Champions League: Arsenal 2 Marseille 0 - As it happened - Live coverage - The Independent

Champions League: Arsenal 2 Marseille 0 - As it happened



By
Jack de Menezes

by Jack de Menezes
Welcome to The Independent's live commentary of tonight's Champions League Group F encounter between Arsenal and Marseille at the Emirates Stadium.

Follow all the latest news and updates below...
  • Welcome to The Independent's live commentary of tonight's Champions League Group F encounter between Arsenal and Marseille at the Emirates Stadium.
    11/26/2013 5:48:18 PM
  • 11/26/2013 5:50:09 PM
  • 11/26/2013 5:51:09 PM
  • Highlights from the first meeting between Arsenal and Marseille in this season's Champions League, which saw the Gunners run out 2-1 victors at the Stade Velodrome.

    11/26/2013 6:11:39 PM
  • A word on the astonishing transformation of Aaron Ramsey this season:
    Nothing revelatory, but a world away from the Ramsey of the last year or two, whose nervous displays on his way back from injury aggrieved parts of the home crowd so much that Wenger admitted there was almost a reluctance to play him.
    To read more of Jack Pitt-Brooke's look at tonight's game, CLICK HERE.
    11/26/2013 6:16:42 PM
  • Fancy challenging yourself before the game? CLICK HERE to take on our quiz tonight in naming every single member of the 2013/14 Arsenal player and coaching staff. 
    11/26/2013 6:18:55 PM
  • The Gunners' unbeaten record against Marseille will be on the line tonight, having earned two wins and a draw in their three meetings to date, which have all come in the past two years. But it will be the chance to progress from the group stages for the 14th consecutive time that will have Arsene Wenger licking his lips ahead of tonight's match, with no other English team able to boast such a record at present.
    11/26/2013 6:27:31 PM
  • With Thierry Henry back training with Arsenal, could he be the answer to Wenger's striker concerns? He says no...for now:
    36-year-old Henry and 40-year-old Robert Pires are currently using the Gunners’ training base at London Colney along with the current first-team squad, but Wenger insists that the New York Red Bulls’ striker will not be making another loan-move to re-join the club he spent eight successful years with.
    To read more about the two former 'Invincibles' returning to the club, CLICK HERE.
    11/26/2013 6:37:05 PM
  • Speaking of Henry...

    11/26/2013 6:40:00 PM
  • The Emirates pitch gets a final watering before kick-off

    11/26/2013 6:49:33 PM
  • The first game of the evening has just finished in Russia, where Zenit St Petersburg have ended Atletico Madrid's 100% record after earning a 1-1 draw thanks to a Thibault Courtois howler. The Spanish club are already through as group winners though, while second place is up for grabs between Zenit and Porto.
    11/26/2013 6:55:35 PM
  • Here come the teams...
    11/26/2013 6:57:15 PM
  • Line-ups:
    Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Ramsey; Rosicky, Ozil, Wilshere; Giroud.
    Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Arteta, Walcott, Cazorla, Bendtner, Gnabry.
    Marseille: Mandanda; Abdallah, Mendes, N'Koulou, Morel; Imbula, Romao, Lemina; Gignac, J.Ayew, Khalifa. 
    Subs: Samba, Diawara, Mendy, Fanni, Cheyrou, Valbuena, Thauvin.
    11/26/2013 6:57:43 PM
  • There's a lot of surprise about that Marseille side, not a lot about the Arsenal one. Monreal, Flamini and Rosicky come in for the Gunners, replacing an ill Kieran Gibbs, Mikel Arteta who is on the bench despite picking up a knock on the weekend and Santi Cazorla.

    Marseille leave the lively pair of Mathieu Valbuena and Florian Thauvin on the bench, and ring the changes in what appears to be an early admission that they face a stiff challenge tonight, turning their focus towards their Ligue 1 campaign in naming a number of fringe players in their starting 11.
    11/26/2013 7:04:07 PM
  • There was a welcome return for England winger Theo Walcott on Saturday as he returned from over two months out with an abdominal injury in the 2-0 victory, coming on for the final 20 minutes. He starts on the bench once again tonight, but fans will be happy to have their pace-man back in the side.
    11/26/2013 7:09:15 PM
  • A few early thoughts/predictions...

    11/26/2013 7:10:54 PM
  • Marseille come into tonight's match off the back of two victories in the French league having seen off FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 2-1 before the international break and a 3-1 win over AC Ajaccio on Friday night. Will tonight be a step too far for them again? or can they earn their first point of the tournament with a shock result? Let us know your thoughts and predictions by using the comment button.
    11/26/2013 7:17:32 PM
  • Don't forget you can also vote for Arsenal's most influential player so far this season. It's currently neck-and-neck between Ramsey and Giroud, although Ozil and Mertesacker are not too far behind. keep the votes coming in and we'll announce the winner later on in the night.
    11/26/2013 7:19:50 PM
  • Dress to impress, makes sense...

    11/26/2013 7:22:14 PM
  • Giroud is one of four Frenchman in the Arsenal team tonight, along with Sagna, Koscielny and Flamini. Both Giroud and Koscielny have scored against Marseille during their time in France, but it was Walcott and Ramsey who earned victory when the two sides met in September.
    11/26/2013 7:25:36 PM
  • A few more of your thoughts:


    11/26/2013 7:32:46 PM
  • Under 10 minutes to go, with the atmosphere building around the Emirates. You'll be forgiven for keeping an eye on proceedings elsewhere, but fear not as I'll be keeping you updated on all the goals and incidents in Switzerland and Scotland as Chelsea and Celtic continue their European campaign, as well as the four other matches going on tonight.
    11/26/2013 7:39:39 PM
  • L'Joey Barton has had his say ahead of tonight's match, having spent last season on loan with the French side:

    11/26/2013 7:40:59 PM
  • The players are in the tunnel making their final preparations before heading out onto the pitch. Here they come...
    11/26/2013 7:41:51 PM
  • Arsene Wenger and Elie Baup shake hands as they meet at the end of the tunnel. We're ready to go here, can Arsenal secure a last-16 place? Let's find out...
    11/26/2013 7:45:48 PM
  • 1 mins: The match is underway!
    11/26/2013 7:46:07 PM
  • 1 mins: GOAL FOR ARSENAL!
    11/26/2013 7:46:51 PM
  • 4 mins: Arsenal are keeping the pressure up here, and they're looking very comfortable early on. Even the crowd appeared shocked by the speed of that goal, and it looks to have deflated the Marseille players before they even got going.
    11/26/2013 7:48:56 PM
  • 6 mins: Ramsey gets his first sighter on goal, taking a shot from the edge of the area that is off target.
    11/26/2013 7:52:38 PM
  • 7 mins: Wilshere is off again, as he makes a run that isn't picked up at all behind the Marseille defence. He charges into the box in exactly the same fashion as his opening goal, but this time squares it for Ramsey to tap in. Surely...NO! Ramsey hits it straight into Mandanda who pushes it away and it's eventually out for a corner. Should have been 2-0 but it's certainly promising for Arsenal.
    11/26/2013 7:54:42 PM
  • 10 mins: 10 minutes in and Arsenal couldn't have wished for much better. Well maybe if Ramsey had scored that second chance. But Marseille are yet to have any meaningful possession and it could be a long night for them.
    11/26/2013 7:56:33 PM
  • 11 mins: Sagna gets down the right, and Giroud sees the ball just taken away from him for a corner. Ozil delivers, and Giroud's knock down just doesn't fall kindly for Mertesacker and the chance goes. Dortmund have taken the lead against Napoli thanks to a Marco Reus penalty, after Fernandes held back Lewandowski in the area.
    11/26/2013 7:58:07 PM
  • 14 mins: Morel attempts an audacious long range effort that crashes in Mertesacker, but there's little going on for the away team so far. Celtic have gone behind at Parkhead, with Kaka converting a Strootman corner to give Milan the lead.
    11/26/2013 8:00:15 PM
  • 15 mins: Arsenal have settled down a little, and are just spreading the passes around the field as they so often do. It is allowing Marseille into the game a bit more though, and the one-goal lead is certainly not enough at this early stage.
    11/26/2013 8:01:53 PM
  • 18 mins: How's your touch? Well, not that great for Ozil, and he attempts to control a long ball over the top in the Marseille defence, only to give it straight to Mandanda. He would have been one-on-one with the goalkeeper as well.
    11/26/2013 8:03:13 PM
  • Our chief football writer Sam Wallace spotted that Ozil mis-control...

    11/26/2013 8:05:24 PM
  • 20 mins: Another Arsenal attack eventually comes to nothing, and Marseille break up the other end. Gignac is sniffing around the Arsenal defence, and he emerges in the Gunners box with possession. He tries to take it around Szczesny, but the Pole is out quickly and smothers the ball. A warning for Arsenal. Ajax have taken the lead against Barcelona thanks to a Thulani Serero goal.
    11/26/2013 8:07:25 PM
  • 22 mins: We have a stoppage here, as referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz has his microphone seen to. Just a small break though, and we're back to the action that matters soon enough.

    11/26/2013 8:08:27 PM
  • 28 mins: Things have certainly slowed down considerably here, and given the fantastic start for Arsenal, the crowd seem somewhat subdued at the lack of action.
    11/26/2013 8:11:45 PM
  • 29 mins: Imbula gets caught in possession in front of his own area, and Wilshere attempts to rush through on the loose ball, but its swept up before the midfielder can get there. Wilshere has certainly looked the most productive so far, and now Arsenal have a free kick on the right after Sagna was fouled.
    11/26/2013 8:15:49 PM
  • For show?

    11/26/2013 8:17:56 PM
  • 34 mins: Once again, there's a fan in the stands with his top off in celebration. Although he appears to be a Marseille fan...and it's freezing...
    11/26/2013 8:21:24 PM
  • 37 mins: PENALTY TO ARSENAL!
    11/26/2013 8:22:16 PM
  • 37 mins: Ramsey does brilliantly to flick over N'Koulou, and he catches his boot to send him to the ground. The referee points to the spot, although the contact looked outside the area. It doesn't matter though, as Ozil's effort is awful, and Mandanda dives to his right to save firmly.
    11/26/2013 8:23:12 PM
  • 39 mins: It could be another penalty here, but Morel brings down Ozil just outside the box and it's a free kick. Ramsey takes it, and drills it low into the wall, with the danger eventually being cleared. Both Morel and N'Koulou have been booked for those challenges, though neither were malicious. How Arsenal aren't leading by more I cannot explain, as they should (and I emphasise should) be at least 3-0 up.
    11/26/2013 8:26:32 PM
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