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UEFA Champions League
November 26, 2013
• 2:45 PM
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
• Attendance: 59912
J. Wilshere 1', 65'
A point away in Italy next time round will make things safe for the Gunners, though a Napoli side led by Rafa Benitez will be itching to spoil the party and qualify themselves. I've been Tom J Doyle, and thanks for joining us. Bye for now.
That's it! Arsenal get the three points with what was eventually a comfortable 2-0 victory over Marseille. Jack Wilshere's brace put the French side to the sword with a brace, and despite a late revival by the Ligue 1 side, Arsene Wenger's men stand on the brink of the last 16 of the Champions League.
90' + 1'
Two minutes of injury time now, and it'll be another good European win for the Gunners...
Close for Walcott! The England forward is released by Sagna through the middle and he's through, but he can't quite get control of the ball and just toes it wide of Mandanda's righ-hand post. A poor effort, but he's only just back from injury.
Cazorla blazes over! Arsenal work it past Marseille all too easily and Walcott fizzes a low cross into the area, and a block falls kindly for the Spaniard - but the midfielder can only blast the ball over the bar with time and space from 10 yards. What a waste.
Marseille are still probing for a way back into the game, but they've lost the heart now. Arsenal should see this one out comfortably.
Considering the standard of the opposition, Arsenal have done superbly so far in Group F. They're giving themsevles a great chance of finishing top, and a draw in Italy would do just that.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has made it 3-1 to Dortmund - the Gunners would have to lose by three goals in Napoli to go out at this rate, but it will keep things interesting on the final day.
Yellow CardAlaixys Romao
Ozil gets a great reception as he is replaced by Arteta. It's not been the German's best night with that penalty kiss, but he still has a vital assist.
Ten minutes left and Arsenal are still looking for a third on the break. Marseille have to their credit caused problems for the Gunners, but chances like Thauvin's need to go in on a difficult night.
Lorenzo Insigne has pulled a goal back for Napoli to make it 2-1 - one more for the Italians to draw with Dortmund, and Arsenal would qualify tonight.
Wenger made two changes amidst all that action, with Wilshere and Rosicky going off for Walcott and Santi Cazorla.
Brilliant stop from Szczesny! The Arsenal keeper gets down superbly to his left to keep out a great low drive from Thauvin from 15 yards. He flung out a strong left hand to keep it out on the line, and the hosts keep their 2-0 lead - for now.
This is the first time Jack Wilshere has scored a brace for Arsenal, according to Opta Sports. He fully deserves the plaudits he'll be getting tonight.
Off the line! Thauvin breaks the offside trap and volleys at goal with Szczesny making a good save, but with the ball looping towards goal Monreal does superbly to get back and bicycle kick off the goal line to prevent a certain goal. Fine defending.
Borussia Dortmund are 2-0 against Napoli - that means it's still all to play for in the final group game.
Thauvin goes close! Abdallah strides forward from right-back and works the ball to Morel on the left, whose cross is just too high for the substitute to nod home from six yards. That's a late warning for Arsenal to keep concentrating.
A slight concern for the Gunners now as Ramsey is down puffing and holding his ribs, but he should be fine to continue.
That's two goals tonight for Wilshere - he's been sensational so far. He's been at the heart of everything good for the hosts, and may well have earnt himself a starting role for future games with this performance.
WILSHERE MAKES IT 2-0!!! That is a superb move from Arsenal, and they deserve the two-goal cushion. Ramsey slots through a fine pass for Ozil on the right of the box, and the German slides the ball across the six-yard line for the English midfielder to power home past a helpless Mandanda.
Arsenal break and Wilshere finds Giroud on the left, but he slips and the ball rolls harmlessly out for a goal kick. Surely Arsene Wenger has to change things up soon for a burst of energy?
Monreal puts a good ball in for Giroud and the striker's header is blocked but falls kindly, and he's a whisker away from toe-poking a finish past Mandanda - but the keeper is again out well to block. The stopper has been in superb form tonight.
Arsenal have completed 404 passes with a 90% accuracy, but are still only a goal to the good. They need that second strike to settle the supporters as much as anything.
The hosts try to press their advantage but Wilshere slips in the box, then Rosicky is closed down before he can get a shot away from distance. Ozil is then given offside much to the crowd's collective frustration.
A double change for the visitors now as Valbuena and Thauvin come on to change things up - that makes Marseille a lot more dangerous.
Close for Ozil! Wilshere floats a glorious pass over the top and the German takes the ball down boefre stabbing a finish to Mandanda's left from eight yards, but the keeper does well to push it out for a corner.
Close to a freak goal for Giroud as he lets a high pass come across him before unleashing a half-volley, which takes a wicked deflection and spins just wide of Mandanda's near post. The keeper was already diving to the opposite corner, and would've been well beaten by the flick.
Lemina shows some tidy defending to block out Wilshere, but as Marseille try to break they lose the ball. They have talent out there, but their build-up play has just been too pedestrian.
Some tidy passing sees Giroud poke it through to Sagna on the right, and after more build-up play the right-back gets in behind only to smash the ball into the night sky. He just seemed to blast it as hard as he could - a very odd kick, and it's probably still travelling over north London.
Ramsey flicks a great ball over the top for Giroud, who unleashes a half-volley which Mandanda does well to stop. He's given offside, though replays show the Frenchman was in fact on - not the best of calls by the linesman.
Imbula plays a bouncing pass to the left but Morel can't work it into a crossing position near his own supporters - it's the travelling fans making the noise though.
Wilshere is rampaging around and wins the ball back after gifting possession to the Marseille defenders. Walcott is warming up on the touchline meanwhile.
We're underway for the second 45 minutes here.
Only Gilberto has scored a faster goal than Wilshere's for Arsenal in Europe - the Brazilian netted after 21 seconds against PSV in 2002, according to Opta Sports.
That's the interval, and Arsenal lead Marseille 1-0 courtesy of a fine Jack Wilshere goal after 30 seconds. It could have been far more comfortable had Mesut Ozil not fluffed his penalty, and it means we've still got a contest for the second 45 minutes.
We'll have one minute of injury time here - Marseille may consider themselves fortunate to be just one goal down, but they're still very much in this game.
Wilshere tries a carbon-copy of his opening goal by cutting in and chipping a curled effort towards Mandanda's top-right corner, but gets it all wrong and puts it 10 yards over. Still, it looks like he's found himself a new hobby in training.
Sagna sees his cross from the right blocked out for a corner after good work by Wilshere again. The Gunners want that two-goal cushion before half-time...
Rosicky gets down the left again and attempts to cut the ball back for Giroud, but his pass from the byline is blocked out.
N'Koulou tripped Ramsey for the penalty, but it looked like it was outside the area - it seems as though justice was done then. But now Morel is booked for a foul on Ozil on the edge of the area to present Arsenal with a great chance...
Yellow CardJérémy Morel
Penalty saveSteve Mandanda
Missed PenaltyMesut Özil
OZIL MISSES!!! That is a fantastic save from Mandanda as the German staggers his run-up before hitting a weak penalty to the right, and the goalkeeper gets a strong arm up to push it away.
Yellow CardN. N'Koulou
PENALTY TO ARSENAL!!!
Flamini tries to link with Ozil but the move breaks down on the edge of the Marseille box. The Gunners are just struggling a little now to break through, with the French side finding their shape.
The cameras cut to Theo Walcott on the bench - he'll be itching to get some minutes tonight on his road to recovery.
There's pandemonium in the Marseille box as a free kick comes in, and the visitors somehow win a foul despite Giroud almost having his shirt ripped off under pressure. That could easily have been a penalty.
Wilshere's been in and out of the Arsenal side this season but he's had a brilliant start tonight - a great goal in the opening minute, and now he chases down a lost cause to put Marseille under pressure at the back. Tenacious is the word.
Marseille are growing into this game and look increasingly comfortable on the ball, but the main worry for the French side is that they cannot deal with Arsenal breaking once they do lose it. They will have to be more careful in possession and work a lot harder in defence to get anything from tonight.
Tomas Rosicky cuts in from the left wing to tee himself up for a shot, but it's truly terrible, rolling about 12 yards wide of the goal.
Ozil is sharper here and almost finds Wilshere with a great through-ball, but Mandanda is off his line quickly to prevent a shot.
Chance for Marseille! This really should be 1-1 as a clumsy interception from Ozil puts the ball through his own defence and puts Gignac through. He attempts to round Szczesny but the goalkeeper is alert and smothers the ball to the applause of the crowd.
Good link-up play by Giroud almost presents Wilshere with a goalscoring chance - he chests the ball down for the midfielder, but the youngster is crowded out in the area before he can get a shot away. Intelligent stuff from the French striker.
Close for the Gunners here as Wilshere loops a delightful ball over the top to Mesut Ozil, who breaks the offside trap but miscontrols the ball. That's poor by the German's high standards.
A first sniff of goal here for Marseille as Ayew rolls a ball out wide and a cross is met by Gignac, who can only head the ball wide of Szczesny's left-hand post.
Marseille manager Elie Baup looks resplendent in a bright blue training top and wooly hat. He's barking orders on the touchline, and his side are seeing a little more of the ball now.
That goal from Wilshere was timed at 30 seconds - the perfect way to settle any early nerves. Dortmund meanwhile are 1-0 up against Napoli, which would leave Arsenal three points ahead of both teams.
We're only ten minutes in here and Arsenal could be out of sight. The visitors just cannot settle and it's taking some last-ditch defending to stop the Gunners.
Replays show a delighted Thierry Henry in the stands - he enjoyed that opening goal. He's training with Arsenal to keep his fitness up at the moment, thoug he may have to have a quiet word with Ramsey after that finish.
What a miss from Ramsey! Giroud canters down the right and passes across the six-yard box to give the midfielder the simplest of finishes - but Mandanda somehow keeps out his low finish with a superb sprawling stop, and the ball is cleared for a corner. Marseille are going to pieces.
Ramsey is hungry to get in on the action here but screws an effort wide from 20 yards. Not the best effort from the Welshman there.
There's transport problems in London tonight and it looks as though a few home fans may have missed that quick opener. The blue hordes of travelling French supporters didn't though - and they don't look best pleased.
What a start that is for the hosts! There's nice link play on the right before Sagna releases Wilshere down the line. The England midfielder gallops forward before cutting inside onto his left foot and clipping a glorious finish Mandanda into the top right-hand corner. A superb goal.
And we're off! Marseille press straight away but Flamini cleans up from a rampaging Gignac. Arsenal break...AND WILSHERE SCORES!!!
Just five minutes to kick-off now and the teams are coming out of the tunnel - this will be a big test of Arsenal's professionalism tonight.
Aaron Ramsey has scored two of Arsenal's three goals against Marseille in the Champions League - and the French side have lost their last seven games in the competition according to Opta Sports. Ripe for the picking, then...
"The draw can be as bad if you finish first or second - but you always [feel guilty] when you finish second and have a bad draw," Wenger told reporters after recent troubles in the last 16. Will it be a case of guilty Gunners squandering a golden chance tonight?
If it helps any nervous Gunners out there, the odds are stacked in their favour. Marseille have nothing to play for and have got an important trip to Lille at the weekend, while they've only won once in 11 visits to England.
Marseille dangerman Thauvin starts from the bench tonight, while the visitors' other big threat Matthieu Valbuena is also not in the starting XI.
The main news for Gunners fans is that Mathieu Flamini comes in for Mikel Arteta, while Nacho Monreal plays at left-back for the ill Kieran Gibbs.
Marseille subs: Samba, Mendy, Diawara, Fanni, Cheyrou, Valbuena, Thauvin.
Marseille XI: Mandanda; Abdallah, Nkoulou, Mendes, Morel; Lemina, Romao, Imbula; J.Ayew, Gignac, Khalifa.
Arsenal subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Arteta, Walcott, Cazorla, Bendtner, Gnabry.
Arsenal XI: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Ramsey; Wilshere, Rosicky, Ozil; Giroud.
Marseille are the undoubted whipping boys of a tough group, with four defeats from four and 10 goals concdeded - though Arsenal will have to be wary of Florian Thauvin, who has netted four in his last five outings.
A victory over their Ligue 1 opponents couipled with a Napoli win over Borussia Dortmund tonight would see the Gunners progress to the last 16. A defeat for Arsene Wenger's men, however, would leave Group F wide open going into Matchday 6 - so a good result is vital for the hosts.
Good evening and welcome to the LIVE Text Commentary of Arsenal v Marseille. I'm Tom J Doyle and I'll be taking you through all the action in an important Champions League clash at the Emirates tonight.
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