I’ve been drinking this evening so I’ll keep it short. If you bother to read this you’ll probably understand why…
- Arsenal line-up: Szczesny, Per, Kos, Santos, Jenkinson, Rosicky, Arteta, Song, Van Persie, Walcott, Arshavin
- ITV confirms they hate Arsenal fans by hiring Martin O’Neill, Roy Keane and Gareth Southgate to analyse the match. The former immediately reveals he and Arsene do not like each other. Keane looks annoyed to be abroad and Gareth Southgate’s hair makes me change channel.
- Arsenal take to the field wearing the fateful blue ‘jockey’ away strip last seen at Old Trafford. Marseille opt for a Haribo coloured kit in something akin to neon puke.
- Arsenal’s fans look noticeably isolated in a very empty stand being renovated ahead of Euro 2016.
- Andre Santos plays like a middle-aged dad who has won the chance to play for Arsenal by picking a winning Tombola ticket. He gets booked early on and then should have been sent off for a handball. In between he makes a lot of passes to players who are not wearing an Arsenal shirt.
- Carl Jenkinson runs up and down the right wing giving his all. I quite like him because he gets away with foul throwing every throw in and crosses the ball better than any right back Arsenal have had since Lee Dixon. He seems to give away a blatant penalty, but I, like the referee, choose to overlook the very obvious handball.
- Theo Walcott does one of those dribbles you do on a computer game where you knock it past the defender and run. Basically what we all want Theo to do every game. His crossing though throughout the first 45 minutes is awful.
- Koscielny acts as a calming presence in defence, tight on Remy and impressive in marshalling the defence. The midfield is pretty much non-existent, but so thankfully is Marseille’s.
- Arsenal’s corners can almost be classed as threatening. None hit the first man and Van Persie has a header cleared off the line. In the build-up to the Dutchman’s effort it turns out we should have had a penalty. However, despite Marseille defender Diawara opting to clear the ball with a punch, nobody appeals. Apparently the extra official stationed behind the goal is blind.
- Roy Keane thinks the game is shit…you can tell his mind is elsewhere…perhaps Dale Farm.
- Martin O’Neill thinks the game is shit, but figures Arsenal should be content. Gareth Southgate and his hair agree.
- … basically a childhood game of headers and volleys, but without any jumpers, any goalposts or any shots.
- Nothing happens. Nothing.
- …but then, out of nothing and really quite unbelievably, Aaron Ramsey scores in the 92nd minute. 1-0 to the Arsenal and three glorious points.
- Possibly the most dull game of football I’ve watched in years…but we won.
- The Marseille fans booed big time at the final whistle.
- Arsenal remain unbeaten in the group stage, have seven points (yes…I did write eight earlier) and are top of the table.
- A Welshman avenged his country’s defeat to the French egg-chasing team last weekend. Ramsey’s revenge.
- I forgot to say that Laurent Koscielny was, by a long way, the Man of the Match. A brilliantly composed performance at the heart of defence.