Arsenal 1-0 Roma

van Persie scored the only goal of the game

van Persie’s penalty gave Arsenal an advantage in the second leg against a hopeless Roma. Arsenal took a deserved lead on 37 minutes from a wonderful penalty from van Persie, who was fouled clumsily by Phillipe Mexes.

Nicklas Bendtner shot over from eight yards and Emmanuel Eboue’s shot went inches wide. Marco Motta fired from long range but his shot was well saved by Manuel Almunia.

John Arne Riise, the former Liverpool defender, saw his shot fizz past the Arsenal upright. Apart from those two chances, Roma didn’t create much. Arsenal dominated most of the game but could have scored a lot more.

It is still possible that Roma can beat Arsenal to the quarter finals but it will be tough seeing as they didn’t dominate any of the first leg.

Bendtner, Nasri and van Persie were the star players of the game as they confused Roma’s defence from the start of the match.

William Gallas was recieving treatment when the players were called out for the second half but Toure waited for his team mate, as he is always the last one out of the dressing room.

The minor mishap did put off the Gunners and they had numerous chances to extend theier one goal lead in the second half.

Arsene Wenger praised his side but thought Arsenal could have scored more goals.

“That is the regret we have tonight,” reflected Wenger. “I’m happy with our performance but there was room to score more goals - we know we can create chances.” He added: “One of the positives is we didn’t concede a goal.

”It’s put us in a position where we know we need to attack over there. If we score once that should be enough.”

“Our pace gave them problems in the first half. In the first 20 minutes of the second half, we had one chance after another,” stated Wenger. “We lack maybe a bit of spontaneity because we want to do so well.

“I believe the games are locked in the Premier League because teams refuse to play. When the teams do not come out there is no space. “In this kind of game both teams take the initiative when they win the ball back.”

“It’s explainable by the fact that Kolo always goes out last. He waited for William but didn’t know William had treatment,” explained Wenger. “He didn’t know the game had started without them. He was putting on his boots.

“I don’t know if it is superstition. It is our fault. You have to be ready when the bell rings.”"The next game will of course be an interesting one because they will throw much more forward,” said the Frenchman. “We have three more games between this tie and the second leg. At the speed we lose players it can be a difficulty for us.”

Roma’s coach Luciano Spalletti had no complaints about Tuesday’s match. He said “Arsenal probably performed better than us and they won with merit - I think it is a fair result,” remarked Spalletti.

“Arsenal were different from what I saw in the last games. We played a good pace, running with intensity and they gave us a lot of difficulties. “But we can create chances and I am sure it will be a completely different game in the second leg.”

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