Arsenal made it into the next round of Champions League

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Arsenal made it into the next round of Champions League

Arsenal was playing against Partizan Belgrade, at Emirates Stadium, for the last match in the group stages. The Gunners were in second position, in the group standings, and they required a victory to ensure a place in the second round. The other clubs who
were looking for a place in the next round were Shakhtar Donetsk and Braga and they were playing against each other. In the end, Arsenal won 3-1, ensuring a place in the second round.

The Gunners started their Champions League campaign this season on a high note. The club won three successive matches, before they had to face two defeats away from home, against Shakhtar and Braga. Before this match, Shakhtar was ahead of Arsenal with 12
points, while Braga was in third place on the same points as Arsenal. In the other match of the group, Shakhtar won against Braga, going on top of the group standings. Therefore, Arsenal would face problems in the next round, as they are likely to face Barcelona,
Real Madrid, Schalke and Bayern Munich. Therefore, the poor away form of Arsenal might come back to haunt them, as it might cause an early exit from Europe.

Arsene Wenger was missing his key playmaker and captain, Cesc Fabregas because of an injury. In his absence the captain’s armband was given to Robin Van Persie, who did not have a particularly worth remembering season. Van Persie was played in a deep position,
behind Marouane Chamakh, while Andrei Arshavin and Samir Nasri were moved on the wings. Nasri, who is the best player for Arsenal this season, was given a free role by Wenger in the absence of Fabregas. There were not a lot of goals expected from the visitors,
as they had scored only a single goal in the tournament, which came at Belgrade against Arsenal.

Arsenal enjoyed most of the possession during the match but the finishing touch was missing. Samir Nasri made an opening in the beginning but Chamakh could not finish with the header. In the first 15 minutes, Wenger faced another injury crisis, as his young
defender, Kieran Gibbs twisted his ankle. He continued for a little while but was eventually replaced by Emmanuel Eboue. Around the half hour mark, Arsenal was awarded a penalty after Van Persie was fouled in the penalty area. This happened after he received
a pass from Alex Song. The captain on the day stepped up to take the penalty and fired home his first goal of this season. This goal might help him to regain his lost confidence and would mark the start of his comeback for Arsenal.

The rest of the first half went goalless, but there were a few opportunities for both sides. Arsenal lacked confidence in their defence, which gave some openings to the opposition sides. Also, Samir Nasri missed an easy chance as he fired his shot high above
the goal. The second goal came in the second half but it was unexpected as Partizan scored the equaliser. Cleo took a shot from a distance of 20 yards, which bounced from Sebastien Squillaci and went over the head of the goalkeeper.

Theo Walcott came as a substitute for Andrei Arshavin and the English youngster scored the second goal for Arsenal. He placed the ball in the far corner, from the right hand side, giving the goalkeeper no chance to save the goal. Nicholas Bendtner also came
as a substitute and he was involved in a goal as well. The Danish striker was involved with Song and the final ball was placed in front of Samir Nasri, who made no mistake this time and scored easily. There was a late development in the match, as Bacary Sagna
was shown a red card in the 85th minute for a professional foul on Alexander Lazevski. In the end, it was not a dominating performance but a great victory for Arsenal, as they have made it into the knock out stages for yet another time.  


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