Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Arsenal 3 - Partizan 1
Arsenal go through to the knock-out stage of the Champions League with a 3-1 victory at home to Partizan Belgrade. The team's performance was pedestrian, but improved after Andrei Arshavin was withdrawn for the last third of the match in favor of Theo Walcott, with the match tied at 1. Partizan simply could not cope with Walcott's pace. He scored a terrific goal for the Gunners, controlling the ball off his chest in the box, and volleying it with the outside side of his boot passed the goalkeeper. The irrepressible Samir Nasri made it 3-1, finishing a nice team move that featured some beautiful footwork just outside the box by Alex Song. Unfortunately, defender Bacary Sagna was shown a red card for a somewhat lazy challenge on a Partizan forward late in the game; the referee had judged Sagna to be the last defender preventing a clear goal-scoring opportunity. This will hurt Arsenal as they progress into the next round.