17 Aug 2011

Arsenal win first leg in Champions League

10:25 am on 17 August 2011

The English football club Arsenal have begun life after Cesc Fabregas in unconvincing fashion with a 1-nil win over Italian side Udinese in their Champions League play-off first leg tie in London.

Just 24 hours after Fabregas finally completed his long-awaited move to Barcelona, Arsenal began their attempt to qualify for the group stages of Europe's elite club competition with a patchy display that hardly bodes well for their prospects without the Spaniard.

Although Theo Walcott's first-half goal at least gave Arsenal a slender advantage to protect in the second leg in Italy next week, the Gunners will have to improve to avoid an embarrassing early exit.

Also today Lyon beat Rubin Kazan 3-1, Czech champion Viktoria Plzen won by the same score at Copenhagen.

There were two draws, with Benfica held 2-all in the Netherlands at FC Twente and Austrian side Sturm Graz drawing 1-all in Bulgaria.