Confident Arsenal start second-half with nine men: But will they pay for missed chances?

Goodness me, where did that performance come from? After goalless draws against West Ham and Sunderland, the Gunners came out of the traps flying against Roma and should really have more than a 1-0 advantage to take to Rome in a fortnight. However, it appears that one or two of the players should brush up on their time-keeping!

The Guardian reports that while Arsene Wenger was delighted with the way his team took the game to their Italian opponents, he was a little stressed to see the second half begin without William Gallas and Kolo Toure on the pitch! Such a mistake could have been costly if Roma had had an early attack, although thankfully any danger was avoided.

The bizarre episode was sparked by Touré’s superstition that he must be last out of the dressing room. “It is our fault,” said Wenger. “When the bell rings you have to be ready to go out. It’s explainable by the fact Kolo is always going out last and he waited for William, who had ­treatment and was putting his boots on and strappings. They didn’t know the game had started without them.

“I am happy with the performance but there was room to score more. It’s put us into a position where we know we don’t have to just defend. We will want to attack and score goals over there. If we score in Rome, that should be enough. You never know what is a good result in the European Cup but one of the positives is that we didn’t concede.”

Nicklas Bendtner was particularly guilt of missing a gilt-edged chance, are Arsenal supporters concerned by their team’s slender advantage over Roma? After all, Spalletti’s team beat Chelsea 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico and will be thankful that they are still very much in the tie after the Gunners dominated the game at the Emirates.

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