Arsenal profligacy gives Roma hope

LONDON - Defeats are seldom good but AS Roma coach Luciano Spalletti wore a relieved expression after Arsenal's lack of a knockout punch allowed his side to get away with a 1-0 reverse at the Emirates.

Arsenal dominated the Champions League, last-16 first leg tie on Tuesday but only had Robin van Persie's penalty to take to the Olympic Stadium in two weeks' time. It will be a worry as Arsene Wenger's team continue to struggle up front.

Home fans vented their frustration at Nicklas Bendtner, still struggling to look the part in the absence of main striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

One miss in the second half had the Dane holding his head in his hands and Wenger roaring with frustration on the sidelines. The return of Adebayor and Eduardo, who hurt his hamstring last week in his comeback from a broken leg, cannot come soon enough.


The manager preferred to laud the qualities of Samir Nasri and Denilson but his brief reply to the questions of Bendtner's woes spoke volumes.

"Maybe he lacked a bit of spontaneous attitude because we want to play so well and do so much," Wenger said of the Dane who did however play a role in Van Persie winning a penalty.

Wenger, whose side have drawn three consecutive league games 0-0, believes one goal in Rome will be enough to go through.

"The next game will of course be an interesting one because they will throw a lot more (players) forward," he said.

Spalletti will be without midfielder Daniele De Rossi for the second leg after he picked up a yellow card.

"They (Arsenal) were different to what I had seen from them recently, lots of pace, running and intensity," he said.

"I think we have the same chance to go through as them, maybe 51 percent to 49 percent in their favour."