Champions League: Arsene Wenger delighted after Arsenal secure 'three very important points' against Marseille

The Gunners have been placed in a 'group of death' meaning every point is vital

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was understandably pleased to kick off what he believes is the hardest group of this year's Champions League with “three very important points” at Marseille.

Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey scored the all-important goals at the intimidating - if half finished - Stade Velodrome, where the Gunners rode their luck in securing a 2-1 win.

While the performance was not perfect, Wenger could not have asked much from his injury-hit side as they got an intriguing-looking group off to a winning start.

Rafael Benitez's Napoli and last year's runners-up Borussia Dortmund complete Group F, which Wenger hopes his side will be able to progress from with 10 points.

"I thought it would be a tricky game here," the Frenchman said. "Before the game I was conscious Marseille would be well focused.

"They know they are not favourites, they had nothing to lose and the French are dangerous when they are in that position.

"I knew it was important to get three points here if we want to have a chance.

"I said we needed 10 points at least so to start with three is good.

"Marseille had a very good first half but we didn't make big mistakes at the back and were patient enough to win it in the second half.

"I felt we were a bit within ourselves in the first half, a bit timid, and Marseille were more mobile and first on the ball.

"They dropped in the second half and we took advantage of our strong moments. That got us three very important points."

The result on the French south coast means Arsenal have now won 10 successive away games on the road, including beating Fenerbahce, Fulham and Sunderland this term.

Wales international Ramsey has scored in all of those matches and, after last night's strike, has six for Arsenal already this season.

"Honestly, I didn't expect him to score so many goals," Wenger said.

"He's especially improved in his passing, his technical quality. He was always in good positions in the box, but scoring is a bit cyclic.

"You have periods when it goes in and others when it doesn't. For me the most important thing is the quality of his game."

Few could have predicted such a change in fortunes for Ramsey, whose career looked like it would never quite recover from a horrific double leg break suffered in a challenge with Stoke's Ryan Shawcross in February 2010.

"I decided to be patient with him because when you have been injured for such a long time it takes a while to get back to your best," Wenger said of the 22-year-old midfielder, who gave away the penalty from which Jordan Ayew pulled one back in stoppage time.

"The only thing is, you never know if he will come completely back.

"But when you are injured before 20, you come back to your normal level and improve like you have not been injured."

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy
tvCall the Midwife Christmas Special
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there