By Randy Osae
Another gritty Gunners failed to comprehensively break down Fenerbahce and shared the spoils in a dull matchday 4 battle on Wednesday.
Whether this result was efficient enough or not is unclear, but Wenger’s men will have to do a little work to ensure a place in the knock-out stages and finish at top of the group.
Wenger laid out a fairly fresh and young side for this encounter. His 18-man squad read; Line-up: Fabianski, Toure, Djourou, Silvestre, Clichy, Ramsey, Fabregas, Denilson, Nasri, Bendtner, Van Persie.
Subs: Mannone, Diaby, Sagna, Vela, Song Billong, Wilshere, Gibbs.
Arsenal were by far the dominant side throughout the first half and had Van Persie showed much ruthlessness in attack, the Dutchman could have easily been boasting hat-trick.
The first of those chances was when he over-touched Fabregas’ chipped pass that had sent him through and one-on-one with Fenerbahce’s keeper. The ball easily rolled wide.
Fabregas was again involved in another opportunity. The Spaniard saw his shot parried unsafe by Volkan. But Van Persie’s dangerous rebound was blocked by Diego Lugano.
Even so, one Arsenal man did not look daunted at all. Aaron Ramsey, making his first European start, made a veteran-like display.
Arsenal’s attacking mouth, Van Persie, then rued another set of misses. First, his nicely drilled freekick went very close and inches away and he later saw his shot from a point blank range saved onto the cross bar by Volkan’s finger tips.
Fenerbahce did little to match sides who have visited the Emirates Stadium recently, but were gracious of being level at the break, as the home crowd’s frustration grew about another lackluster showing.
The visitors, through Ugur Boral, did have a say when a lowly struck effort from a considerable range had to be pushed off the right post by Fabianski. But they couldn’t deny been second best all night.
An unmarked Van Persie again squandered a clear-cut chance when he failed to convert Clichy’s cross. It was sensible to infer that Arsenal were short of ideas now.
A quiet Nicklas Bendtner and very sharp Aaron Ramsey paved way for Carlos Vela and Abou Diaby with thirty minutes left. But even those changes failed to deliver that buoyant outcome ahead of Saturday’s clash with Manchester United.
Mikael Silvestre finished the game injured, but Arsenal did gain from the night as they remained top of Group G.