal never arrived and amidst the celebrations from the away section of travelling Marseille supporters, it suggested that the French side were the happier of the two with a draw.