Losing several important stars such as Alexis Sanchez, Gokhan Inler and Cristian Zapata, apparently isn’t that much concerning for Udinese as without those names, they prove to be a tough opponent for English side, Arsenal in the Champions League.
Despite admitting a defeat after coinciding an early striker from Theo Walcott, the Bianconeri can considered themselves a bit unlucky not to at least get a draw from the game, considering they actually have plenty goal scoring chances.
Udinese players looks a bit nervous in the start of the game, which pretty much cost them an early goal from Arsenal as unmarked Walcott easily converted Aaron Ramsey’s nice cross to beat Samir Handanovic on the Friulani’s goal. However, credit should definitely be given to Francesco Guidolin’s team as they didn’t crumble down after conceding that goal, instead they simply rises to the occasion by creating several goal scoring chances in that first period, notably from Antonio Di Natale and Pablo Armero.
Looking more confidence, Udinese started the second half strongly and simply managed to take the control of the game from the home team, and further created several goal scoring chances, which were simply worrying the Gunners fans. Di Natale, Armero and Isla, simply were the most dangerous players from the Italian side as they kept on venturing into the Gunners’ penalty box and also forcing several saves from Wojciech Szczesny, on the premiership side’s goal.
Despite of their hard fought effort, lady luck seems distant for Udinese at Emirates as none of their chances rattled Arsenal’s net, simply giving the London team a pretty good result to take in the second leg at Friuli in a week time. However, seeing the performance that the Italian team’s offer, the chance to at least equaling the aggregate is surely wide open, especially if Di Natale and co can improve their finishing, which simply let them down on the game.
One thing for sure, the Italian team pretty much proved that they still have the quality to battle against the top teams in Europe despite losing the likes of Sanchez, Inler and Zapata, who were key players for Udinese last season. Another important tie awaits them at Friuli next midweek, their final shot at seeking history in knocking out one of the biggest team in the Champions League in the last few seasons, and adding another group stage experience in the club’s CV.
Arsenal v Udinese 1-0
Goal: Walcott (4)