Marseille 0 Arsenal 1

Aaron Ramsey struck in the 92nd minute to earn Arsenal a vital away Champions League victory, and it was no more than the Gunners deserved. Perhaps it was apt that the man who had rightly called Arsenal’s start to the season as ” not good enough,” was the instigator of the win, when all indications were pointing to a frustrating goalless draw. With seconds remaining, Johan Djourou was showing us that he can give a good account of himself at right back. He surged forward, the ball crossed to Ramsey from the right via a deft Gervinho touch and the Gunners’ 16 clinical right foot strike was too good for Steve Mandanda.

Arsene Wenger is no stranger in these parts, and given what transpired in his days at Monaco, this victory will taste all the sweeter, and that rarity of an away win was combined with that even rarer away clean sheet in Europe. Ramsey’s 12th Champions League strike for the win could be just the boost that Arsenal need just now, as the luck finally seems to be coming in their favour.

The opening exchanges were interesting to say the least. Both sides had and claim for a penalty, with replays suggesting that Carl Jenkisnon and Souleymane Diawara were lucky to have gotten away with a definite shout for a spot kick, the Gunners frustration further compounded as Diawara then cleared Robin Van Persie’s follow up header off the line. Ten minutes on the clock should have seen Arsenal in the ascendency, but Van Persie’s header from Theo Walcott’s cross went clear of Mandanda, but not his upright.

Alex Song had another commanding game, all the more remarkable given that he had been harshly shown a yellow card. Andre Santos continues to get to grips of what is demanded of him, and here he had perhaps his best game since his summer arrival. Just to remind us of Marseille’s threat, Loic Remy went close on the half hour mark to almost embarass a static Gunners’ defence, with Lucho Gonzalez also threatening five minutes later.

Wenger’s first touchline attendance since his ban was proving to be a nervy affair, and the second half was not going to help matters. Walcott was having another one of those games, and his decision making when clear has to be worked on. Given the time he creates, there always seems an opportunity for another touch, but the Arsenal 14 is just rushing the cross to no real affect. Walcott should have opened to scoring early in the second half, but as the defence recovered, Walcott was unable to get any power in his shot.

Jenksinson’s injury may prove to be no bad thing if Djourou can continue to perform as adequately alongside Per Mertersacker, Laurent Koscielny and Santos who were all committed to the fight. Ramsey came on for Andrey Arshavin, and Gervinho for Walcott, and that injected a new desire and belief in this Arsenal side. As is his way, Van Persie hustled, harried and was a nuisance all night. It looked that Arsenal would return to north London with a solitary point, but Ramsey ensured that the Gunners recorded their first European away win since beating AC Milan in the San Siro in 2008. The win was all the sweeter given that Arsenal now go to the top of Group F with eight points.