Arsenal 2 FC Twente 0

August 14, 2008 | Filed Under: Euro Box, UK Box 
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Gallas: Watches first goal go in

Gallas opened the scoring in the 63rd minute, bundling the ball home from close range after the Twente defence failed to clear a free kick from Robin van Persie.

Adebayor doubled the lead with eight minutes remaining, steering home Theo Walcott’s cross to put the Premier League side in the driving seat to reach the group stage.

“It was a very physical game with Twente man-marking us all over the pitch with a lot of spirit and belief,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told reporters.

“But in the second half they could not keep pace and we were able to take over.”

Pleased with his re-shuffled side’s performance, he added: “We played with a very young team and did not lose our nerve. Then our technical superiority allowed us to score to goals.”

Without the injured Kolo Toure and Cesc Fabregas, replaced by Johan Djourou and Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal made a wavering start against Twente, who missed suspended top scorer Blaise N’Kufo.

The home side, coached by former England manager Steve McClaren, made an impressive start. However, they had to wait till the 25th minute for their first chance — when winger Romano Denneboom slipped past Denilson and Gael Clichy before unleashing a hasty shot that missed the target.

The most lively part of the match were the 10 minutes before the interval, with Twente’s Marko Arnautovic stumbling over the ball when he got through to face goalkeeper Manuel Almunia while further chances came at both ends.

McClaren said: “We approached the game well. If you see how we conceded goals, Arsenal scored because our organisation at the free kick was not okay — and not by playing good football.

“We made a good start and against top teams you won’t get many chances, so you have to score when you can.

“Our inexperience in Europe showed in key moments and that cost us the game.”

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