Home / Champions League / Arsenal v. Partizan Belgrade After Match Report


Well it was a cracking, but sometimes frustrating affair for both teams in the cold of the Emirates as Arsenal beat Partizan Belgrade 3-1. The match was a relatively open end to end affair, but the first half had to be frustrating for the Gunner faithful. It didn’t seem to matter where the ball cam into the Partizan area from their defense simply would not crack under the pressure. A penalty was always coming out of this hostile environment, and sure enough on the turn of the 15th minute Jovanovic brought down Van Persie in the penalty area, leading to a pot kick. Van Persie, the perpetually injured but sometimes stubborn forward, picked himself up and slotted the kick home for the Arsenal jersey first. The rest of the half was marked by Partizan staying on the back foot and hoping to score on the break. It looked like a second goal was coming for Arsenal, but it was Partizan who would grab the advantage as they pushed forward on the break. They had hardly been in the Arsenal half for most of the match, but because Cleo’s curling shot from the edge of the box took an ugly deflection off Sebastien Squillaci’s back, it somehow looped over Lukasz Fabianski and landed in the back of the net.

With the scores level, Arsenal went back on the attack pressing men forward, bringing on Walcott as a sub for Arshavin with 25 minutes left. It turned out to be an inspired choice by Arsene Wenger as the youngster found the back of the net within minutes taking a deflected Sagna cross onto his chest and smartly slotting it into the goal. Again, the superb and consistent pressure by the Gunners allowed their skill to show. The final goal, to the delight of Gunners fans, came from Alex Song combining with Nicklas Bendtner, who has just come on for Marouane Chamakh. His pass slipped Samir Nasri clear inside the box who turned to slot home Arsenal’s third goal of the night.

Unfortunately for the Gunners, the match didnt end there as Bacary Sagna caught Aleksandar Lazevski on the edge of the box and somehow his challenge was deemed worthy of a red card by referee Paolo Tagliavento. It didn’t look too rough to me, a free kick maybe, but surely not a red card. From the resulting free-kick, Radosav Petrovic smashed a shot that Fabianski punched away.

Overall, it was an interesting match, but not the best I’ve seen so far. It seems Tottenham are the best English side to watch this year, with Arsenal displaying an awkward, nervy streak at times during the match. I don’t think Partizan have deserved two goals from tonight’s performance, but to be honest, I’m not sure if Arsene Wenger’s side have what it takes to compete with Barcelona or Real Madrid. After the match, Robin van Persie said: “As a football fan, Barcelona or Real Madrid… but we will have to wait and see.” I’m not sure how many Gunners will be looking forward to that after tonight.

Arsenal 3-1 Partizan Belgrade

Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com


About the author: Matthew Wall


I've played soccer since I could walk thanks to my father and love keeping up on all the latest gear and gab. I'm in my twenties, and I'm lucky enough to have found work in search marketing for a leading soccer retailer after completing my M.A. at Georgetown in 2008. My team is Liverpool, and national side is Ireland, but I've also got a passion for GAA and a number of sports. Feel free to give me a shout on Google+


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One Comment

  1. Arsenal is hot and cold. It’s nowhere close to the Arsenal era when Henry was in unstoppable form, ably aided by a very good core of players like Vieira, Pires, Bergkamp and so on. They just don’t have the consistency or a very reliable target man up front.
    It is refreshing to watch Tottenham because they are just enjoying playing in the Champions League.