Wednesday 27 November 2013
It was a mixed night for the Barclays Premier League teams in the UEFA Champions League last night as Arsenal earned their fourth win of the group stage but are still not assured of qualification to the knockout stages, while Chelsea lost, yet secured passage to the last 16 of the competition.
Jack Wilshere got a goal in each half to beat Marseille at Emirates Stadium.
The Arsenal midfielder opened the scoring within 30 seconds of kick-off and Arsenal could have extended their lead on many occasions during the first half, most notably, when Mesut Ozil missed a penalty.
The tie was sealed after 65 minutes when Ozil crossed for Wilshere to convert from six yards and put Arsenal atop Group F on 12 points.
Borussia Dortmund’s 3-1 win over Napoli means that if Arsenal avoid defeat away to Napoli in two weeks they will win the group. Defeat by two goals or fewer will also guarantee qualification for the last 16.
A late goal by Mohamed Salah earned Basel the double over Jose Mourinho's Chelsea, who nevertheless qualified for the next stage from Group E after Schalke were held to a goalless draw at Steaua Bucharest.
Further concern for Mourinho was an injury to Samuel Eto'o, who was taken off during the first half with a groin injury. A scan this week will reveal how long the striker will be absent.
After playing the same XI who beat West Ham United in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday Mourinho has hinted at rotating his squad during December.
"Clearly I got signs of fatigue," Mourinho said. "I got signs of players in trouble to play two consecutive matches in three days.
"That will push me, for sure, to make different kinds of decisions. That's obvious. In some positions we have that situation resolved in a very easy way because we have lots of players to play the attacking positions on the right, on the left, behind the striker."
Two goals in four minutes helped Chelsea's Under-19s maintain their 100% record with a 2-1 victory over Basel.
Lewis Baker then John Swift struck in the second half for a side much changed by Dermot Drummy and Basel's added-time goal was notable for being the first conceded by Chelsea in the competition. Drummy saved praise for goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney.
"He made a great one-on-one save when it was 0-0," said Drummy. "He is a very assured keeper at the moment. He has become an England Under-19 international and he is maturing nicely and works very hard at his game every day."
Ten-man Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Marseille on Tuesday and, as with their senior team, travel to Napoli in two weeks knowing that avoiding defeat will guarantee passage. Marseille's 35th-minute lead was soon cancelled out by Kris Olsson's penalty but their hopes of victory were hit by the first-half dismissal of Isaac Hayden for kicking out.
Tuesday 26 November
Basel 1-0 Chelsea
Steaua Bucharest 0-0 Schalke
Arsenal (Wilshere 2) 2-0 Marseille
Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Napoli
Basel 1-2 Chelsea (Lewis, Baker)
Arsenal (Olsson) 1-1 Marseille
Wednesday 27 November
Bayer Leverkusen v Manchester United, 7.45pm
Manchester City v Viktoria Plzen, 7.45pm