Marseille fail to stop Wilshere attack

Marseille fail to stop Wilshere attack

Arsenal 2 Marseille 0

Jack Wilshere scored both goals as Arsenal beat Marseille 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium to all but secure a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

England midfielder Wilshere showed no signs of any fatigue as he swept the Barclays Premier League leaders ahead after just 28 seconds.

Although club-record signing Mesut Ozil missed a first-half penalty, another close-range effort from Wilshere made sure of victory to keep the Gunners top of Group F.

A draw on matchday six away to Napoli, who lost 3-1 at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, will now see Arsene Wenger’s men qualify in first place and seeded for the last 16 – or indeed even a defeat could also be enough to go through on head-to-head record and goal difference.

Arsenal had swept into the lead after just 28 seconds when Wilshere broke clear and cut back inside to smash the ball past Steve Mandanda.

The Marseille goalkeeper then saved from Aaron Ramsey at point-blank range, but Arsenal should have been further ahead just before the break when Ozil’s weak penalty was palmed away.

Eventually, Arsenal’s pressure in the second half told when Wilshere swept home Ozil’s pass on 65 minutes.

Marseille – who had lost all four European ties so far – did mount a brief rally.

Substitute Florian Thauvin collected a pass at the edge of the penalty area and drove a shot goalwards, which parried up off the legs of goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and the ball looped towards the empty net – but full-back Nacho Monreal, in for the ill Kieran Gibbs, recovered to clear off the line.

Szczesny needed to be alert again to get down at his near post to save well from Florian, once on the watchlist of Gunners boss Wenger.

Arsenal substitiute’s Santi Cazorla blazed over from 10 yards and then Theo Walcott stabbed wide when clear through, but the result was already secure - leaving the Gunners on the brink of the last 16 in Europe’s elite club competition once again.

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