Match Report: Udinese 1-2 Arsenal (Arsenal win 3-1 on aggregate)

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Second half goals from Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott coupled with a fantastic penalty save by Wojciech Szczesny saw Arsenal secure a hard-fought 2-1 win against Udinese and an overall 3-1 aggregate victory which sealed progress to the Champions League group stage for the 14th successive season.

It was a fantastic performance given the well documented circumstances and one which will be welcomed warmly by Arsenal supporters so browbeaten by events both on and off the pitch in recent weeks.

Arsenal kicked-off the match fielding five players under the age of 21 and by handing full European debuts to Emmanuel Frimpong and Carl Jenkinson; both were to be kept busy during a frantic first half which saw the tone set by dangerous balls played across both penalty areas inside the opening two minutes.

Going forward Arsene Wenger’s men were a real threat, unfortunately so too were Udinese. The Gunners kept the ball well going forward, Walcott attempting an early drive which caused Handanovic into action and Gervinho continuously finding space behind the opposition full-backs.

It wasn’t just Arsenal who were making full use of the width of the pitch. In the 16th minute Isla burst down the right hand side and crossed for the wily Di Natale who deftly chipped the ball for Armeno to head towards goal. On this occasion the ball stayed out of the net, but it was a warning of things to come.

Di Natale was by far the stand out player of the first half. Causing Vermaelen and Djourou all manner of problems, the Italian international hit the post in the 22nd minute after a run across the six yard box before forcing Szczesny into a smart save ten minutes later after finding room at the back post.

Soon after a great dribble by Gervinho baffled the Udine defence and laid a terrific chance on a plate for Walcott. Alas, as in the final seconds of the first leg, the England international was unable to find a way past goalkeeper Handanovic. It was a chance which the 21-year-old should have buried.

It came as little surprise that 33-year-old Di Natale was the man to eventually break the deadlock. A cute ball by Pinzi into the box was met by the striker on the penalty spot and he cleverly cushioned a header off the post into the back of the net. At the break Udinese looked good for their 1-0 lead.

Arsenal began the second half with Tomas Rosicky replacing Emmanuel Frimpong and Alex Song returning to his usual position in front of the back four. The exchange subsequently turned very cagey with neither side creating anything of note in the final third.

It was up to Gervinho to create something. In the 54th minute the Ivorian’s mesmeric feet saw him ghost in on the left side, skip past the defender and pull a beautiful ball back to Van Persie. The Dutchman couldn’t missed and despatched the ball into the back of the net. It was a classic Arsenal goal.

Of course, as always with the Gunners nothing is simple. Just four minutes later the referee pointed to the spot after spotting a very innocuous ‘handball’ by Thomas Vermaelen. A nervous looking Di Natale stepped up to take the resulting penalty but despite crashing the ball at goal, Wojciech Szczesny miraculously tipped the ball over the bar when it was heading for the top left hand corner. It was an unbelievable save and brought happy memories of David Seaman’s Sampdoria heroics flooding back.

The following ten minutes passed in a daze with both sides trying to find their feet after some scrappy jabbing. Thankfully for Arsene Wenger it was Theo Walcott who stepped up to land the knockout blow.

A one-two with Bacary Sagna on the halfway line saw the youngster race free of the Udinese defence. With time on his side he calmly sized up Handanovic and slipped the ball inside the near post. It was a cracking and vital goal, Thierry Henryesque in execution and one which settled the nerves by leaving the Italians needing three goals to qualify.

For their part Udinese continued to probe but in the baking heat, and lacking full match fitness, they struggled to maintain a high tempo. Arsenal knocked the ball around nicely in the final 15 minutes and closed out the game with a level of professionalism which in the final months of last season seemed to have deserted them.

At half-time my brother text me stating, “I give us fuck all chance of going through at this point.”

At full-time he followed it up with an assertive, “Never in doubt.”

I dare say we all felt the same way.

13 more games and we’ll be Champions of Europe.

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Badaab
Badaab

That’s more like it!

Jamie
Jamie

Quickest review in the world?

George
George

exactly what i thought, must’ve done some of it at half time!

Ivan Itchianus
Ivan Itchianus

Awesome. Szcz mom?

Badaab
Badaab

Certainly for me. Although, it was a very very soft penalty.
Almost like the ref got the word from UEFA “If Arsenal get level, get out those cards and sort it.”

Ivan Itchianus
Ivan Itchianus

So true, arsenal level it , penalty award in 4 mins.. Very strange

argonaut
argonaut

Certainly was in my book. Pivotal moment, which crushed their spirit.

Zamaan Raza

SZCZ we can?

Badaab
Badaab

I’m making that poster now as we speak. Great slogan, Zamaan!

Nope.
Nope.

Cracking pen save from Sczvzvzcseny

Jamie
Jamie

Oh, and well played Rosicky and Chesney.

Jamie
Jamie

#DEEEEEEEEEEEEENCH!

ken

Good games from just about everyone. Way to go lads!

Danny
Danny

Great stuff!
Bring on Man.U!

Mooro
Mooro

Pardon the caps but FUUUCCKKINNN YYYYESSSS!!!

Joe Goon
Joe Goon

Ramsey was struggling last 20 minuets! hopefully koscielny is fit so djourou can play in midfield at united!

Xxxrob
Xxxrob

Thank fuck for that. Living in australia I been up since 430am for this bit tired and stressed but, fuck work fuck nasri fuck everyone were through!

Plev
Plev

Me too brother! 4 hours sleep before the match, and now too pumped to go back to bed! Szcz best keeper going at the moment, Jenkinson immense european debut. Lets sign some super fuckin quality and lets get this banged up show on the road. Boom!

Padwan
Padwan

Me too son, worth every minute of missed sleep, I can’t believe people were slagging gervinho already, I think he’s brilliant and can only get better as he gets used to the physical premier league. Great finish Theo, why with his pace does he not get three or four of those chances a game, make that run more boy. Szcez what can we say, brilliant

TeeJay
TeeJay

’13 more games and we’ll be European champions’ love it

Stuart Allan
Stuart Allan

To all of you who doubted….. Cunts. What you have will always be more important than what you’ve lost. Time to buy well & move on. Come on the Arse!

Barrticus
Barrticus

Quality performance. Gervinho had a great game as did Frimpong and Jenkinson. The icing on the cake was hearing this gem from Peter Drury:

“This time last year Spurs were coming from behind against Young Boys.”

Priceless.

perrygrovesworld
perrygrovesworld

Ha ha! Quality!!

king of cunterbery
king of cunterbery

we go rid of the poi$on-nasri the cunt!- and the team is healed!! £25mill in the bank..time wip out the cheq book!! I LOVE ARSENAl!!! Na$ri is a cunt!!! ARSENAL!!! ARSENAL!! ARSENAL!

Aaron Creighton

Totally agree, Na$ri is still a cunt!

jonnyd
jonnyd

yeah rambo was holding the back of his leg alot the last 10 mins hammy

es
es

Rosicky was like a new signing. I just hope Arsene doesn’t view it like that.

We still need at least three players if we’re going to achieve anything this season.

We started the transfer window with £30M to spend. We’ve gained £60M from Cesc and Nasri. And now we’ve got around £25M from getting into pot 1 of the CL.

We still need creativity in midfield and dynamic attacking options not to mention a solid centreback and experience.

A lot better happen in 8 days.

yes
yes

Never in doubt indeed! I thought Song had an improved performance, Gervinho was pretty good too.

I can see potential super quality transfers starting to line up outside wenger’s office already

Ivan Itchianus
Ivan Itchianus

If you heard the after match interview I think we have some world class LANS and ALANS lined up … I’m so excited !

Jim Deen
Jim Deen

Szczesny was a muther fucking tank. My, how our GK situation has turned around. And unlike previous matches, where we were entirely toothless, Gervinho showed some tooth. Sad he is suspended for the MU game on Sunday.

Aaron Creighton

Gervinho showed some tooth…..and some fucking forehead too!

ne
ne

yay we went through…good show by szeney. Time for wenger to do his job, strengthen the team in 5 more days…

rt
rt

Great performance all round really!

Now we’ll sign Cahill and Marvin Martin and we’re all set for a good season.

Rodders1971

One word….
THANKFUCKFORTHAT!!!!!!!!

jac

GET IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

great result from the lads, goos showing all round.

where did all those people go who said we need a new keeper!! £18m for De Gay, i’ll take SZCZ thanks!!

only Ramsey seemed a bit off the pace, think our midield will find it tought vs united i’m afriad.

oh and Gervinho looks great 🙂

Truegooner
Truegooner

I thought Djourou was poor too but yeah whatever, great win.

Anyone know when Wilshere is coming back? LANS

blazingooner
blazingooner

Definitely had some black hair turn grey as that pen was conceded, but man oh man was Szcz there and how – imposing and turned the game.
Still concerned for the man u game but no worries today is a happy day. We’ll turn man u too provided we stay stable at the back, hope kos is back.
Up the arse!

Oh and fuck that shithead Nasri – see the loser in man shitty fafa12 video http://www.mcfc.co.uk/News/Club-news/2011/August/Samir-Nasri-scores-first-City-goal
– fuckin EA are gonna make them real strong. Bastards.

GoonerDave
GoonerDave

Great win.
Gervinho, Jenkinson and Szczesny all brilliant.
The only disappointment was Ramsey. Nowhere near good enough for playing against the big boys. Also concerned how imbalanced we look without a proper left back on the pitch.
We need to sign 3 players in just over a week….I hope Ivan is getting his finger out! Time to put the negativity to bed and sign some players. We need the feel-good factor back to inspire the team.

Dannyboy
Dannyboy

Scez showed the legend he will be. Tremendou penalty save. Great result. Let’s buy wisely. Need quality in the midfield. Sell squillashit and buy a decent centre back. Sell a forward and buy quality. Then happy daze.

DownToEarthGooner
DownToEarthGooner

We came upon Samir (Handanovic) and sock it to him. One Samir down, the mutha of all Samirs to go.

Bob the Gunner
Bob the Gunner

Now sign M’Vila, beat the crap out of Man Utd and get the season back on track please !!!

Mick
Mick

That save was just unbelievable. To get a hand on it let alone push it over the bar. We really would have been suffering but for that. I would take that guy over any other ‘keeper I can think of, his self belief is outrageous, hopefully it starts to permeate through the team

Nasri is a cunt.

Gunner73
Gunner73

Where’s all the doom merchants now? Cunt’s…..
Great result tonight, really proud of the boys, get in there you gunners!!!!

Padwan
Padwan

Great result, udinese are a tough squad and to perform that away is just what the doctor ordered. Di natale on a free please voyuer

Truegooner
Truegooner

Still here, lol. A great result, hope we can carry the momentum to Manchester. And I hope Hazard pulls a Nasri on Lille.

Jamie
Jamie

Also, am I the last to realise the link shortener used spells out Pires?

sJ
sJ

link shortener ?

DiscoFuckingPolo
DiscoFuckingPolo

SZCZ is a fucking legend. Walcott should be played thru the middle. He would score 20+ goals.

perrygrovesworld
perrygrovesworld

Fucking superb!! Battling performance just like the old days!! Lets move onwards and upwards now boys!! Thought Jenks was fucking brilliant tonight, as was Gervinho. As for Scsz – best penalty save ever! Lets enjoy this result & forget the negativity. Come on you reds!!

Good-Bloke
Good-Bloke

Best keeper in the league, possibly world!

Fucking awesome game, I’ve not been this exhilarated since Barca at home last season.

How good does it feel:)

ARSENAL FUCK YEAH!

perrygrovesworld
perrygrovesworld

FUCK YEAH!

jonnyd
jonnyd

great bit of pro arsenal chat on sky there steve maclarin and john collins ……and the buying of players ……if we had bought the players we need before fab and nasri left ..we’d end having to give players away because of the new 25 man rule which devalues player when you have too many players…..i expect a good signing in the next 48 hours

Bob the Gunner
Bob the Gunner

Yann M’Vila

Monty
Monty

Praise baby Jesus!

Padwoir
Padwoir

SZCZ vital moment that very well might save the season even at this early stage, with things balanced as they were, it was seminal. Well done lads; personally I thought Jenkinson looked fantastic, he was for me, MOTM.

Allypallygooner
Allypallygooner

It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside reading this positive comments! There’s been so much doom and gloom but we are and always will be the Arsenal! Who wants a team full of £30M fuckers when you can have players like SZCZ and walla-walla Frimpong and the rest of those bloody brilliant little bastards tonight!

Long way to go yet to really lift the gloom but come on arsenal!!!!!

Jamie
Jamie

Fucking fantastic second half.

Really impressed by Frimpong in the first half, and then Rosicky, Gervinho and of course the legend that is SZCZ.

Also, I can’t be the only noticing the passion for the club from some of these guys. Cutting out the cancer (i.e. Nasri) may prove to be highly beneficial for us.

Johnny D

Very proud of the team tonight…….. showed all the spirit missing at the back end of last season. SZCZ was immense, Song more like his old self, Theo and Gervinho caused a lot of problems by actually running at and through the Udinese defence, and RVP led by example. Good performance all round bar Rambo who seems to be struggling to impose himself in games at mo, but a lot more positives than negatives……… A few quality signings now please Arsene and job done.

Bendys Pants
Bendys Pants

Did we just make a loan bid for Kaka???

Rectum Spectrum
Rectum Spectrum

according to the daily mail.

so no, probably not.

nuetral
nuetral

Very pleased, don’t want to be the negative one but Walcott was looking like he’d lost his football brain on a few occasions but he came through in the end, which is why you perservere with him, because he can run onto a pass and finish with composure, but he was otherwise dire.

Great to see a Frimpong/Song midfield, hope we see it again this season, but with Wilshere instead of Ramsey. I thought Song had a blinder. Vermaelen was great again, so nice to have him back. Jenkinsen was outstanding, but also had a few niave moments, same with Frimpong.

Truegooner
Truegooner

Hopefully we can get another midfielder in, or maybe just Wilshere and Diaby coming back and staying healthy, because Frimpong is still too green to play consistent minutes for us. He’s great but we should be patient with him. Udinese’s goal came through our midfield; ramsey, Song and Frimpong were too close together.

But yeah, up the arse!

Dinho

Deserved result. The lads showed resolve, hunger, and tremendous character. Special praise to Song, Ramsey, RVP, SzCz, and Jenko. Sagna put in a good shift out of position, as well. My faith in this team is half restored. Now spend some bloody money.

d-holio
d-holio

Great 2nd half performance. When Song just sits and doesn’t venture forward as he did in the 2nd half, our defence is so much more secure. Wish he would do that all the time! On a negative note, thought Ramsey was poor yet again so far in this young season. His distribution and decision making is really second rate at the moment. Come on, Pick it up Rambo!!!!!
On a positive note, Na$ri is a fucking cunt!!!!

Truegooner
Truegooner

Wenger did a good job too. The switch from Rosicky to Gervinho was great. Also, the team’s performance was probably inspired by him.

Now spend some money please.

Aaa
Aaa

Everybody seems to forget we got 3 yellow cards in 3 mins span after theo scored. Theo’s yellow was absurd

neutral
neutral

Yeah, Theo’s yellow did not make sense at all. It is hard to know when you support a team, but Arsenal seems to attract bad decisions.

La Gooner
La Gooner

Bring it on Manure !

the fza
the fza

What a game, heart in mouth moments aplenty, well done to everyone, coped with the pressure and you delivered as a team, let’s now get back to the business of spending some cunting money to give you guys the experience you need for your development, our GK was and is world class, ppl just remember last night when he has a bad day at the office…hero!!!