Live Commentary: Schalke 04 2-2 Arsenal - as it happened

Live Commentary: Schalke 2-2 Arsenal - as it happened
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Sports Mole brings you live coverage of Arsenal's Champions League match against Schalke 04 this evening.

Arsenal travelled to Germany to face Schalke 04 this evening, hoping to avenge their 2-0 defeat in the reverse fixture two weeks ago.

Schalke went in to the match top of the group on seven points, one place and one point ahead of the Gunners.
Arsenal were looking to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United at the weekend, knowing that a win would leave them in pole position to qualify.

Read how events unfolded below.


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6.57pmGood evening! Thanks for joining me for what I hope will be a thoroughly entertaining Champions League match tonight.

6.58pmAs mentioned above, Arsenal have provided their fair share of entertainment recently, not least in their 7-5 win over Reading in the League Cup. Hoping for a repeat of that night may be slightly optimistic but, as we've seen so often, anything can happen in football!

7pmJust 45 minutes until kick off, so let's have a look at the standings in Group B so far!

7.01pmSchalke currently lead the group having won twice and drawn once to give them a tally of seven points, while Arsenal are one point behind in second.

7.02pmOlympiakos and Montpellier, meanwhile, are stuck on three points and one point respectively.

7.03pmThis means that, although neither Arsenal or Schalke can officially qualify tonight, a win will surely all but book their spots in the knock out stages.

7.05pmRight, we have some team news to bring you! Aaron Ramsey misses out for the Gunners after picking up an injury against Manchester United at the weekend, but Theo Walcott has overcome illness to make the starting XI.

7.06pmSchalke have also named a strong side, with in-demand striker Klass Jan-Huntelaar once again leading the line. Full team news coming up...

7.08pmSchalke: Lars Unnerstall; Howedes, Uchida, Fuchs, Matip; Holtby, Afellay, Jones, Roman Neustadter, Farfan; Huntelaar

7.10pmArsenal: Mannone; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Koscielny; Arteta, Wilshere, Walcott, Cazorla; Podolski, Giroud

7.11pmElsewhere tonight, Manchester City are in action against Ajax and, in the same group, Real Madrid and Dortmund will play out a mouthwatering tie.

7.15pmSchalke have been impressive domestically so far this season, currently sitting second in the Bundesliga behind only Bayern Munich which, of course, means that they are above Man City's tormentors Dortmund.

7.16pmThey did lose their last outing, however, as a late goal from Sven Schipplock (great name) gave Hoffenheim a 3-2 win, ending Schalke's run of six wins in a row in all competitions.

7.19pmYou can see a more in depth team news article for tonight's game here.

7.20pmWe will, of course, keep you updated with goals across Europe as they fly in tonight, keeping a particularly close eye on City vs Ajax, Madrid vs Dortmund and the other game in Arsenal's group, Olympiakos vs Montpellier.

7.24pmA shout out to Dinamo Zagreb tonight, who are starting their match away to PSG with 11 domestic players on the pitch. Always nice to see! I doubt they will be able to replicate the success of Celtic's 'Lisbon Lions' of 1968, however. They went on to win the whole thing with every player having grown up within ten miles of their stadium!

7.25pmAnyway, back to the present day and Schalke are the overwhelming favourites with the bookies tonight!

7.27pmUnderstandable really considering that they turned the Gunners over at their place.

7.30pmArsenal will have to keep a close eye on Klaas Jan-Huntelaar tonight - the man is a deadly finisher when he's in form. He could also be coming up against Arsenal domestically if the rumours linking him with a move to Anfield are to be believed.

7.34pmThe Sky Sports pundits are still lamenting the loss of Robin van Persie from the Arsenal side. They're saying that the replacements (Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud) won't replace his goals and I'm inclined to agree!

7.35pmTen minutes until kick off means prediction time! I'm going for the same score as the reverse fixture: 2-0 to Schalke.

7.40pmThe teams are in the tunnel and ready to come out.

7.43pmThe music is blaring, always something special about hearing the Champions League track!

7.45pmAnd we're off!

1 minsSchalke have made a quick start to this one. Podolski doesn't track back and the hosts have a crossing opportunity, but the ball in is too long.

2 minsThe Germans are knocking the ball about nicely here, dominating early possession.

3 minsThe hosts continue to probe, but Huntelaar is called back for offside as he threatened to break away.

4 minsArsenal finally get hold of the ball but Walcott is crowded out in the box. On the counter attack a lovely flick from Huntelaar eventually leads to a Schalke corner.


5 minsWilshere stays strong to complete a good piece of defending. It's a big plus for the Gunners having him back fit.

7 minsGROUP B GOAL! There's been a goal in the other game in Group B, and it is Olympiakos who have taken the lead through Paulo Machado.

8 minsCHANCE! Schalke break down the left as Arsenal again look stretched, but Afellay's low shot to the near post is very well saved by Mannone.

9 minsGOAL AT THE ETIHAD! Siem de Jong has given Ajax the lead. Things go from bad to worse for Man City in Europe!

11 minsFarfan almost shakes of Vermaelen but the makeshift left back does well to get back and concedes a corner...

11 minsCHANCE! Howedes gets his head on the end of the corner and fashions a decent effort, but it flies just over.

14 minsUchada has a good chance to set up a teammate after beating Vermaelen but he takes his eye off the ball and loses control at a pivotal moment.

15 minsA rare foray into the final third for Arsenal as Wilshere dances into the box but he is well tackled.

16 minsGOALS! Bad news for City as they go two behind! Anderlecht have also taken the lead against Zenit.

18 minsGOAL! Theo Walcott

18 minsArsenal break clear and Giroud is one on one with the keeper, a Schalke defender gets back to make a fine saving tackle but Walcott is there waiting to dink the ball past the keeper before slotting it in to the unguarded net. Big goal for Arsenal!

20 minsPodolski breaks down the left after a long ball forward and he crosses it to Walcott, but the goalscorer misjudges it and the ball goes over his head.

22 minsDe Jong was the scorer for Ajax, but City have pulled one back through Yaya Toure. 2-1 to Ajax!

23 minsFuchs fires an effort at goal but it goes harmlessly wide.

24 minsBOOKING Cazorla is hauled down by Matip as he looks to break away and the ref is quick to flash the yellow.

25 minsGOAL! Olivier Giroud

25 minsBad defending from Schalke and Arsenal take full advantage! Podolski manages to squeeze a cross out and the defenders are statuesque as Giroud runs in and heads the ball home.

27 minsDortmund have taken the lead at the Bernabeu! Big goal for the Germans.

28 minsFarfan breaks down the right, but again Arsenal scramble it clear. Schalke have had a number of occasions when they have had space in the opposition half but they haven't been able to take advantage so far.

32 minsGiroud is down and looks in some pain here. He challenged for a high ball and got a knock on the leg.

33 minsHe's up and running again. Still not completely freely but it looks like he'll be alright.

35 minsSchalke come forward again, but once more Arsenal repel them. They can't find a way through!

36 minsElsewhere Real Madrid have equalised against Dortmund through Pepe.

37 minsSome nice link up play sends Farfan through but his low cross is cleared away by Mertesacker. The Gunners hold firm yet again.

39 minsCHANCE! Schalke are getting closer! A slip from Vermaelen allows Farfan a shooting chance, but he can't get it on target. Should have done better there.

40 minsBOOKING Fuchs is the second man to go into the book, this time for a late challenge on Walcott.

41 minsCHANCE! The resulting free kick is met by Giroud who leaps higher than everyone but can only guide his header straight at the keeper.

42 minsPodolski wins a free kick near the by line, good crossing chance...

42 mins...Cazorla's ball is punched away though. A couple of Arsenal heads weren't far from connecting with that one!

44 minsDortmund have retaken the lead at Bernabeu!

45 minsTwo minutes to be added on here.

45+1 minsGOAL! Klaas Jan-Huntelaar

45+1 minClinical finish by Jan-Huntelaar makes it 2-1! Right on the stroke of half time he fires his effort into the bottom corner to keep up his record of scoring in every Champions League game this season.

8.33pmHALF TIME: Schalke 1-2 Arsenal

8.36pmA good half from Arsenal's point of view. They held strong until the last second in defence and nicked two goals to take a fine lead into the break.

8.43pmSchalke have kept themselves in the game with that late goal, however. We could have a good second half ahead of us! I'll revise my prediction to 2-2.

8.39pmWenger was arguing with the ref on the way off the field. He could be questioning what he thinks was a foul on Walcott to start the move that eventually brought Schalke their goal.

8.46pmThe teams are back out, and we're about to get this second half underway!

48 minsAnother chance to breakaway for Arsenal as Podolski sends the ball over the top but Giroud's control is poor and the chance goes.

46 minsWe're back underway!

46 minsCHANCE! A good cross by Podolski finds Giroud at the back post but the Frenchman's volley is poor. Really should have done better there, he could have restored his side's two-goal margin.

50 minsCHANCE! What a chance! Schalke may not get a better one to equalise. Huntelaar is found after losing Mertesacker with some good movement, but he hits his shot straight at Mannone when clean through on goal. He doesn't usually miss those!

63 minsCHANCE! Afellay's effort is parried by Mannone. It took a deflection on the way through so that is a good save by the keeper.

52 minsArsenal are under the cosh a bit here. Schalke break down the left but the low cross is safely put out for a corner by Arteta.

53 minsJones lashes at a half volley after Huntelaar nodded it down to him but a defender gets there to block.

54 minsCHANCE! Mayhem in the Arsenal box as the ball pings about everywhere. Howedes finally gets a shot away which hits Mertesacker's arm but no penalty is given! To be fair, the defender was close and couldn't have done anything about it but I've seen them given!

57 minsArsenal have slowed the game down here, wise play from the Gunners.

59 minsCHANCE! Another scramble in the Arsenal box and another shot that is cleared off the line by Arteta. Possible handball, although there wasn't much of a shout.

61 minsSchalke have a man down but Arsenal won't kick the ball out. Podolski looks like being in where the injured play would have been so the referee blows up, much to the chagrin of Podolski, who picks up a yellow for kicking the ball away in anger.

64 minsAfellay strikes at goal from distance again, but again Mannone is equal to it, and he manages to hold it this time!

66 minsGOAL! Jefferson Farfan

67 minsHoltby looks to have squandered a fine headed chance but the ball still falls to Farfan, who fires his shot in. It takes a deflection off Vermaelen on the way but it'd be harsh to credit him with an own goal.

68 minsCHANCE!Holtby is almost in again but he seems caught in two minds whether to shoot or find Huntelaar. In the end he does neither and the chance passes by.

71 minsCazorla blazes a shot high over the bar after being teed up. The Gunners have come into this match more since the goal.

73 minsA mix up at the back allows Walcott clean through on goal and the striker tries to guide it past the corner but only finds the post. The linesman's flag eventually goes up, however, so it wouldn't have counted.

74 minsMontpellier have equalised against Olympiakos in the other match in Group B, while Man City have brought it back to 2-2 against Dortmund!

76 minsAC Milan have also found a leveller against Malaga. Equalisers galore!

77 minsBOOKING Jones picks up a yello for an aerial tackle on Vermaelen. The replays show he caught the Arsenal man with an elbow, although it doesn't look intentional.

79 minsGOAL IN GROUP B! There's been another goal in the match between Olympiakos and Montpellier, and it's the Greek side who have taken the 2-1 lead.

82 minsANOTHER GOAL IN GROUP B! Olympiakos have surely tied it up against Montpellier, it is now 3-1. This would put them on six points, just one behind Arsenal should everything stay the same.

83 minsJones charges forward and finds Farfan who crosses to Huntelaar, but the striker is offside, and his flicked header went over anyway.

85 minsA fluid Schalke move results in a shooting opportunity for Jones, but it goes waaaaaay over the bar. I have a feeling that there's going to be another goal here!

87 minsPenalty claim for Arsenal! Walcott goes down in the area but the referee saw a good tackle rather than a foul. I'm inclined to agree with him, good decision and good defending.

89 minsSUB Francis Coquelin comes on for the Gunners in place of Santi Cazorla and Andre Santos replaces Podolski. Strange changes from Wenger.

90+1 minsCoquelin goes down dramatically in the box after an aerial battle but no penalty is forthcoming. Once again a correct decision.

90+3 minsSUB Holtby off and Barnetta on for Schalke.

90+4 minsWHAT A CHANCE! Walcott has a glorious chance to win it with the last kick of the match as his pace catches out the Schalke defence, but he can only fire straight at the keeper. Really, really should have scored.

9.37pmFULL TIME Schalke 2-2 Arsenal

9.39pmIf you gave Arsenal a 2-2 draw before the match, they'd have probably taken it but having gone 2-0 up they will be disappointed to have only come away with a point, even though that was probably the fair result.

9.42pmThat's it from us at Sports Mole, thanks for joining! Arsenal have again served up goals for us, although I'm sure they would've preferred a boring 1-0 win! Keep an eye out for match analysis which should be up on site within half an hour!

Arsene Wenger and his big puffa jacket
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