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UEFA Champions League Group B wrap: Schalke breach Arsenal fortress

SoccerNews in English Premier League 24 Oct 2012

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Schalke have become the first foreign side in nine years to win a Champions League match at Arsenal thanks to a 2-0 victory on Wednesday.

Late goals from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay settled a game the German visitors dominated throughout, tearing Arsenal’s insipid defence to pieces at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal left-back Andre Santos was particularly poor, as Schalke winger Jefferson Farfan destroyed the Brazilian.

Farfan set up the opening scoring opportunity of the game in the 14th minute when he sent Afellay through on goal, who went down under a challenge from Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone, only to be shown a yellow card for simulation, although replays suggested it should have been a penalty.

Despite their dominance in the first half, Schalke could not convert and they continued in that vein after the break when Farfan, who again breezed past Santos, squared the ball for captain Benedikt Howedes, who made a mess of his attempted shot, blazing it over the crossbar.

In the 76th minute, Schalke finally scored the goal they deserved, punishing Arsenal for their carelessness.

Afellay was unchallenged as he headed the ball to Huntelaar, who was played onside by Santos and smashed the ball low past Mannone.

Four minutes before full-time, Schalke again struck on the break and Santos was left chasing Farfan’s shadow before the Peruvian crossed for Afellay to slot home at the back post with two Arsenal defenders looking on.

The Gunners had just three attempts on target in the entire match, and none of those were noteworthy.

While none of the home side’s players could be said to have played well, Santos was particularly dreadful at the back, while Gervinho’s decision-making highlighted the lack of confidence in Arsenal’s attacking play.

Wednesday’s win takes Schalke to seven points and top of Group B ahead of Arsenal on six.

In the other match in that group, Olympiacos came from behind to defeat Montpellier 2-1 in France.

After a goalless first half, Gaetan Charbonnier put Montpellier in front in the 49th minute but it was the visitors from Greece who took the three points thanks to goals from Vassilis Torosidis and Kostas Mitroglou, with the latter coming in the first minute of second-half stoppage time.

Olympiacos have moved up to third in Group B with that victory, while Montpellier are bottom with one point.

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