Champions League

Arsenal book knockout berth

2010-12-09 00:18
Robin van Persie (AP Photo)

London - Arsenal booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday, beating Partizan Belgrade 3-1 in an ultimately comfortable victory at the Emirates.

Substitute Theo Walcott and in-form Frenchman Samir Nasri scored the decisive goals for the Gunners after Partizan's Brazilian-born striker Cleo had cancelled out Robin Van Persie's first-half penalty.

Defeats to Shakhtar Donetsk and Braga in their previous two matches however meant the English Premier League leaders had to settle for the runners-up spot in Group H. Shakhtar finished first after beating Braga in Ukraine.

Arsenal had dominated from the outset, monopolising possession but struggling to find a way through Partizan's densely populated midfield.

Nasri always looked Arsenal's most threatening attacking outlet, and the midfielder created the first half-chance when he found Marouane Chamakh with a cross that the Moroccan striker headed harmlessly over the bar.

Nasri was in the thick of it again on 19 minutes when he lost his marker superbly before threading a low cross through to Van Persie, who could only guide his shot wide of the near post.

At the other end Arsenal remained largely unruffled although they were forced into a defensive reshuffle on 24 minutes when Emmanuel Eboue came on to replace Kieran Gibbs after the fullback turned an ankle.

Arsenal broke the deadlock on the half hour mark via a dubious penalty, Marko Jovanovic harshly adjuged to have bundled over Van Persie by Italian referee Paolo Tagliavento.

Television replays appeared to suggest little contact by the defender on the Dutch striker.

Partizan's players protested to no avail and Van Persie stepped up to blast his spot kick beyond Vladimir Stojkovic.

Arsenal might have had a second near half-time when a defensive slip from Mladen Krstajic let in Van Persie but the Arsenal striker was unable to find the killer pass for Chamakh, allowing Partizan to snuff out the danger.

Despite cruising through the first half however, Arsenal were made to pay for a slack opening to the second period and Partizan got back on level terms when Cleo's speculative shot took a big deflection off Sebastien Squillaci and looped up over Lukasz Fabianski.

It looked like the match might finish in a draw until the introduction of substitute Walcott for Andrei Arshavin breathed new life into the Arsenal attack with 23 minutes to go.

On 73 minutes Walcott fired Arsenal back into the lead, controlling a half-clearance superbly on his chest before angling in a volley past Stojkovic.

Four minutes later Nasri made the game safe, rounding off slick interplay between Nicklas Bendtner and Alex Song to finish coolly.

The only sour note for Arsenal came five minutes from time when Bacary Sagna received a straight red card for a professional foul on Aleksandar Lazevski on the edge of the area.

Read more on:    champions league
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014
Fixtures
17 February 2015
Shakhtar Donetsk v FC Bayern München, Donbass Arena 21:45
Paris Saint Germain v Chelsea, Parc des Princes 21:45
18 February 2015
FC Basel v FC Porto, St Jakob-Park 21:45
FC Schalke 04 v Real Madrid, VELTINS-Arena 21:45
24 February 2015
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Juventus v Borussia Dortmund, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team will win the 2013/14 Champions League title?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.