Champions League – Arsenal held by Fenerbahce
Arsenal‘s miserable week continued as they were held to a goalless draw by Fenerbahce in Champions League Group G at the Emirates Stadium.
Robin van Persie, looking to make up for his sending-off at Stoke on Saturday, had Arsenal’s best chances in the first-half but the Gunners failed to make the most of the bulk of possession.
However with Porto grabbing a late winner at Dynamo Kiev, Arsenal remain two points clear at the top of the group with two games to go.
After just seven minutes, Roberto Carlos gifted the ball away and a superb pass from Cesc Fabregas picked out the Dutchman whose first-time poke finished narrowly past the post as Volkan Demirel raced from his goal.
Then Samir Nasri deliciously dinked the ball through to Fabregas whose effort was clawed away by Volkan straight into the path of Van Persie, seven yards out, whose effort was deflected wide.
And on the half hour, he hit the crossbar from six yards after collecting a neat pass from Kolo Toure before cutting back inside Lugano and seeing his shot tipped onto the woodwork by Volkan.
Nasri was unable to take advantage when Van Persie’s cross clipped the heels of a defender and fell to him unmarked in the area and the French winger also saw a curling shot from the corner of the box pushed away by Turkish international goalkeeper Volkan.
After the break, Van Persie was again at the centre of proceedings as he raced through on goal only to be brought down by a clumsy challenge from Lugano who was booked.
And then he headed home Nicklas Bendtner‘s cross at the back post only to be correctly penalised for a clear push on Roberto Carlos.
After Kolo Toure had a free-kick tipped over by Volkan, Gael Clichy picked out Van Persie but he headed over the top, unmarked, from eight yards out.
Van Persie also had a free-kick inadvertently flicked over the top by Selcuk Sahin but the Gunners were unable to carve out the quality of chances they had in the opening period.
Nasri had an effort blocked before Mikael Silvestre added to Arsene Wenger’s injury problems when he left the field with blood pouring from his nose after being caught by a flailing arm from visiting captain Semih Senturk.
Luis Aragones’s side offered a boisterous travelling contingent of three thousand little to cheer and their best effort was wasted by Ugur Boral.
Lukasz Fabianski, in goal for the unwell Manuel Almunia, opted to stay on his line rather than clear a long ball but Boral decided to shoot speculatively from outside the area and the Pole tips the ball around the post.
Dynamo Kiev 1-2 Porto
Porto’s Lucho Gonzalez grabbed a last-gasp goal to give his team a come-from-behind win.
The Portuguese went behind when Dynamo midfielder Tiberiu Ghioane‘s slick pass from the edge of the area found striker Artem Milevskiy, who skilfully slotted home after 21 minutes.
Porto responded by increasing the pressure on the home side but could not find an equaliser before half-time.
Dynamo coach Yuri Semin went in search of more goals by replacing Ghioane with striker Ismael Bangoura on the hour but nine minutes later Porto were level through a Rolando header.
Both teams attacked in the last 15 minutes but it was Dynamo, whose strike force of Milevskiy, Olexandr Aliyev and Bangoura swarmed around Porto’s goal, who almost regained the lead when Ognjen Vukojevic‘s powerful shot hit the post.
However, the home side began to lose concentration in defence and Porto took advantage on the counter-attack when Lucho’s late volley from a Lisandro Lopez cross gave Porto the win they needed to have a chance of reaching the last 16.
Lucho, who had already been booked, was shown a second yellow card for over-celebrating and was sent off.
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