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Champions League 2009/2010

Gunner2010-04-27 21:37:45 +0000 #1
Cesc Fabregas will lead out the side as Arsenal look to end a turbulent few days by securing their progression to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

The build-up to the match has been dominated by the news that Fabregas has replaced William Gallas as captain following the Frenchman's public criticism of his team-mates last week.

Arsenal turned in a poor performance on Saturday as they lost 3-0 at Manchester City to slip further behind the pacesetters in the Premier League title race.

Arsene Wenger left Gallas out at Eastlands and then announced on Monday that Fabregas would wear the armband in Tuesday's clash with Dynamo Kiev.

The Spanish midfielder is available again following a one-match domestic suspension, while Gallas returns to the squad.

Wenger's preparations have also been hit by an injury crisis, with Abou Diaby (abdominal strain) and Samir Nasri (knee) the latest players to be ruled out.

They join Kolo Toure (calf), Theo Walcott (shoulder), Emmanuel Eboue (knee), Emmanuel Adebayor and Bacary Sagna (both ankle) on the sidelines.

Long-term absentee Tomas Rosicky (knee) is also unavailable, although Eduardo should be back in action soon after recovering from a broken leg.

Wenger will have to shuffle his pack and Aaron Ramsey and Carlos Vela, who both featured as substitutes at the weekend, could feature.

Arsenal can clinch their place in the next round with a victory and will not want to head into their final Group G match, away to Porto, with their fate still uncertain.

Dynamo news

The Gunners have yet to lose in Europe this season but they needed a late equaliser from Gallas to rescue a point in Kiev.

The Ukrainian side are currently third in the group and will be targeting three points at Emirates Stadium, although coach Yuriy Semin has said he is not focusing on any 'problems' at Arsenal.

If Dynamo fail to win and Porto beat Fenerbahce in the night's other group game, then they will not be able to advance in the competition.

Defender Taras Mikhalik is missing for Dynamo, while Artem Milevskiy is set to start as a lone striker.

Dynamo did not play at the weekend but they currently lead their domestic league by three points.

Gunner2010-04-27 21:40:46 +0000 #2
Gunners ease Emirates misery

Arsenal eased their off-field problems as they booked a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League with a late 1-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

Nicklas Bendtner struck a late winner against Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday night to secure Arsenal’s passage through to the Knockout Stages of the Champions League.

There were only three minutes left when the Dane controlled a long pass forward from Cesc Fabregas and thumped home the only goal from 10 yards out.

It was a sweet end to the Spaniard’s first match as Arsenal captain and just about deserved on the night.

Arsène Wenger’s side started brightly and should have lead before the break but they faded in the final 30 minutes and the eventual winner came when Kyiv were starting to fancy their chances.

Still a win is a win. And Arsenal have been bereft of good fortune in recent weeks.

This was hardly the dawn of a new age but it was a welcome fillip.

And that will do for now.

All eyes were on Fabregas and William Gallas ahead of the game. Both had missed the defeat at Manchester City, but the Spaniard returned to take up his new role as skipper. The Frenchman was back in the side aswell but, in the circumstances, under barely any less pressure.

Speaking of pressure, Wenger had tonnes of the stuff right now. An indifferent set of results had come about amidst (or because of) a lengthy injury list.

The latest were Samir Nasri (knee) and Abou Diaby (abdominal), who joined the queue at the treatment table after picking up knocks in training on Monday. But they were well behind the likes Kolo Toure (calf), Theo Walcott (shoulder), Emmanuel Eboue (knee), Tomas Rosicky (hamstring), Bacary Sagna (ankle), Emmanuel Adebayor (ankle), Eduardo (ankle).

That meant Aaron Ramsey came in on the right of midfield with Denilson moving to the left to accommodate Alex Song and Fabregas in the middle. Carlos Vela joined Robin van Persie up front so Bendtner dropped to the bench. Gavin Hoyte, a Premier League debutant on Saturday, was also named as a substitute.

It is too much to say this was a brand new Arsenal but there was certainly a very different feel in the opening stages.

Kyiv needed to win to keep their Champions League hopes alive. Technically Arsenal needed a win but, in reality, a draw would probably be enough.

Wenger’s men started with intent. Vela seemed determined to build on his Carling Cup potential and set up Ramsey to fire a shot straight at Stanilsav Bogush after nine minutes.

In fact the Welshman would have all four of Arsenal’s chances in the opening half-hour. However perhaps only that first one, and his slashed effort over the bar, were truly worthy of mention.

Kyiv were happy to play on the break and, though it seemed dangerous, little was created.

In the 35th minute, Van Persie twisted and turned in the area before firing off a shot that bounced off the body of the Bogush. The Kyiv keeper was coming under increasing pressure as Arsenal’s movement pulled apart the defence in front of him.

Gallas even had the ball in the net soon afterwards but he was clearly offside when he flicked the ball home.

However, just as Arsenal looked ready to take control, the visitors nearly scored. Gallas slipped and Ismael Bangoura raced through on the left. His sidefoot hit the outside of the near post and went behind.

The Ukrainians had a let off of their own five minutes from the whistle when Van Persie whipped in a free-kick and Mikael Silvestre knocked the ball over the bar from five yards out.

The half-time interval changed little. A couple of minutes in, Fabregas curled a free-kick off the far post where Van Persie collected. The Dutchman’s first effort came back off the keeper and his second was blocked by Gallas when it might have been going in.

Yet Arsenal looked ready to take over. But yet again Kyiv responded with their best chances. Bangoura fired wide before Olexandr Aliyev crashed a drive in to the chest of Alumunia.

Suddenly the game looked wide open. Arsenal had been broadly on top throughout the game but Kyiv were now playing cup football.

However the impetus did not last and it was no surprise to see Wenger bring on Bendtner for Ramsey midway through the half. Jack Wilshere replaced Vela for the final 15 minutes. In doing so he became Arsenal’s youngest ever European player at 16 years 329 days.

The youngster had not touched the ball when Almunia saved point-blank from Artem Milevsky. The entire Arsenal defence was waiting for an offside flag that never came and the Spaniard’s stop was crucial.

But Arsenal could have sealed their passage through a minute later when Bendtner arrived inches too late to meet Van Persie’s penetrating low ball across the face of goal.

After that it seemed that Arsenal had settled for the point. With Porto winning in Fenerbache it was good enough in any case.

Bendtner’s quality finish was maybe incongruent with the run of play at that time. Aliyev’s second yellow card for pushing the referee was more strange still.

However Arsenal go through. Let’s hope they have regained all their former strength by the time the Knockout stages comes around in February.

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Salt The Fries2010-04-27 21:48:30 +0000 #3
What's up with Ukrainian teams loosing in last minutes all the time? LAME.
Gunner2010-04-27 21:52:50 +0000 #4
Well, it was an extremely close game against Roma. Glad were through and we have important players coming back.. Cesc will be very welcome back in the midfield. Eduardo has been missed alot too, im sure he will partner Adebayor in the next few games. Good to see Van Persie back in the team regularly again, we missed him last season.

Anyway, who would you prefer to face in the next round of the Champions League??
Zizou19052010-04-27 23:01:59 +0000 #5
Roma outplayed us, we were lucky not to concede more Wenger adopted a slow game tactic in that match. It was more defensive, than attacking we just had to to sit there and absorb all of their attacks. If Arshavin was eligible and Walcott and Eddy had played the full game I think it would have been a different story.

That attacking mentality would have been too much for them, Wenger underestimates the opposition way too much which will cost us one day. Anyway, we played well in tonights game against Hull but we were forced too defend too many times like I said Wenger should have taken the game more seriously.

players like Djorou and Bendtner need help in their positions, Djorou is scared to play with the ball Bentner holds the ball too long and is selfish. Wenger should teach them about this if they will ever develop into key players, although I would have liked to see Eddy play this match I am sure he would have been on the score sheet again anyway looking forward to playing Chelski will definately be a cracker of a game.
francenal2010-04-27 21:59:39 +0000 #6
so the yellow submarine is taking on the gunners .

sounds like i'm talking about a weird action movie, but it's actually a football match. who would have thought, huh ?

it's also the return of one of the greatest ever wingers to have played for arsenal. the man that's produced so many moments of magic. his partnership with henry is legendary. his love for the club remains. a real winner, who despite everything will give his all for the spaniards. it's none other than robert pires.

latest news is that cazorla is out for the rest of the season. he's one of the better players to put it simply, so that's a huge blow for villarreal. senna has had injury concerns of his own, but seems to have been declared ready if i'm not mistaking.

on our side there is a question mark over theo walcott. he was fouled repeatedly against city, and by the end of the match had a huge ice pack on his right knee. it looks like he will just make it though. i guess wenger will talk a little more about the team tomorrow, as will pellegrini.

it's an exciting game. i'm looking forward to it .
francenal2010-04-28 00:00:23 +0000 #7
wow, this thread has really taken off...not .

the squads have been announced.

villarreal (19 players in total, so 1 still to be dropped)

Goalkeepers: Diego López and Viera

Defenders: Javi Venta, Gonzalo, Capdevila, Ángel, Godin, Fuentes and Cygan.

Midfield: Marcos Senna, Pires, Eguren, Cani, Ibagaza and Mati Fernández.

Forwards: Rossi, Nihat, Llorente and Guille Franco.


Goalkeepers: Almunia and Fabianski

Defenders: Toure, Gallas, Sagna, Clichy, Gibbs, Djourou, Silvestre

Midfield: Fabregas, Vela, Walcott, Denilson, Song, Eboue, Nasri

Forwards: Adebayor, Bendtner

i'm guessing we'll line up in the same way as on saturday, except with nasri on the left wing instead of arshavin. however, wenger might surprise us still. it's also good to have vela as an option from the bench. he's spent a lot of time in spain on loan. he probably knows more about villarreal than anyone else in our team bar cesc maybe. if he gets a chance i hope his experience will help him make a mark on this game.

i have no clue how villarreal will set themselves up .

one thing is for sure, they're no mugs. we've played them before. if it weren't for riquelme's penalty miss in 2006 they would have beaten us. i really like them as a club, but we have to go into this with the right attitude. no messing around please.

man tomorrow seems like a long time away. i'm psyched!
RealMadrid43v3r2010-04-27 22:15:53 +0000 #8
It's a shame Cazorla is out for this one.

I hope Villareal wins



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