Ramsey strikes late to secure win for Arsenal

Marseille: Substitute Aaron Ramsey struck in stoppage time to secure Arsenal a 1-0 victory at Olympique Marseille in an uninspiring Champions League Group F encounter on Wednesday.

Welsh international Ramsey fired home in the second minute of stoppage time in a disappointing game at the Stade Velodrome to leave Arsenal well placed to reach the knockout stage.

"It was nice to come on and get winning goal," Ramsey said.

"The cross came in...I gambled it might come to the far post and for me it went in. It was a great achievement to come away from home and get the win."

Arsenal have seven points from three games in Group F, one more than Marseille who conceded for the first time in this season`s competition. Olympiakos have three with Borussia Dortmund on one.

Both sides, who have been struggling in their domestic leagues this season, failed to create many chances. The hosts wasted their best opportunity when Lucho Gonzalez met Mathieu Valbuena`s low cross but could only direct his effort wide across goal in the first half.

Arsenal went close after the break when Theo Walcott slipped through but was denied by the legs of keeper Steve Mandanda who was then beaten by Ramsey two minutes at the death.

The Gunners had made a shaky start with Alex Song being shown a yellow card after only four minutes for an ill-timed challenged on Loic Remy.

In the 15th minute, right back Carl Jenkinson appeared to handle the ball in the penalty area but referee Damir Skomina waved play on, with Andre Ayew booked for complaining.

The hosts then had a let off when Souleymane Diawara cleared Robin Van Persie`s header off his line as Arsenal increased the pressure.

The visitors, however, lacked composure at the back. Loic Remy saw off Per Mertesacker and Jenkinson in the box, only for the France striker`s right-footed angled attempt to be deflected just wide.

Remy then beat the offside trap but a superb tackle by Laurent Koscielny denied him a shooting opportunity.

Jenkinson, who seemed to struggle in the first half, was replaced just after the hour mark by Johan Djourou as defensive injury problems keep piling up for Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, back on the bench after his two-match Champions League suspension.

Arsenal were offered a great opportunity to take the lead in the 64th minute when Nicolas Nkoulou lost the ball in the area to Walcott, only for Mandanda to save from the England winger with his left foot.

There was nothing the France keeper could do, though, when Ramsey, perfectly set up by fellow substitute Gervinho, cooly fired home from close range.

Bureau Report

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