UEFA Champions League

August 24, 2011

Full-time

Udinese

1 - 2

Arsenal

UEFA Champions League

18:45 +00:00, August 24, 2011

Stadio Friuli

Referee: Olegario Benquerenca

2nd Leg: 1 - 3 (Agg)

  •  

    £25 million arrived for Nasri from Man City earlier today, but £25 million from the group stages will taste sweeter. Walcott and Gervinho were good, Szczesny was excellent and another English side goes forward to the next phase. Thanks for joining me and stay with ESPNsoccernet for all the reaction.

  • 93'

    FULL-TIME Udinese 1-2 (1-3 agg) Arsenal. A massive win for the Gunners and after such criticism as well. They showed some real grit as suspensions, injuries and transfers have played their part. The group stages of the Champions League now greets them.

  • 92'

    Song at the other end mops up, but the players are pleading with the ref to blow up.

  • 92'

    Van Perise finds space and shoots, but Handanovic blocks. Then again from Traore on the rebound.

  • 90'

    He's played well, hanging on the shoulder of the last defender and using his pace. Much more decisive when he gets going and his runs have been good.

  • 90'

    Walcott off, Arshavin on.

  • 89'

    Badu again trying to pull the strings, but Sagna tidies up and the ball is cleared. It's slowed to almost walking pace from teh Gunners now.

  • 88'

    Rosicky makes a tigerish tackle again, he's like a different player.

  • 87'

    The game is petering out now and notably the chants are for Szczesny.. what a save that was.

  • 86'

    Pardon the awful spelling from Wilshere, but it's a good rant. He tweets: ''Everyone played there part! And The boss got the team set up well and tatics were perfect! All those who critisize pipe down now!''

  • 86'

    Benatia off, Pasquale on. Carried off in fact...

  • 85'

    The left-back comes on and shores up some defensive gaps.

  • 85'

    Gervinho off, Traore on.

  • 83'

    Van Persie does a neat trick, but showboating isn't on and he's going to get clobbered if he carries that on. Ramsey takes a tackle that Van Persie probably should have got.

  • 82'

    Walcott on the edge of the line again and almost gets through but Badu does very well to get back and stop him.

  • 81'

    Isla off, Denis on.

  • 81'

    Song dives in on Fabbrini and udinese have a good chance to swing the ball in to a danger area.

  • 81'

    Great passing from Arsenal again; keeping the ball so well.

  • 81'


    Theo Walcott slots home a vital goal to make it 3-1 on aggregate to Arsenal against Udinese

  • 80'

    Great ball from Song through to Van Persie, but he tries to get the ball back onto his left foot and is dispossessed.

  • 79'

    Di Natale is caught offside and his head is hung low now.

  • 78'


    Robin van Persie fires in a crucial away goal for Arsenal at Udinese

  • 77'

    Great chance for Udinese. Badu puts Di Natale through with a wonderful pass, but the striker has been awful since he missed from the spot and dragged his shot well wide.

  • 76'

    Udinese just trying to get a hold of the ball, and Jenkinson is forced to come across to deal with a good through ball. Good vision from the right-back.

  • 74'

    Vermaelen, as he so often is, clears the ball away with his head. Arsenal will look to counter as Udinese try and push up.

  • 73'

    The cards are coming and Jenkinson is now booked for kicking the ball away

  • 72'

    Stat attack: Theo Walcott has now scored or assisted a goal in all six of his Champions League Qualifying appearances.

  • 72'

    That's Walcott suspended for the first game of the group stages (if they get there)

  • 72'

    Walcott is angry after a tackle from Benatia and they both go in the book.

  • 72'

    Jack Wilshere tweets: ''Champions league football for another year....yes please!'' A little early!

  • 70'

    Van Persie enjoying himself and the tricks are coming out. He chips to Walcott, but the ball goes through. Walcott goes down and it looked like an elbow finds his chin from Ekstrand.

  • 70'

    Udinese need three goals now and that will settle some nerves. Walcott has silenced some doubters with that one.

  • 69'

    Walcott at his best. Sagna slipped him in behind and he went down the left, used his pace and then fooled the keeper by sticking it in the near post. Great goal and it's 2-1 to Arsenal!

  • 68'

    GOAL Walcott scores! He's slipped through, bears down on goal and a cool finish surely ends this as a tie!

  • 67'

    Gervinho turns and does well, he spins brilliantly, but then runs into trouble when he should have just slipped Walcott in. Decision making not his strong point.

  • 66'

    Rosicky pressing well and he's been lively since his arrival. With the away goal now, Arsenal can regroup and get behind the ball.

  • 65'

    Badu and Isla are trying to make moves in the final third, Di Natale has gone missing since his miss.

  • 64'

    Rosicky does so well to get the ball back and finds Walcott with space and time, but his cross is far too deep.

  • 63'

    Gervinho chips it in, Van Persie was about to volley but Ekstrand got the header away just in time.

  • 62'

    Pinzi off, Fabbrini on.

  • 62'

    Possession game now, as Walcott is cutting a lone figure up front trying to get on the end of a long ball or two.

  • 61'

    Now there's some confidence in Arsenal again. Ramsey goes through and the ball escapes him in the box, he stumbles over a tackle and looks at the ref. No pen though.

  • 59'

    Vermaelen appears to have handled the ball as it came across... That's the only explanation. Still, Arsenal off the hook and Szczesny takes the plaudits.

  • 59'

    Still trying to work out what the penalty was for... it must be handball. It all happened so fast and no-one seems sure.

  • 58'

    That is a massive save! Dived to his right and fingertips got it over the bar. An incredible stop!

  • 58'

    SAVED: Szczesny with a stunner.

  • 57'

    Di Natale steps up...

  • 57'

    PENALTY The ball has come across the box and Vermaelen is booked.

  • 57'

    A low corner has Arsenal in trouble. And it's a penalty??? What is that for?

  • 56'

    Ramsey is tracking back well and closes down Pinzi before he can get the cross in.

  • 55'

    Badu tries to spark his side by hammering a long shot, but it flies well over.

  • 54'

    Arsenal have deserved a goal, but that is a massive one. Udinese need two now.

  • 54'

    Gervinho did very well to beat his man in the box and, for once, the ball across finds an Arsenal boot. Van Persie was there five yards out in a crowded area and slips it home.

  • 54'

    GOAL Gervinho beats his man and squares to Van Perise who slots it home.

  • 53'

    Sagna and Gervinho combine down the left and do well, but the move breaks down. That has happened too much for the Gunners tonight.

  • 52'

    Walcott gets away with a neat turn, but goes to place the ball from 30 yards and Handanovic goes down to claim the ball with ease.

  • 51'

    Van Persie whips the freekick in and it goes through Djourou's lefs after Song missed his header. What a delivery, but nobody could connect.

  • 51'

    Isla goes in the book for his protests.

  • 51'

    It's all calmed down on the pitch, but the fans are very unhappy.

  • 50'

    Armero brings down Jenkinson, but there's a fight now as the Udinese players crowd around. Badu is going mad as Arsenal didn't put the ball out following Rosicky's clean tackle on Neuton.

  • 49'

    Ramsey and Gervinho combine to win the ball back, which they have not done much. Ekstrand powers in to the tackle to clear though.

  • 48'

    Pretty soft fall from the Udinese man, but Song has been putting the tackles in

  • 48'

    Song brings down Pinzi. And he's the first in the book.

  • 47'

    Udinese seem happy to try and keep the ball in defence for a bit. Just edging their way back into the game.

  • 46'

    Rosicky playing centrally and Song back to his usual DM role. Gervinho tries to get onto the end of a chip, but the ball runs out of play.

  • 45'

    KICK-OFF. Massive half for Arsenal coming up.

  • 45'

    Rosicky on, Frimpong off. Attacking change.

  •  

    If you're not there already, make sure you have one eye on MatchDay LIVE with Chris Murphy. Carling Cup happening tonight as well.

  •  

    Looks like Rosicky could be coming on to add some guile in midfielder for Arsenal. Who's coming off though?

  •  

    Badu and Pinzi behind Di Natale have been working the Arsenal midfield. Song is not concentrating and Frimpong's lack of experience means he's not picking up the runs.

  •  

    Dan says: ''Oh to be a fly on the wall in the Arsenal dressing room. Is it tears or did Wenger just throttle his only healthy defenders?''

  •  

    Trabzonspor replace Fenerbahce in the Champions League this season. Read more

  •  

    In truth, it's the usual Arsenal story, lots of decent chances and no cutting edge; also shaky at the back. What do you say? @joncarterespn

  •  


    Arsenal forward Robin van Persie battles with Udinese's Medhi Benatia

  •  

    Walcott and Gervinho have looked dangerous right up until the moment their final ball arrives and Djourou has been exposed at the back. Di Natale's movement and pace is really causing the Gunners some problems.

  •  

    A great half of football, but Arsenal will rue their missed chances. They have been in behind on more than one occasion, but have failed to do anything about it.

  • 45'

    HALF-TIME Udinese 1-0 Arsenal. The Gunners need to regroup as Di Natale has given the hosts the lead.

  • 45'

    Gervinho hacks down Pinzi. Possible revenge for his wonderful pass for the goal.

  • 44'

    The corner comes in and Song heads behind. Van Persie overhit the ball, and it should have been a corner again but a goalkick is given.

  • 43'

    Walcott shows some great skill to take the ball down but instead of taking on Danilo he tries a low cross which is eaily blocked.

  • 42'

    Di Natale is causing Djourou some serious problems. His pace and movement is keeping him one step ahead of his man.

  • 42'

    That whistled over the bar and it was more indecision in the heart of the Arsenal defence.

  • 41'

    Di Natale is there again, he gets away from Djourou once more and Armero hammers a shot that flies over.

  • 40'

    Arsenal are struggling to raise their heads now.. half-time can't come soon enough.

  • 39'

    Extra-time and penalties looms... so someone needs to score to make sure that doesn't happen.

  • 39'

    He had to generate the power all himself, but Arsenal backed off to allow the ball to be chipped in by Pinzi.

  • 38'

    A great finish there. The ball was chipped in and he peeled away from Djourou to get his header away - it looped over Szczesny, off the post and in.

  • 38'

    GOAL Di Natale. A looping header and it's Udinese's lifesaver.

  • 37'

    Udinese finding it hard to get hold of the ball, but Isla gets a tackle in and spreads the ball to Di Natale. He continues to find space on the counter, but can't control the ball.

  • 36'

    Some tiki taka stuff from Arsenal on the edge of the box, but Song loses the ball. Now they are starting to take hold of the possession again.

  • 35'

    Ramsey's clearance from the corner is not convincing and Vermaelen is proving his worth by clearing the ball at every opportunity. He did so again from under his own keeper.

  • 34'

    Badu takes a tumble in the box. Great run at the heart of the Arsenal side, but Djourou and Song combine and he falls over very easily.

  • 33'

    It really is end to end stuff. Both sides could have scored inside 30 seconds there.

  • 32'

    That was a great chance, but at the other end Di Natale is put through wide on the left and Szczesny forced to push the ball against the post from a tight angle. No-one following up for the Italians.

  • 31'

    Great chance for Arsenal. Gervinho beats his man and crosses for Walcott... he can shoot but finds Handanovic and the keeper blocks the rebound from Van Persie as well

  • 31'

    Di Natale strays offside again and he's the one to watch, finding space and just needs to time his run better.

  • 29'

    Still very open and Udinese are finding joy down the flanks.. Szczesny claims a cross and the players need to take a breather.

  • 28'

    Van Persie falls backwards as he gets space to shoot. Should have done better really.

  • 28'

    So Arsenal need the result on the pitch.. which is probably best for all concerned.

  • 27'

    BREAKING NEWS: Trabzonspor replace Fenerbahce in Champions League. Not Arsenal.

  • 26'

    Gervinho goes on a mazy run, but the ball finds Sagna who is in an advanced position. He thinks about the shot, but then loses it when trying to square for Gervinho.

  • 25'

    Frimpong brings down Badu, but that was all because Song wanted to get forward and then lost the ball.

  • 24'

    A foul on Van Persie has the home fans whistling again, but they have had the better chances so far.

  • 23'

    Arsenal looking rattled now, they need to get the ball and keep some possession.

  • 23'

    Badu was at the heart of the move again to release Isla. He's been very impressive.

  • 22'

    That could prove very costly if the scores stay the same.

  • 22'

    Udinese hit the post. Great stuff from Isla again and Di Natale is in the middle. He gets the shot off, and it sneaks past Szczesny to bounce off the woodwork.

  • 21'

    Song is in an unusual position with room to shoot on the edge of the area. A toe-poke that you could see in a Sunday league game doesn't trouble the keeper.

  • 20'

    Badu doing a good job in the holding role for the Italians. A useful man to have in the centre and he's driving forward.. passes to Di Natale who forces another save from Szczesny.

  • 19'

    Walcott's pace is causing real trouble for Udinese, but his final ball is not impressing.

  • 18'

    Szczesny punches away well from a Di Natale free-kick. Commanding stuff from the keeper which is what you want.

  • 17'

    Van Persie great piece of skill to get the ball to Walcott, but the youngster is offside and doesn't beat the keeper anyway.

  • 16'

    That was a close call. Armero could have opened the scoring with ease. Sagna caught out at LB

  • 16'

    Isla gets down the right and crosses.. Arsenal are caught short and the ball finds Di Natale who gets it to Armero. The header hits the post and Asamoah is offside when he tries to hook it in

  • 15'

    The game has slowed down now, and both sides are struggling to control the ball.

  • 14'

    Good touch from Frimpong, but Van Persie can't slip the ball through to Gervinho.

  • 13'

    Vermaelen puts his head where it hurts and Di Natale is angry that the ref has blown up for a foul. He did stoop, but the foot was high.

  • 12'

    Jenkinson with a great cross into the box but, as with Arsenal usually, there is no-one there to pressure the defender and get a header on goal.

  • 11'

    Udinese look dangerous on the counter though as Armero charges away and tries to cross for Di Natale. His effort is too hard though.

  • 11'

    Van Persie is definately dropping off and Walcott being asked to play on the shoulder of the last defender.

  • 10'

    Gervinho looking dangerous again and he charges free down the right. Handanovic blocks well at his near post, but the Ivorian should have done better.

  • 9'

    Gervinho at the other end has a shot and it's end to end stuff.

  • 8'

    Di Natale turns in the box as the ball comes in and hammers a volley into the net. He's offside by about three yards though.

  • 7'

    Frimpong with a tough tackle against Pinzi. He's down and looks hurt. Clean tackle though.

  • 7'

    Di Natale looking very isolated for Udinese.. but then they haven't had much of the ball in the final third as yet.

  • 6'

    Szczesny comes out to stop the speedy Armero.. he's going to be one to keep an eye on. Walcott at the other end is having an impact and pace is going to play a part in the opening exhanges.

  • 5'

    Whistles from the home fans as Arsenal dominate posession. Good start from the away side at the moment.

  • 4'

    Jenkinson does well to get the ball before Armero does. Badu has a shot but it's saved by Szczesny.

  • 3'

    Djourou wanted a short pass, but chipped over the Walcott instead who was offside. The winger has looked lively already.

  • 3'

    Di Natale is urging his players up, Udinese are sitting back a little and handing the Gunners possession.

  • 2'

    The shot got a little deflection, but that is two chances already for the Gunners. One goal would make them feel a lot better.

  • 1'

    Great opening, really fast stuff. Walcott turns inside and has a shot, Handanovic blocks well.

  • 1'

    Asamoah out to Isla and that looked dangerous already... now Gervinho down the left for Arsenal and his cross almost finds Van Perise. What a start.

  • 1'

    KICK-OFF: Here we go...

  •  

    The players are coming out onto the pitch, great atmosphere by the look of things. Arsenal players looking a little nervous, but who could blame them?

  •  

    Who the Gunners will play in DM at the weekend is a mystery, but Frimpong and Song are a good double defensive line for this game. Ramsey will be allowed to drift.

  •  

    ''Come on Arsenal'' tweets Jack Wilshere. They could really use him out there, but 2-3 weeks away from a return.

  •  

    Udinese may have lost Sanchez, Inler and Zapata, but they are still a dangerous side to face and Di Natale is a goal machine up front. When a side are struggling defensively, he's the last person you want to see.

  •  

    If you want some background on Arsenal's crisis, our Senior Editor John Brewin has had his say

  •  

    Arsenal are leading 1-0 from the first leg tonight, so a goal will be very important for them. Leaves Udinese needing to get three to win.

  •  

    Udinese, for their part, have had bigger UCL nights than this. In 2005-06 they needed a point from Barca to make the knockout stages. They didn't get it as they lost 2-0 at home.

  •  

    Samir Nasri said upon signing for City today: ''Arsenal have good fans but not that passionate since they moved from Highbury to the Emirates.'' Need some loud away support tonight.

  •  

    Ok, so we're half an hour away from one of the biggest games in Arsenal's season... and it's not even September yet. Join me, @joncarterespn for all the action.

  •  

    And on the bench: Belardi, Basta, Denis, Abdi, Pasquale, Doubai, Fabbrini.

  •  

    Udinese: Handanovic, Ekstrand, Benatia, Danilo, Neuton, Isla, Agyemang-Badu, Asamoah, Armero, Pinzi, Di Natale.

  •  

    Strong bench for Arsenal: Fabianski, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Chamakh, Traore, Miquel.

  •  

    For those who may not know, Arsenal could be given a place in the group stages regardless of the result as Fenerbahce have been withdrawn over match-fixing claims.

  •  

    Djourou returns from injury, while Van Persie is back after his suspension. Song and Frimpong's suspensions don't count in the Champions League.

  •  

    Team news: Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Djourou, Jenkinson, Song, Frimpong, Ramsey, Walcott, Gervinho, Van Persie

  •  

    In case you missed it, Samir Nasri has joined Man City today. Not the best timing for the Gunners.

  •  


    Arsene Wenger is a man under pressure.

  •  

    Join us for live commentary from Arsenal's trip to Udinese in the Champions League play-offs. Arsenal lead 1-0, but this could be one of the biggest matches of the season for them.