UEFA Champions League

August 16, 2011



1 - 0


UEFA Champions League

18:45 +00:00, August 16, 2011

Emirates Stadium, England

Referee: Kevin Blom

  • 90'

    There's the full-time whistle and a nervy Arsenal emerge with a slim 1-0 lead. Arsene Wenger's team were far from convincing at The Emirates and Udinese will surely fancy their chances in Italy next week. For now Walcott's goal separates the sides. Thanks for joining me!

  • 90'

    Wasted by Di Natale, whose ball is too strong and goes behind for a goal-kick.

  • 90'

    Late chance for Udinese, who win a free-kick deep on Arsenal's right.

  • 90'

    Armero's left-foot shot is just past the post for Udinese.

  • 90'

    They'll be THREE MINUTES of added time.

  • 89'

    Great save from Handanovic, who goes full stretch to deny Walcott's curling effort that was heading for the corner. Gervinho was the provider.

  • 89'

    Frimpong with a blazing run down the left. He beats two Udinese players and the passage of play ends with Walcott going to ground in the box. Nothing doing.

  • 88'

    Jenkinson hammers the ball clear for Arsenal, but it'll come straight back at them.

  • 87'

    Swiss international Abdi enters the fray for Udinese, replacing Pinzi.

  • 85'

    Gervinho stopped in the box by a superb tackle from Ekstrand.

  • 84'

    Walcott breaks down the right yet again, but his cross goes behind for a goal-kick. He appeals for a push and replays show he had a case.

  • 82'

    Pinzi tries one from distance and his fierce effort is only just wide of the right post.

  • 81'

    Walcott beats his man and sends over a decent cross from the right. Some welcome relief for Arsenal here.

  • 79'

    Penalty shouts from the crowd as Vermaelen and Song end up on the floor from the free-kick. Replays show no foul.

  • 78'

    Armero is booked for failing to retreat for an Arsenal free-kick.

  • 76'

    Gervinho runs at the Udinese defence and tries to go it alone. He manages to win Arsenal a corner.

  • 74'

    Di Natale's curling shot is palmed behind for a corner by Szcezney.

  • 73'

    Frimpong's first contribution is to concede a free-kick in a very dangerous central position.

  • 71'

    Rosicky is replaced by Emmanuel Frimpong.

  • 70'

    Subsitute Pasquale booked for a cynical foul on Gervinho.

  • 69'

    Walcott sent through by Ramsey, but his finish is woeful. He opens his body to curl a shot into the corner but instead slices a weak effort at almost 90 degrees.

  • 68'

    Chamakh caught offside when he should have known better. Wenger will surely be considering another change now.

  • 66'

    Good hit from Armero, whose drive fizzes a foot over the bar. Szcezney had it covered.

  • 65'

    Lovely play from Isla on the right, but Vermaelen is on hand to get in the tackle and concede another corner.

  • 64'

    Walcott to Ramsey, who drives forward but shows too much of the ball to Pinzi.

  • 63'

    Jenkinson battling by the corner flag to clear his lines. He struggles free and wins Arsenal a throw-in.

  • 62'

    It's all Udinese now. Arsenal are holding on and would surely take 1-0 at this point.

  • 60'

    Isla with a great burst down the right for Udinese. His ball across isn't quite square enough to find a team-mate however. Arsenal escape with a goal-kick.

  • 59'

    Udinese make a change. Former Inter Milan man Pasquale replaces Neuton.

  • 57'

    It's all gone a bit flat for Arsenal. They look vulnerable and lacking the cohesion they showed early on.

  • 55'

    Another injury for Arsenal! Djourou is forced to come off, just 10 minutes after coming on. In his place comes youngster Carl Jenkinson.

  • 54'

    Arsenal clear and Gervinho almost breaks with an interception...but even he is not quite quick enough to take advantage of some slack defending.

  • 53'

    Djourou trips over the ball to concede a corner.

  • 52'

    Udinese very much in the ascendancy early in the second period.

  • 51'

    Gibbs apparently has a hamstring injury. More details to follow on that one.

  • 49'

    Arsenal playing keep ball deep in their half, but Udinese win the ball and break...Armero plays in Di Natale, but his shot is blocked by a desperate sliding tackle from Djourou.

  • 48'

    Both sides feeling each other out at the start of the second half.

  • 47'

    Ekstrand sends over a cross from the right, but it's too long for Armero in the box.

  • 46'

    And away we go with the second half, with Arsenal surely looking to add to their lead here.


    Arsenal are bringing on Djourou to replace the injured Gibbs for the second half.


    Arsene Wenger pictured in Arsenal's Diamond Lounge enjoying a nice cup of tea. Possibly a cake too.

  • 45'

    Halftime at The Emirates and Arsenal go into the break with a 1-0 lead. They started quickly and dominated the early exchanges, but Udinese have gradually taken a foothold in the match and have looked increasingly threatening going forward. Walcott's goal separates the teams.

  • 45'

    Isla's deep cross is comfortably gathered by Sczcesney.

  • 44'

    Di Natale with another shot on goal. Vermaelen's block concedes the corner.

  • 44'

    Gibbs in late on Isla and he deservedly goes in the book.

  • 43'

    Chamakh fouled 30 yards out and in a central position. Vermaelen lines it up, but his effort is blocked by the Udinese wall.

  • 42'

    Ekstrand's cross is met at the far post by Asamoah, but he can't get any purchase on his looping header.

  • 41'

    It's taken short, but Walcott is sharp enough to get a tackle in early.

  • 40'

    Lovely lay-off from Di Natale sparks another Udinese break. They win a corner on the right...

  • 39'

    Good spell of possesion for Udinese, who are looking increasingly confident in this match.

  • 38'

    Udinese come back at them...the ball lands at the feet of Di Natale 12 yards out and his left-foot shot is just past the post.

  • 37'

    Chamakh rises well to head clear.

  • 36'

    Isla links well with Di Natale to force a corner for Udinese - their first of the night.

  • 35'

    Song fouled by Pinzi by the touchline. Free-kick to Arsenal.

  • 34'

    Sagna with a wicked cross in from the right. Headed clear by Danilo Larangeira.

  • 33'

    Arsenal break with Gibbs. First Gervinho, then Rosicky, try their luck from distance. Both efforts are blocked.

  • 31'

    Gervinho penalised for handball on the edge of the Udinese box.

  • 30'

    Sagna plays in Chamakh on the right edge of the penalty, but he can't find a way past his opposite man and concedes a goal-kick.

  • 28'

    Walcott with acres of space on the right. He makes progress but his floated cross to the far post is beyond Gervinho.

  • 26'

    So close for Udinese! Armero breaks clean through the Arsenal defence on the halfway line and it takes a Szczesney save to deny him. Di Natale with the follow-up, but it's blocked. Arsenal were ripped to shreds there. Worrying.

  • 25'

    Corner for Arsenal on their right. Walcott to take it...

  • 24'

    Piccoli Neuton with a well-timed sliding tackle to stop Sagna in his tracks.

  • 23'

    Sagna and Gervinho are causing Udinese lots of problems on the right flank.

  • 21'

    Gervinho chases back to win the ball and spark an Arsenal counter-attack. It culminates with a Walcott shot that Samir Handanovic saves comfortably.

  • 20'

    Nice spell of possession from Arsenal in the final third, but they can't find a telling final ball.

  • 19'

    Good work from Walcott on the left flank, putting pressure on Udinese as they try to pass the ball out.

  • 18'

    Gervinho and Walcott linking well on the right, but Arsenal are forced to retreat and build again from deep.

  • 17'

    Di Natale with a sublime chipped pass over the Arsenal defence to pick out Mauricio Isla...but he can't quite make telling contact.

  • 16'

    It's been a very open game so far. Song again driving forward for Arsenal, but he can't beat two Udinese defenders to get a cross in.

  • 15'

    Di Natale is coming into this match now. He drives towards the Arsenal box before losing possession.

  • 14'

    Song bursts forward for Arsenal but his final ball is too strong.

  • 13'

    Di Natale tries his luck with a free-kick from 30 yards...HIS RASPING SHOT HITS THE BAR!!!

  • 11'

    Walcott goes into the book for a poor tackle. Neuton joins him for protesting at the referee.

  • 10'

    Almost a second for Arsenal. The ball finds its way to the far post where Gervinho fails to make contact with the goal gaping.

  • 9'

    Udinese are sitting very deep, which is giving Arsenal plenty of space to attack. They win another corner.

  • 8'

    Pablo Armero slips on the ball rather embarrassingly by the touchline to concede a throw.

  • 7'

    Walcott's ball is headed away at the near post by an Udinese defender.

  • 6'

    Walcott again to the fore for Arsenal. He breaks down the right and earns his team a corner.

  • 5'

    Arsenal have come out in confident mood tonight. They're moving the ball around nicely and Udinese have barely had a touch so far.

  • 4'

    GOAL Aaron Ramsey breaks down the right and sends over a near-post cross that gives Theo Walcott a simple cushioned finish to put Arsenal ahead. Dream start for the Gunners.

  • 2'

    Joel Ekstrand launches into the back of Marouane Chamakh to pick up the first booking of the night.

  • 1'

    And we're underway at The Emirates, with Arsenal in their traditional red and white, Udinese in black and white.


    Udinese have lost Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona), Cristian Zapata (Villarreal) and Gorkan Inler (Napoli) from the team that finished 4th in Serie A last season.


    Arsene Wenger is serving a one-match touchline ban in relation to his criticism of UEFA officials following Arsenal's loss to Barcelona last season.


    t33tstp tweets: "What is your prediction for the Arsenal match?" I think Arsenal are in for a stern test, but they'll edge it 2-1.


    Jahsonlee tweets: "Arsenal lacks creativity in the middle and in the final third - even more so without RVP."


    Arsenal will be wary of the threat of Antonio Di Natale tonight. The 33-year-old has finished top scorer in Serie A the past two seasons


    The Arsenal bench for you: Fabianski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Djourou, Arshavin, Jenkinson, Frimpong, Bendtner


    You can send your comments and questions to me on Twitter - @ESPNsoccernet


    Udinese starting XI: Handanovic, Ekstrand, Benatia, Larangeira, Neuton, Agyemang-Badu, Isla, Asamoah, Pinzi, Armero, Di Natale


    Here's the Arsenal starting line-up: Szczney, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Song, Ramsey, Walcott, Rosicky, Gervinho, Chamakh


    Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of Arsenal's Champions League qualifier first leg against Udinese at The Emirates.


    Join us at 19.45 BST for full live commentary.


    Arsenal begin the post Cesc Fabregas era with a crucial Champions League play-off tie against Udinese. The Gunners will be without suspended duo Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri, injured starlet Jack Wilshere and manager Arsene Wenger will serve a one-match ban.