LONDON: Arsenal began life after Cesc Fabregas in unconvincing fashion as Theo Walcott’s goal secured a narrow 1-0 win over Udinese in the Champions League play-off first-leg.
Walcott’s first-half goal gives Arsenal a slender advantage to protect in Italy, as the Gunners will look to improve to avoid an embarrassing early exit.
“We dug in and gave absolutely everything tonight,” said midfielder Aaron Ramsey. “We believe we’re capable of going over there to win.”
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger, who was serving a touchline ban, could yet be in trouble with Uefa, after repeatedly communicating with the Arsenal bench in the match despite receiving a warning at the break that he was contravening the rules.
Though Uefa have refused to comment on the subject, the Arsenal manager is expected to face further action.
The second-leg will take place at Stadio Friuli on August 24.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2011.