Arsenal (2) – (0) Marseille
Wilshere 1′, 65′
The Emirates Stadium, London
Champions League Group Stage
Although Arsenal would have hoped for a draw or Napoli win in Germany tonight to guarantee their place in the knockout stages, the 3-1 win for Borussia Dortmund effectively means that for Arsenal to not make the “Round of 16” they would need to lose 3-0 in Naples in two weeks time.
And barring a massive disaster, then that should not happen.
So we can feel pretty confident with our Champions League campaign so far, having amassed an impressive 12 points with one game to go in a group with Dortmund, Napoli and Marseille. You do wonder about Chelsea, who lost twice against Basel in their group, collected 9 points and still managed to qualify already.
Out of all the English sides, we had the toughest group by a country mile and I have no doubt that if Chelsea, Manchester United or Manchester City were in our group, they would have been knocked out by now. We have been excellent in the league and also in Europe, and deserve our place at the top of each table.
Tonight, Arsenal played within themselves and cruised to a 2-0 victory. Wilshere scored a fantastic goal after only 30 seconds, and after that kept the ball without really threatening. Özil’s tame penalty was saved later on in the game but he somewhat made up for that by setting up Wilshere for his second goal on 65 minutes.
Marseille brought on Thauvin and Valbuena with half an hour remaining to see if they could get anything from the game but the defence was solid as it has been all season and Szczesny was excellent when called upon.
We have a set of winnable games coming up in the league (Cardiff City, Hull City Tigers and Everton) over the next few weeks and while they will all be difficult tests, we should be able to be in a good place mentally before having to travel to Italy.