MARSEILLE, France (AP) — Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey scored second-half goals as Arsenal opened its 16th straight Champions League campaign by defeating Marseille 2-1 in Group F on Wednesday.
Walcott capitalized on a miscued clearance from Jeremy Morel to volley into the top corner in the 65th minute. Ramsey doubled the lead with a low strike in the 83rd.
Marseille scored a consolation goal with a penalty from Jordan Ayew in stoppage time.
It was Arsenal's sixth straight victory in all competitions.
"We didn't have a great match but we handled well the key moments," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told Canal Plus television. "Marseille had an excellent first half while we were shy. We capitalized on Marseille's drop in form in the second half."
The Gunners showed their attacking flair in the second half despite missing several players through injury.
Napoli beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in the other Group F match.
Marseille put the Gunners under pressure in the opening minutes, but Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny saved Pierre-Andre Gignac's close-range backheel flick and a curling shot from Mathieu Valbuena.
Arsenal quickly replied with a header from Walcott, cleared by Nicolas N'Koulou in the third minute, and a half-volley from the England winger that goalkeeper Steve Mandanda stopped in the sixth.
Second in the Premier League, Arsenal struggled to find space as Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil had very little impact in midfield.
A well-organized Marseille team had the better chances before halftime. Ghana winger Andre Ayew headed a cross from Dimitri Payet wide in the 21st before Arsenal centerback Per Mertesacker intercepted a low pass from Payet for Ayew in the 39th.
Gignac beat Mertesacker and Ramsey to the ball in the 40th to connect with a corner from Payet, but sent his header over the bar. On the stroke of halftime, Szczesny came off his line to punch the ball into Gignac's head and was lucky to see the ball bounce his way.