Arsenal beats Partizan 3-1 in Champions League

Marouane Chamakh and Sebastien Squillaci scored two late goals

Tuesday to help injury-stricken Arsenal beat 10-man Partizan

Belgrade 3-1 in the Champions League.

Arsenal converted its first chance in the match with Jack

Wilshere surging ahead and delivering a backheel pass to Andrey

Arshavin, who drilled the ball home past Partizan goalkeeper

Vladimir Stojkovic in the 15th minute.

After Arsenal missed three good chances to increase its lead,

Cleo tied the score in the 33rd from the penalty spot after Arsenal

defender Denilson handled the ball inside the penalty area.

Arshavin then missed a penalty for Arsenal, before Chamakh made

it 2-1 in the 71st by slotting in his own rebound after hitting the

bar with a header. Squillaci sealed the victory on a close-range

header after a corner kick in the 82nd.

Arsenal, which impressed by trouncing Braga 6-0 in the first

round of the Champions League, missed several of its starters,

including goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, key midfielder Cesc Fabregas

and strikers Robin van Persie, Nicklas Bendtner and Theo

Walcott.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger named only six of the eleven

players who started against Braga, with Johan Djourou and fullback

Kieran Gibbs among those brought in.

”We played quite well, considering the circumstances,” Wenger

said. ”It was not an easy game.”

Partizan was the first to threaten, with Cleo and midfielder

Pierre Boya missing two good opportunities in the opening minutes

when the Gunners’ defense appeared in disarray.

Partizan was a man down after Chamakh was tripped by Marko

Jovanovic for the penalty in the 57th. The Partizan defender was

red carded for the foul.

Lukasz Fabianski, who replaced Almunia in Arsenal’s goal, saved

another penalty kick by Cleo in the 84th. He made another

spectacular save in injury time on a close-range shot by Partizan

winger Ivica Iliev.

”We played quite well, especially in the first half,” said

Partizan captain Mladen Krstajic. ”After the red card, we could no

longer cope with Arsenal.”

In the other Group H game, Shakhtar Donetsk beat Braga 3-0 in

Portugal. Arsenal and Shakhtar now lead the group standings with

six points, leaving Partizan and Braga with none.