Nov 26, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Arsenal
2-0
Marseille
Wilshere (1', 65')
FT(HT: 1-0)

N'Koulou (36'), Morel (37'), Romao (80')

Match Analysis: Arsenal 2-0 Marseille

Marseille's French goalkeeper Steve Mandanda saves a penalty taken by Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil during the UEFA Champions League group F football match on November 26, 2013
© Getty Images
Sports Mole analyses the Champions League clash between Arsenal and Marseille at the Emirates Stadium, where Jack Wilshere's brace earned the hosts a 2-0 win.

Jack Wilshere scored after 38 seconds and again in the second half to earn Arsenal a 2-0 Champions League win over Marseille at the Emirates Stadium tonight.

The result keeps the Gunners top of Group F, but Borussia Dortmund's 3-1 victory over Napoli means that their qualification for the knockout stages will be decided by the final round of fixtures.

Club-record signing Mesut Ozil also saw a first-half penalty saved by visiting keeping Steve Mandanda, whose display ensured that the French side, pointless in Group F, were not embarrassed in London.

Below, Sports Mole analyses whether the result was reflective of the action.

Match statistics:

Arsenal:
Shots: 15
On target: 5
Possession: 63%
Corners: 5
Fouls: 5

Marseille
Shots: 6
On target: 2
Possession: 37%
Corners: 1
Fouls: 10

Was the result fair?

This game was barely a contest for 70 minutes, and Arsenal's dominance should have been reflected by a bigger scoreline, and perhaps would have been had Mandanda not produced several impressive saves.

Arsenal's performance:

The Gunners got the job done. They certainly weren't at their free-flowing best, but against an opposition of Marseille's standard, a couple of good moments going forward was all that they needed. They were surprisingly sluggish despite Wilshere's early opener, with the interplay between Olivier Giroud and their array of midfield talent unusually awry. At the other end, the blossoming defensive partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker again looked solid, while Wojciech Szczesny's passed the concentration test by pulling off a couple of excellent late stops, having gone 75 minutes without barely having a touch.

Marseille's performance:

The Ligue 1 outfit are regulars in Europe's premier competition, but this was one of the worst Marseille sides that has travelled to England in the Champions League era. Several star names were left out from the start, and that was evident as they lacked any quality or purpose going forward until the double introduction of Mathieu Valbuena and Florian Thauvin. Mandanda was very good in goal, and ensured that their margin of defeat was respectable. Marseille came to the Emirates a defeated side, and left one too.

Sports Mole's man of the match:

Jack Wilshere: The England midfielder was certainly Arsenal's brightest light on a night where the majority of their talent was not on full display. He was his usual hard-working and intelligent self, and is now continuing to add goals to his game. His tally is now a career-best four for the season, and the first of his brace tonight was a superb solo effort which had the home crowd rocking inside the first minute.

Biggest gaffe:

Even the best have their bad moments. Ozil's casual penalty was symbolic of a fairly lazy and complacent first-half Arsenal performance. The £43m man stuttered in his run up, and then could not generate enough power on his side-footed spot kick, which Mandanda dived low to his right to smartly punch clear.

Referee's performance:

Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz's awarding of Arsenal's penalty may have been a bit generous. It was certainly a foul by Nicolas N'Koulou on Aaron Ramsey, but the contact seemed to be made outside of the box. Apart from that, he was a peripheral figure, booking three Marseille players, but no Gunners.

What next?

Arsenal: A Premier League trip to the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday, a venue from which both Manchester City and Manchester United have failed to take maximum points this term.

Marseille: They will attempt to avoid becoming the first French side to fail to pick up a single point in the Champions League group stages when they host Borussia Dortmund in a fortnight.

Arsenal's English midfielder Jack Wilshere scores his second goal during the UEFA Champions League group F football match between Arsenal and Olympique de Marseille at the Emirates Stadium on November 26, 2013
Read Next:
Result: Wilshere double enough for Arsenal
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables