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
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.