Arsenal failed to secure the win they needed to ensure qualification for the Champions League as they were held to a draw by Marseille at the Emirates.

Arsene Wenger decided to leave captain Robin van Persie on the bench despite his hat-trick in the 5-3 win at Chelsea on Saturday - and his inspiration was sorely missed as Arsenal struggled to make any impact on Marseille's defence.

The French side had early opportunities through Jordan and Andre Ayew, while Theo Walcott saw his effort well saved by Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda.

Otherwise it was a tale of attrition as the game deteriorated into deadlock and Van Persie - on as a substitute just after the hour - wasted a late opportunity to be Arsenal's match-winner once more when he saw his shot gratefully clutched by Mandanda.

Arsenal lacked sharpness - Wenger

Marseille looked delighted with the draw at the final whistle, but the result did not cause huge damage to Arsenal's chances of progress as they stay on top of Group F.

Arsenal had opportunities in the opening exchanges despite keeping Van Persie in reserve - but it was Marseille who posed the early threat as they carried out coach Didier Deschamps' orders to attack.

Jordan Ayew was not far away with a backheel at the near post before his brother Andre was narrowly off target at the conclusion of a composed Marseille build-up.

Arsenal finally hit their stride when Gervinho played an inviting pass into the path of Walcott but Mandanda crucially got fingertips to his low shot to divert it inches wide.

Marseille were not short of ambition when in possession and Loic Remy then gave Arsenal an anxious moment with an effort that beat Wojciech Szczesny but drifted to safety.

Arsenal were able to exert a measure of authority as the half progressed, with Gervinho's shot being blocked by Mandanda and Aaron Ramsey just taking too long over an opportunity in the box to allow the Marseille defence to clear the danger.

DID YOU KNOW?

This season, Arsenal have scored just four goals in the first four matches of a Champions League campaign for the first time since 2006/2007. Since then, their tally has always been more than 10 after four match rounds.

Wenger finally decided on a change just after the hour and predictably it was Van Persie who was introduced for Ju-Young Park, who had struggled to make any impact.

As the game suffered a sharp decline in quality, Wenger swiftly shuffled his side again, sending on Tomas Rosicky for Ramsey before replacing Gervinho with Andrey Arshavin.

Van Persie then had the opportunity to end the stalemate with 13 minutes left when he raced clear, but for once his touch let him down and he did not get enough height on his attempted chip to beat the advancing Mandanda.

It was Arsenal's final chance, leaving the Gunners to wait to seal qualification for the knockout phase.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Arsenal

  • 13 Szczesny
  • 04 Mertesacker
  • 05 Vermaelen
  • 11 Santos
  • 25 Jenkinson
  • 08 Arteta
  • 14 Walcott
  • 16 Ramsey (Rosicky - 66' Booked )
  • 17 Song
  • 09 Park Chu-Young (Van Persie - 62' )
  • 27 Gervinho (Arshavin - 76' )

Substitutes

  • 21 Fabianski
  • 06 Koscielny
  • 20 Djourou
  • 07 Rosicky
  • 23 Arshavin
  • 30 Benayoun
  • 10 Van Persie

Marseille

  • 30 Mandanda
  • 03 N'Koulou
  • 15 Morel
  • 21 Diawara
  • 24 Fanni
  • 04 Diarra Booked
  • 07 Cheyrou
  • 28 Valbuena (Gonzalez - 74' )
  • 11 Remy (Amalfitano - 68' )
  • 20 A Ayew
  • 23 J Ayew (Gignac - 84' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Bracigliano
  • 02 Azpilicueta
  • 13 Traore
  • 08 Gonzalez
  • 12 Kabore
  • 18 Amalfitano
  • 10 Gignac
Ref: Tagliavento
Att: 59,961

Match Stats

Shots

12 11

On target

9 1

Corners

2 4

Fouls

10 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:11 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +1:59

Foul by Robin van Persie on Andre Pierre Gignac, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Steve Mandanda.

90:00 +1:54

The ball is sent over by Robin van Persie, clearance made by Alou Diarra.

90:00 +0:50

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alex Song by Lucho Gonzalez. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Thomas Vermaelen.

89:12

Unfair challenge on Jeremy Morel by Tomas Rosicky results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Steve Mandanda.

89:05

The ball is sent over by Theo Walcott, clearance by Souleymane Diawara.

86:06

Corner taken by Mikel Arteta from the left by-line to the near post. Free kick awarded for a foul by Theo Walcott on Steve Mandanda. Free kick taken by Steve Mandanda.

85:43

Robin van Persie crosses the ball, blocked by Rod Fanni.

84:34

Nicolas N'Koulou takes the direct free kick.

84:34 Booking

Booking The referee books Tomas Rosicky for unsporting behaviour.

84:13

Unfair challenge on Andre Ayew by Tomas Rosicky results in a free kick.

83:05 Substitution

Substitution Andre Pierre Gignac on for Jordan Ayew.

82:44

Benoit Cheyrou takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance by Clarindo Andre Santos.

82:15

The ball is sent over by Morgan Amalfitano, clearance by Per Mertesacker.

81:23

Unfair challenge on Mikel Arteta by Jordan Ayew results in a free kick. Clarindo Andre Santos takes the free kick.

80:20

Effort from the edge of the box by Morgan Amalfitano goes wide of the left-hand post.

79:45

Andre Ayew has a headed effort at goal from just inside the area that misses to the right of the target.

76:53

Shot by Robin van Persie. Save by Steve Mandanda.

74:57 Substitution

Substitution Andrey Arshavin comes on in place of Yao Gervinho.

74:57

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mikel Arteta on Morgan Amalfitano. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Benoit Cheyrou, clearance made by Robin van Persie.

73:13

Benoit Cheyrou delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, clearance by Thomas Vermaelen.

73:13 Substitution

Substitution Lucho Gonzalez replaces Mathieu Valbuena.

73:13

Foul by Clarindo Andre Santos on Morgan Amalfitano, free kick awarded.

71:15

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Mathieu Valbuena played to the near post.

67:41 Substitution

Substitution Morgan Amalfitano replaces Loic Remy.

66:56

Benoit Cheyrou gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alex Song. Mikel Arteta takes the free kick.

65:10

Per Mertesacker restarts play with the free kick.

65:10 Substitution

Substitution Tomas Rosicky joins the action as a substitute, replacing Aaron Ramsey.

65:10

The assistant referee flags for offside against Loic Remy.

64:49

Centre by Theo Walcott, save by Steve Mandanda.

64:07

Unfair challenge on Mathieu Valbuena by Alex Song results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Souleymane Diawara.

62:45

Free kick awarded for a foul by Aaron Ramsey on Alou Diarra. Direct free kick taken by Benoit Cheyrou.

61:02 Substitution

Substitution Robin van Persie joins the action as a substitute, replacing Chu-Young Park.

60:54

The ball is crossed by Jeremy Morel.

59:43

Rod Fanni delivers the ball, Per Mertesacker manages to make a clearance. Effort on goal by Mathieu Valbuena from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.

57:34

Alex Song challenges Mathieu Valbuena unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Mathieu Valbuena from left wing, Thomas Vermaelen manages to make a clearance.

56:40

The referee blows for offside against Loic Remy. Free kick taken by Clarindo Andre Santos.

56:16

Carl Jenkinson takes a shot. Save by Steve Mandanda.

52:45

Andre Ayew has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target.

51:52

Corner taken by Mathieu Valbuena played to the near post, Clarindo Andre Santos manages to make a clearance.

49:38

Theo Walcott produces a cross, save by Steve Mandanda.

46:13

Foul by Alou Diarra on Alex Song, free kick awarded. Centre by Mikel Arteta, Thomas Vermaelen has a header from deep inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.

45:01

The second half kicks off.

45:00 +0:16 Half time

Half Time The match has reached half-time.

41:20

The ball is delivered by Jeremy Morel, clearance by Per Mertesacker.

39:34

Shot comes in from Mikel Arteta from the free kick.

39:34 Booking

Booking The referee shows Alou Diarra a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

39:25

Unfair challenge on Aaron Ramsey by Alou Diarra results in a free kick.

38:45

Unfair challenge on Jordan Ayew by Alex Song results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Jeremy Morel.

37:40

Nicolas N'Koulou gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Theo Walcott. Mikel Arteta restarts play with the free kick.

35:48

Centre by Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey takes a shot. Save by Steve Mandanda.

34:31

Jordan Ayew challenges Clarindo Andre Santos unfairly and gives away a free kick. Clarindo Andre Santos takes the free kick.

33:19

Alou Diarra takes a shot.

29:51

Aaron Ramsey takes a shot. Nicolas N'Koulou gets a block in.

28:46

Yao Gervinho takes a shot. Steve Mandanda makes a save.

26:45

The ball is sent over by Andre Ayew, clearance by Thomas Vermaelen.

23:24

Loic Remy has an effort at goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.

22:48

Theo Walcott takes a shot. Save made by Steve Mandanda.

21:21

A cross is delivered by Clarindo Andre Santos, Aaron Ramsey produces a right-footed shot from close in which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

20:52

Mathieu Valbuena takes a shot. Save made by Wojciech Szczesny.

20:05

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Clarindo Andre Santos by Rod Fanni. Clarindo Andre Santos takes the free kick.

19:43

Clarindo Andre Santos handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Rod Fanni.

16:38

Benoit Cheyrou challenges Thomas Vermaelen unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mikel Arteta crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Souleymane Diawara.

15:13

Yao Gervinho takes a shot. Save by Steve Mandanda.

15:01

Mikel Arteta fouled by Alou Diarra, the ref awards a free kick. Mikel Arteta takes the free kick.

14:33

The assistant referee signals for offside against Jeremy Morel. Indirect free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.

13:25

A cross is delivered by Carl Jenkinson, save by Steve Mandanda.

11:55

Yao Gervinho is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Steve Mandanda.

11:00

Centre by Clarindo Andre Santos, Handball by Souleymane Diawara. Mikel Arteta crosses the ball in from the free kick, Andre Ayew makes a clearance.

9:34

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mikel Arteta played to the near post, save by Steve Mandanda.

9:03

Theo Walcott takes a shot. Save by Steve Mandanda.

7:30

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mathieu Valbuena from the left by-line to the near post, Loic Remy produces a right-footed shot from close in which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

7:01

Andre Ayew takes a shot. Blocked by Thomas Vermaelen.

6:00

The ball is sent over by Mathieu Valbuena.

4:37

Effort from inside the six-yard box by Andre Ayew goes wide right of the target.

0:40

Andre Ayew delivers the ball, Mathieu Valbuena has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the goal.

0:00

The referee gets the game started.

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