ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18 : Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal looks on during a training session ahead of their UEFA Champions League Group F match against Olympique de Marseille at London Colney on October 18, 2011 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Marseille Vs. Arsenal, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Aaron Ramsey Scores Last-Second Winner

Arsenal and Marseille meet in the UEFA Champions League. Between them, they have four wins in eighteen domestic matches, but they're both performing relatively well in Europe. What will be the outcome at the State Velodrome?

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Marseille Vs. Arsenal, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Late Aaron Ramsey Goal Gives Gunners Win

A last-minute goal by Aaron Ramsey saw Arsenal emerge from the Stade Velodrome with a 1-0 win over French opponents Marsille and the top spot in UEFA Champions League Group F. It was really the only bright spark in what was otherwise an incredibly dull affair, with neither team doing much of anything. Compared to the second half, the first half was abuzz with action - and the first half was pretty poor too.

Anyway, in the third minute of stopped time, Ramsey, who'd come on as a substitute for Andrei Arshavin fifteen minutes prior was played into the box after a neat flick on by Gervinho, and the Welsh midfielder looked up, saw that Steve Mandanda wasn't properly covering his near post and slotted home the winner. If you're interested in watching the match, you might as well just see that goal and spare yourself the trouble.

The win, of course, leaves Arsenal with seven points from three matches and marks them as heavy favourites to qualify - they're now in first place in Group F and four clear of Olympiakos in third. If they hadn't gotten that goal, things would have looked a little different. Turns out winning is good for everyone's collective mood.

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Marseille Vs. Arsenal, 2011 UEFA Champions League: 0-0 At Halftime

If you want UEFA Champions League goals, go watch Chelsea destroying Racing Genk. If you want... well, Marseille vs. Arsenal, you're rather stuck with this edition of things. It's scoreless at halftime at the Stade Velodrome, and so far the match has featured a couple of close(ish) calls for both teams but no real attacking quality. Arsenal have dominated possession but their hosts have tried to hit the Gunners on the counterattack, only to break down whenever they try to get into the final third.

About the only really interesting thing about the match so far is that three yellow cards were issued in the first fifteen minutes, to Alex Song, Andre Santos and Andre Ayew. I suppose that's kind of interesting, but yeah, the point is mostly that this game really really really needs a goal to make it watchable. Still 0-0 in France at halftime, and we're hoping for better after the break.

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Marseille Vs. Arsenal, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Lineups

There were some hints that Arsenal weren't going to be taking this match particularly seriously, especially considering the lineup that they sent out at home against Olympiakos. Arsene Wenger, however, has opted for a relatively strong side, with only Andre Arshavin at left forward not amongst his usual league starters.

Marseille have been far more successful in Europe than they have domestically so far this season, with two wins from two at the top of Group F, which was supposed to be territory reserved for third-place Borussia Dortmund. Can they cement their status as favourites to win the group with a home victory against Arsenal? We'll find out soon enough.

Marseille (4-2-3-1): Steve Mandanda; Jeremy Morel, Nicolas N'Koulou, Souleymane Diawara, Cesar Azpilicueta; Benoit Cheyrou, Alou Diarra; Andre Ayew, Lucho Gonzalez, Mathieu Valbuena; Loic Remy.

Arsenal (4-3-3): Wojciech Szczesny; Andre Santos; Laurent Koscielny; Per Mertesacker, Carl Jenkinson; Alex Song, Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky; Andre Arshavin, Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott.

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Marseille Vs. Arsenal, 2011 UEFA Champions League: The Short Fuse Expects To Rest Some Starters

Marseille are struggling in France, but are currently sitting on top of Group F in the UEFA Champions League on six points. Arsenal are sitting behind them with four points from two games, so most would expect that Arsenal's goal would be to take four points out of the next two games against Marseille to take control of the group. However, it seems like Arsenal fans are a bit more concerned with their terrible league form than they are with winning their Champions League group. Could they actually rest players away to Marseille so that they can be at full fitness against...Stoke City?!? Arsenal FC blog The Short Fuse has this very attitude.

Arsenal have announced the 18 gentlemen making the voyage for the squad. They are the usual suspects, although Kieran Gibbs is not coming along due to the injury he picked up on Sunday. This means that Arsenal's fullbacks are likely to be Carl Jenkinson and Andre Santos, the latter of who looked very good in his time against Sunderland, even defensively. Aaron Ramsey is back in the squad, and one wouldn't be surprised to see him start in the middle, although Tomas Rosicky played really well. It will be interesting to see, though, if Wenger opts to use Yossi Benayoun or Frances Coquelin tomorrow, so he can rest some key players ahead of the Stoke match this coming Sunday. Emmanuel Frimpong is not making the journey, but Coquelin could fill in for Song or possibly even Jenkinson on the right.

Arsenal is playing an A-/B+ squad away to Marseille because their match against Stoke City is more important. Good God.

For more on Arsenal vs. Marseille and the Gunners in general, check out Arsenal FC blog The Short Fuse.

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Marseille Vs. Arsenal, 2011 UEFA Champions League Matchday 3 Preview: Why Are L'OM So Bad?!?

Arsenal and Marseille meet in the UEFA Champions League. Between them, they have four wins in eighteen domestic matches, but they're both performing relatively well in Europe. What will be the outcome at the State Velodrome?

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