Arsenal vs. Olympique Marseille: Final score 2-0, Gunners coast past limp l'OM

Shaun Botterill

A depleted Olympique Marseille were no match for Arsenal as the Gunners got a 2-0 victory without having to get out of second gear.

Arsenal coasted to a routine 2-0 win over a lacklustre Marseille at the Emirates Stadium to give themselves a commanding position going into the final game of the group stage.

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The excellent Jack Wilshere scored both goals as Arsenal took full advantage in dominating a Marseille side that was missing Dimitri Payet and Andre Ayew through injury, with Florian Thauvin and Mathieu Valbuena left on the bench.

Wilshere got Arsenal off to a brilliant start as he burst down the right wing and left Lucas Mendes for dead, cutting inside and curling a brilliant effort past Steve Mandanda into the far corner.

That left Marseille with little chance of getting back into the game, and with two of their most creative players on the bench and another two injured, so it proved as the Ligue 1 side struggled to get a hold of the game or create any chances. Aaron Ramsey ought to have made it two when Wilshere teed him up in the area, but the in-form Welshman could only find Mandanda with what ought to have been a simple finish.

Marseille had not had a sniff of goal when Arsenal next looked to double their advantage, gaining a fortuitous penalty when Ramsey went over NIcolas Nkoulou's leg just outside the area. Justice was done, however, as Mesut Ozil stepped up and put in a feeble spot-kick, with Mandanda easily making the save and keeping the score at one-nil.

As the second half wore on, Marseille finally threw on Thauvin and Valbuena, but they soon found themselves out of the game anyway -- Jack Wilshere was once again the scorer, Ramsey and Ozil showing some good interplay before the latter played an outside-of-the-boot pass to tee up the England midfielder for his second goal of the night.

The introduction of the in-form Thauvin looked to give Marseille an increased threat -- first a combination of Wojciech Szcesny and Nacho Monreal managed to block and clear his goalbound effort, before a superb save from the Pole kept out a second fierce effort.

The introduction of Theo Walcott and Santiago Cazorla for Arsenal gave the Gunners a more direct threat toward the end of the game, but although the former had a couple of fine runs, his end product was lacking. In the end, it was a comfortable victory for Arsenal and one that should ultimately see them progress to the knockout stages.

Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Ramsey; Wilshere (Walcott 75'), Rosicky (Cazorla 75'), Ozil (Arteta 82'); Giroud.

Goals: Wilshere 1, 65

Marseille: Mandanda, Abdallah, N'Koulou, Mendes, Morel, Lemina (Cheyrou 83'), Romao, Ayew (Valbuena 57'), Imbula (Thauvin 57'), Khelifa, Gignac.

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