A performance that does not bode well for Old Trafford next Monday.
4-4-2 returns- Chamakh and Van Persie in tandem.
Arshavin and Nasri struggle to get into the game from wide positions.
Denilson + Song = creativity deficit in the centre.
The crowd: edgy, frustrated.
The Kurse of Kieran Gibbs strikes again- another addition to the brittle brigade.
An abject first half hour ends with Van Persie cleverly buying a soft penalty. The Dutchman buries it for 1-0.
There is no sense of danger- Partizan are woeful- but Arsenal fail to kick on. A disjointed showing. The penalty is the only shot on target.
Dunphy: "Denilson and Song are nothing players.... they don't have a playmaker" (suggesting Nasri move to the centre).
If Wenger's bottle-throwing antics betray anxiety, it is justified by his team within minutes. Partizan work an opportunity on the edge of the area- Squillaci hesitates- dives in- Cleo's shot hits him and loops over Fabianski's dive.
1-1 against this frankly rubbish team!!!
What's the score in the Braga game?? Goalless.
Tension up, heads down, Partizan get bold, threaten again.
Arsenal struggle to reassert themselves but the players look as edgy as the crowd sounds.
Arshavin- having a stinker- removed for (ugh) Walcott.
A poor defensive header falls for the Englishman. A position in which he often snatches at things. This time, good chest control, super volley, placed into the far corner. Relief.
3-1 minutes later. Nasri in the goals again. Song and sub Bendtner play one-two, Song finds Nasri, clever feet, left foot finish, job done.
The poor overall performance is underlined by a sloppy end to the game.
Sagna dismissed for a foul as last man. And Shakhtar win, which means Arsenal finish second- could play Barca or Madrid in the second round.