Olympique Marseille vs Arsenal, 0-1: Full time analysis and player ratings
Written by Chris on October 20, 2011 0:15
Arsenal secured three crucial points as an Aaron Ramsey late goal gave them the points and the smiles away at Marseille.
This was one of those games where at the end of the day the result is the only thing you look at and the 0-1 scoreline means that we go top of Group F in the Champions League with seven points, knowing that in the second round we will face the French side as well as Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates.
Granted, it wasn’t the most impressive display of football as the low ratings of more than half of the squad show but as I said in the preview, a win means that we can look forward with optimism as strictly speaking, this win means that we are virtually through to the next round.
For sure is that if we want to “get there”, then we desperately need tiny steps like Sunday and today and as long as we get all three points, we should be happy. The football, the beautiful football, will hopefully come but for now, as Arsene has been correctly saying, we should take it one game at a time.
If I am to be pedantic, Carl Jenkinson, but we knew this already, delivered a number of very, very interesting crosses but the question is: for who? It’s a shame really, because someone like Nicklas Bendtner or Marouane Chamakh would love to get to the end of such beautiful crosses but clearly it’s not a game that suits Robin.
As for the rest, there’s not much to report on the game, very few goal-scoring opportunities and if it had to end with a winner, it had to be a late goal that Aaron produced in stoppage time. The only individual performance I wanted to highlight is that of Laurent Koscielny, phenomenal in central defence as the Frenchman continues to be a beast in Europe, top class performance.
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Match Video Highlights
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Szczesny: 6 – Virtual spectator Wojciech as his job was to follow from distance a boring midfield “battle” for almost the full 90 minutes.
Mertesacker: 6,5 – Made a number of good blocks as he was again perfect with his positioning but also beaten in certain occasions by the likes of Loic Remy and Mathieu Valbuena as he was clearly uncomfortable against the quick feet of these two.
Koscielny: 8 – Man of the match, maybe the only one who can be fully satisfied with his performance. His positioning was top class and made excellent blocks on minute 21, 32 and especially 81st, to anticipate a Mathieu Valbuena cross .
Jenkinson: 6,5 – Andre Ayew is not an easy player to control yet Carl kept his cool and produced a very solid performance on the right.
Santos: 5,5 – Andre looked like one who is not ready to play the full 90 minutes, actually, not ready for more than 30 minutes as he looked uncomfortable, breathing heavily in the last minutes of the first half. Also, he is to understand that he should keep it simple considering he plays in such a dangerous area of the pitch.
Rosicky and Arteta: 6 and 5,5 – Tomas tried as he added that much-needed pace to our moves but Mikel was again very disappointing although he did deliver a number of good corners in the first half. To be said about Rosicky is that he showed great determination in the first half when he lost the ball but won it back straight away, just what we all want to see from our players.
Song: 6 – Some bizarre decisions for Alex who cheaply gave the ball away in the 3rd minute of the game, getting a yellow as he tried to win it back and foolishly tried to dribble his way past Marseille players in our penalty area in the 57th minute. But, he did help the defensive department when they needed it, especially in the second half.
Arshavin: 4,5 – Terrible, I’m afraid. Tried hard in the first half but failed in anything in he tried in the second half as he was correctly replaced in the 78th minute of the game.
Walcott: 5 – Not much to report on Theo’s game. Did well to use his pace to get past Jeremy Morel in the 26th minute, winning a corner and should have done better after Nicolas N’Koulou made a terrible mistake gifting him a goal-scoring opportunity on minute 63.
van Persie: 5,5 – Quite game for Robin as well who had a very good chance late on into the game but Steve Mandanda did well to deny the Dutchman.
Djourou: 6,5 – I’m sure many were disappointed when Johan came on and took over on the right wing but he was surprisingly very good as he was the one to deliver the ball from which we scored the only goal of the game.
Gervinho: 6 – Very lively but again disappointing with the final ball as he tends to take the most difficult route when in the final third. Still, better than Theo and Andrey.
Ramsey: 6,5 – A goal is a goal is a goal. Aaron did just what everyone wanted him to do today as he made no mistake with his first goal-scoring opportunity of the game, keeping his cool and giving us three very, very important points.