Gunners fight back to to steal win

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Football News

Arsenal fought back from going 2-0 down inside five minutes to win their opening Champions League Group H clash against Standard Liege in Belgium.

Eliaquim Mangala fired the hosts ahead before Milan Jovanovic netted from the penalty spot.

Arsenal, without goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and forward Robin van Persie, fought back through Nicklas Bendtner, with Thomas Vermaelen and Eduardo securing the victory.

With the 27,000-capacity Stade Maurice Dufrasne in full voice as the Belgians celebrated their first appearance in the Champions League group stages, Arsenal were under early pressure.

The visitors failed to clear a corner, and it proved costly as Eliaquim Mangala smashed a low drive into the bottom corner to give Liege a shock lead in just two minutes.

Moments after the restart William Gallas was adjudged to have tripped Milan Jovanovic - Spanish referee Eduardo Gonzalez immediately pointing to the spot. The Serbian, with five goals already this season, stepped up to send rookie goalkeeper Vito Mannone - making his Champions League debut - the wrong way.

The visitors started to press and were getting more balls into the danger area, but they were still coming up against some resolute defending.

Then, in stoppage time, Abou Diaby charged towards the penalty area before slipping in Bendtner on the right. The Danish striker drilled in a fine first-time shot into the far corner to give the small band of travelling Arsenal supporters hope.

The equaliser finally came in the 77th minute when a deep free-kick caused havoc in the Liege six-yard box and Vermaelen bundled it over the line.

Eduardo was denied by a fine save from Sinan Bolat and Vermaelen had an effort cleared off the line. The Gunners, though, got what they deserved when Eduardo slotted in at close range from a corner to complete the comeback with 10 minutes to go.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Robin Van Persie
European News
Premier League
Manuel Almunia
UEFA Champions League
Vassiriki Abou Diaby
Nicklas Bendtner
William Gallas
Vito Mannone

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