A young Arsenal side beat Steve Maclaren’s FC Twente 2-0 in the first leg Champions league qualifier with goals from William Gallas (63) and Emmanuel Adebayor (82) however it could not mask what was an below-par Arsenal performance.
FC Twente were the brighter in the first half and looked dangerous down the flanks and came close through Marko Arnautovic but the Dutch side didn’t have the killer edge to put the ball in. Arsenal took the lead from a Van Persie free kick as Gallas bundled the ball in and Adebayor wrapped things up with a tap in set up by Walcott.
Before the start of the game all the talk was on Aaron Ramsey and Denilson and how they would fare in the middle of the park but neither did enough to convice that they are worthy of a first team spot. Ramsey played as the more defensive midfielder and Denilson higher up however neither gained a foot hold in the match with weak tackles and not enough link up play to the strikers. Eboue and Walcott similar failed to perform leaving Van Persie coming deep to get the ball in a laboured performance.
In the other end Djourou and Gallas performed a strong partnership and Almunia looked composed and commanding between the sticks.
Early days it may be for Arsenal as they take the advantage into the second leg but a lot of work needs to be done if Arsenal are to be challenging for trophies this season.
Team and Ratings: Almunia (7), Sagna (6), Gallas (8)(c), Djourou (8), Clichy (6), Eboue (5), Denilson (5), Ramsey (5), Walcott (6), Van Persie (5), Adebayor (7)
Star Man: Johan Djourou- Looking to stake his claim as the partner to Gallas and did his chances no harm with an assured display at the back and great forages forward.
|Twente Enschede||Team Statistics||Arsenal|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|2||Shots on Target||4|
|5||Shots off Target||3|