Thursday, 25 August 2011

Arsenal reach Champions League Group Stage

Arsenal cast aside their recent troubles to reach the Champions League group stage with victory at Udinese in their qualifying play-off second leg. The Gunners won the first leg 1-0 but Udinese went ahead in Italy through Antonio di Natale's superb header. Robin Van Persie equalised from Gervinho's pass before Thomas Vermaelen handled a Di Natale corner in the box. Wojciech Szczesny saved the penalty and Theo Walcott sealed a 2-1 win (3-1 on aggregate) with a fine run and finish. It capped a critical win for Arsene Wenger's side and means they will be in Thursday's draw for the group stages as they prepare for a 14th consecutive season in the competition proper.

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