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Arsenal seal much needed win

A 2-1 win in Udinese allowed Arsenal to book their place in the UEFA Champions League and offered some respite for beleaguered boss Arsene Wenger.

Priceless away goals from Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott saw the Gunners through 3-1 on aggregate, after Antonio Di Natale had given them a scare on Wednesday night by opening the scoring at Stadio Friuli.

Arsenal started brightly, as they did in the first leg, but there was to be no repeat of Walcott’s early breakthrough.

On a hot and humid night, a breathtaking early tempo quickly slowed and Udinese were able to work their way back into the game.

Di Natale was proving to be handful yet again and it was he who broke the deadlock six minutes before half-time.

Arsenal, to their credit, refused to panic and hauled themselves level on 55 minutes when Gervinho burst into the box and cut the ball back for Van Persie to rifle home.

Three minutes later Udinese were awarded a penalty, after Thomas Vermaelen handled, but Szczesny pulled off a spectacular save to deny Di Natale from the spot.

The Gunners were now back on top of things and ended the tie as a contest on 69 minutes when Walcott made no mistake as he calmly slotted past Samir Handanovic.




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