As the minutes and seconds slowly ticked by, I was planning on summing up this game and there was only one explanation. What a bloody boring match?
And anyone who has watch Arsenal over the last few years knows that we are not usually a boring team. We attack attack and attack and our defence in frankly rubbish. I have to admit today though, that had I been a neutral I probably would have turned off. But after coming into the game, a game which would have benefited from his slick passing, Ramsey turned in an excellent finish in the last minute to give us a great win.
The main stories from the first half were two handball shouts, one for each side. The first one was on Jenkinson which could have easily been given as he let it hit him on the arm in the box. Jenkinson does try hard, and the ITV commentators were forever going on about his work-rate up and down the right flank. However, he just isn't good enough. Time after time I see him as a fan who has won the chance to play for Arsenal for a year. Sure he tries his hardest, but there's a reason he's not a footballer. He can't play football.
That is harsh on Jenkinson, who I am sure will develop into an excellent player and has achieved so much already during the past year, and is clearly a lot better than any other right back option we have. Hopefully he is not out for too long.
The other shout, or murmur considering the Arsenal players' reaction was a clear handball by a Marseille player after a corner. Watching the replay and seeing his gloved hand punch the ball you cant help wondering why noone appealed for it. My only explanation for this is that all of our players shut their eyes and hope for the best at most set play situations, and this would go on to explain a lot of our problems at defending set pieces too.
On to the second half, which had less action than the first. Arsenal had all the ball and Marseille did nothing. Remy was isolated, and Valbuena did a lot of running, but on the whole not a lot happened. I was expecting the worst when Djourou came on for the injured Jenkinson, but Marseille didn't even exploit this weakness once.
In fact, it was a good Djourou cross which, after being miscontrolled by Gervinho - another sub on for Walcott - was well turned in by the Welsh captain.
Overall it was a clam, composed performance, with very patient build up play which was well rewarded. In fact I can't remember Szczesny making a save. Much of that is owed to Koscielny, who was excellent - he looks a different player in the Champion League - and was there to clear things up whenever this got passed the rest of our defence.
Alex Song had a good game as well, and did well to keep his tackles under control after an early booking. Arteta battled quite well too, but offered little on the ball as the attack looked very average. Walcott's crossing was not at it's best, and Van Persie just didn't seem to have the classy touch that he did on Sunday. I'm sure we can forgive him though.
Here are the ratings: Szczesny 5.5 Jenkinson 6 Mertesacker 5.5 Koscielny 8 A.Santos 5.5 Song 7.5 Arteta 7 Rosicky 6.5 Walcott 6 Arshavin 5.5 Van Persie 6.5
Subs: Djourou 6.5 Gervinho 6 Ramsey 7.5
The 3 points are very happily taken and put us in an excellent position to win the group at the halfway stage. It was gives us our 5th win in 6 games, which has gone under a lot of people noses, and hopefully will be furthered at the weekend. We are not passed any corners, and we are still in a shit position in the league. But things are not as bad as people are making out. Come on you Gunners.