Welcome to a new feature on Arsenal.com - Talking Heads.

Before and after every first-team fixture our MatchDay Show team - and an Arsenal blogger - will have their say on the match.

Arsenal took on Marseille in the Champions League on Tuesday and our Talking Heads for this game were Dan Roebuck, Stephen Hughes and Erik Ian Larsen from The Gunning Hawk.

Read on for their post-match thoughts.

Dan Roebuck - Arsenal Live

After the outrageous scoreline from the weekend's fixture at Stamford Bridge, you could be forgiven for feeling a little short-changed from this one. Arsenal promised so much in the first half and had several opportunities to score, but there was just something lacking in that final third. On another day Aaron Ramsey could have had a couple of goals to his name but it just didn't quite fall for him on the night. Either way a draw is by no means a terrible result. It prevents Marseille from going ahead of us and keeps us firmly in the driving seat of Group F. Onwards to Olympiacos.

Most of the fans arriving at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night will be expecting a home win but I reckon it could be a very tight game. Arsène Wenger might decide to rotate his squad so soon after the physical and mental demands of the Chelsea thriller and Marseille have plenty of attacking potential in the shape of Remy and Ayew. The French side seemed happy to play for a draw at Stade Velodrome and I guess that outcome will suit them at the Emirates, but they will look to counter-attack at pace and get in behind the likes of Mertesacker - if he keeps his place. I think a draw could be the value bet and that would not be a huge problem for either team.

Stephen Hughes

Arsenal fans might be disappointed with a goalless draw against a team who looked very poor on their own turf, but you have to give credit to Marseille tonight. They did not come to Emirates Stadium with the intention to sit back and play for a point, instead pushing forward at every opportunity to try and make things happen. They impressed me. Arsenal perhaps should have won this with the chances they had but Arsène Wenger won't be too dismayed with a point here.

After such a fantastic result at the weekend the confidence and belief within the squad will be sky-high. Now it's important to take that momentum into the next game. Everyone is quite rightly talking about Robin van Persie at the moment after his sensational run of form but I think Laurent Koscielny deserves a lot of credit too. Arsenal conceded some poor goals at Stamford Bridge but once again Koscielny was outstanding alongside Per Mertesacker. It will be interesting to see if he keeps his place now Thomas Vermaelen is fit.


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I suppose a 0-0 draw will do, and picking up another point will certainly help Arsenal qualify for the Knock-out Stages. But after the dramatic win at Chelsea over the weekend, I expected a bit more from a mostly full-strength side. The first half was an absolute barnstormer (eight shots, five on goal for us) and Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker were especially stout against a dangerous Marseille attack. But I can't help but feel like we missed out on the win in the first half. Aaron Ramsey had a great chance after a lovely cross from Andre Santos found him alone at the far post, but he popped the volley way over the top. It wasn't Ramsey's first miss, and it wouldn't be his last. Theo Walcott and Gervinho both had chances too, and both players forced tough saves from the solid Steve Mandanda. There was definitely something lacking with Arsenal's final ball, however - a certain sharpness. Ju Young Park, awarded an enormous chance by the manager to start in place of the resting Robin van Persie, was clearly caught in the headlights of this match and was well off the pace. His touch was heavy and he looked rushed in transition. Van Persie replaced him early in a rather drab second half, but the scoreline read 0-0 at the final whistle. Good thing I didn't bet any real money on this one.

Personally, I live for Champions League matches. Not because they're any more special than Premier League matches, I just don't have to get up at 4:45am to watch them. Whew! The first leg of this Marseille match-up ended in dramatic fashion, with Aaron Ramsey putting a tidy bow on a scoreless draw with a brilliant goal in extra time at Stade Velodrome. It wasn't the most deserved win, but on the road any win will do. And as the 5-3 victory at Chelsea this past Saturday showed us, those types of last-gasp wins can do wonders for a team's confidence and self-belief. Arsenal smashed Chelsea, and the growing confidence from that will surely carry over to Tuesday's home tie against L'OM. Robin van Persie couldn't escape the spotlight right now if he wanted to, and Marseille manager Didier Deschamps is wary of our captain's threat coming off a hat-trick, but I do wonder if Wenger will rest RVP again and use him as a late substitute if necessary. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Ju Young Park get the nod after his classy performance in the Carling Cup, and I think it would be a great coming-out party for the Korean and former Ligue 1 striker to bag a brace against a club he has experience against. Three points will secure qualification and my fictional money's on Arsenal to win and advance.

* The views expressed in Talking Heads do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd.

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2 Nov 2011