Last night Arsenal secured their first Champions League win over the season in the group stage, with a very pleasing 2-1 victory over Marseille in France. The highly anticipated game proved to be one of very little excitement with the mood being more frustration than anything; however in the end the result proved to be an effective result for the Gunners in which we can take away confidence into our next game.
Arsenal are currently on a long running win streak away from home, which has broken new club records, and if it hadn’t have been for that disastrous result against Aston Villa then even more records may have been broken. Arsenal started their fine form at the end of last season as they pushed on for 4th spot and then a Champions League position and then despite the summer break we have returned exactly the way we had left off and our first real statement of the season came in the Champions League qualification round against Fenerbahce.
A 5-0 win over the course of two legs brought us into the Champions’ League group stages for the 17th consecutive year, however we were drawn one of our toughest tests of recent years as we were paired alongside Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and of course Marseille.
Many stated that Marseille would be by far the easiest team to come up against in that group and luckily we managed to get all three points in France.
But despite the score line, the game was anything but comfortable and I genuinely fear for our Champions League hopes this season, if that’s how we plan on facing Napoli and Dortmund.
Both of those latter teams have a lot more class amongst their team than Marseille do and both could easily upset Arsenal. Although we secured the three points last night, I couldn’t help but notice that on numerous occasions they could have easily taken the win off us. We didn’t necessarily deserve our lead for a lot of the game and I think the way we played would not only be outclassed massively by the likes of Barcelona or Bayern Munich, but even by Dortmund and Napoli, who in their own respect are fantastic sides.
I don’t know whether we should be concerned about that performance or whether it’s just a blip in the pipeline but I for one must admit I am fearful of when we come up against the other teams in our group. Of course I will have confidence in my team and support them along the way but in terms of footballing ability and potential, we can play a lot better than we did last night.