Dynamo Kiev 1-1 Arsenal

A late William Gallas goal saved Arsenal from the brink of an opening defeat to Dynamo Kiev in what would have been the Ukrainian club’s first Champions League win in four years.

Iamael Bangoura put Kiev in the lead from the spot sending Almunia the wrong way after Sagna was harshly adjudged to pull down Vukojevic though replays show the Croatian was looking for a foul. Gallas equalised in the 88th minute after Adebayor helped on a Walcott cross.

The first half started cautiously, Arsenal playing in a 4-5-1 formation while Kiev were set up in exactly the way the manager said before the game; zonally marking the Arsenal players. The lack of space didn’t allow many early chances though Adebayor hard a great chance to score but somehow sidefooted wide with the keeper to beat. The Gunners pushed on towards the end of the half, Van Persie shooting wide and Fabregas straight at the keeper when 6 yards out.

The second half was more open and after the Ukraine’s penalty Arsenal were open to the counter attack though somehow Kiev and especially Bangoura failed to take full advantage as Arsenal pushed on. Arsenal’s pressure told late in the game when Gallas shot home, Adebayor’s weak shot falling to the captain.

With Kiev being so cautious there wasn’t much space for Arsenal to manoeuvre. The wingers, Van Persie and Walcott usually to wide not supporting Adebayor. Also the link between midfield and attack was mostly missing though Denilson showed some nice touches while Fabregas went to look to make something happen. Song played in defensive midfield but was sometimes to relaxed allowing chances while for Kiev the best chances seemed to be when the midfielders pushed forward.

In the end it was a good result considering how Kiev were set up and Arsenal will be relieved the skipper found his striking instinct for his third goal of the season.

Dynamo Kiev: Bogush (7), Betao (7), Diakhate (7) , Mykhalyk (7), Nesmachniy (7), Vukojevic (7), Yussuf (7), Yeremenko (7), Aliev (8), Ninkovic (6), Bangoura (6)

Subs: Shovkovskiy, Ghioane, Morozyuk, Shatskikh, Kravets, Olexander Romanchuk, Asatiani.

Arsenal: Almunia (6), Sagna (6) (Eboue 7), Toure (7), Gallas (7), Clichy (5), Walcott (7), Fabregas (6), Song Billong (5) (Bendtner 5), Denilson (6), Van Persie (5) (Vela 5), Adebayor (7)

Subs not used: Fabianski, Vela, Ramsey, Wilshere, Djourou, Eboue.

Referee: Luis Medina Cantalejo (6) (Spain)

Man of the Match: Aliev- A constant threat arriving in the box from deep and keeping the Kiev side ticking.

Dinamo Kiev Team Statistics Arsenal
1 Goals 1
0 1st Half Goals 0
2 Shots on Target 5
8 Shots off Target 4
7 Blocked Shots 3
3 Corners 8
17 Fouls 14
2 Offsides 4
4 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
84.9 Passing Success 86.1
14 Tackles 21
85.7 Tackles Success 66.7
46.6 Possession 53.4
44.3 Territorial Advantage 55.7

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