September 18, 2008

Williams Gallas Late Equalizer Salvaged Arsenal a Point against Dynamo Kiev in Champions League Opener

A late equalizer from Captain William Gallas salvaged a 1-1 draw for Arsenal against Dynamo Kiev at the Valeri Lobanovsky stadium last night. Arsenal was forced to go behind in the match when Kiev’s Guinea striker Ismael Bangoura scored from a penalty in the second half. Arsenal created some good chances in the first half, but their abject show in the second half was disappointing. Arsenal’s previous record in Ukraine was dismal too as the Gunners could not win any point in their previous three visits to Ukrain. In this sense, their performance has been pretty good this time around, even though Arsenal was seemingly going toward another defeat last night before William Gallas slotted his close-range shot into the post just two minutes from time.

Arsenal manage Arsene Wenger admitted that Gunners had not played better than Dynamo Kiev in the second half, though he felt Arsenal could have won the match in the first half, indicating the chances his boys failed to capitalize on in the first half. Kiev manager Yuri Semin is happy with the performance of his boys, stating that a draw against Arsenal is an acceptable result and his boys played really very well in the second half. However, Yuri Semin also pointed out the mistakes Dynamo Kiev did that snatched a seeming victory from their hand.

Anyway, I think, Arsenal has got off to a good start in Champions League 2008-09 campaign, considering their previous performances in Ukraine. Kiev also started their European campaign pretty much satisfactorily. However, it is also true that Arsenal will have much more advantages when they meet Dynamo Kiev at the Emirates Stadium later in Group E fixture. Arsenal is definatley favorite in Group E to go through to the next round, while Kiev also has a great chance to make it to the round of 16 from Group E. Now, let us see if Arsenal and Dynamo Kiev can both ensure their place in the last 16 from this group.

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