Arsenal 1 Udinese 0
Let's get one thing clear: the media reporting of this match was distinctly odd.
We were without our best player through suspension, and Arshavin didn't play. We had to deal with two defensive reshuffles in the course of the game because of injury. And crucially, Udinese played very well, with Chesney making a string of excellent saves.
And yet, rather than being congratulated on a committed performance which won the game, we're told Arsenal looked 'sketchy', 'disjointed', 'lacking creativity'; all of that has some truth. But to then suggest that it has 'added to the malaise' around the club is ridiculous.
I don't know how hard this is, but we won the game. And over the last few months, we haven't won many games.
The goal was a well-worked move between two talented young players, and our defending (which has so often come in for criticism), was well-disciplined and, generally, in command: Udinese had few chances.
I'm not trying to suggest it was a brilliant result; but when you read the media fawning over Manure's win over West Brom, about how they come through even when not playing their best, the portrayal of Arsenal's performance seems more than a little unfair.
Sure, we need a couple of midfielders, but if you read the papers, you might think this season will be armageddon for Arsenal.
All of this said, the return leg will be nervy, and I may well have to bake a lucky carrot cake.
Today it's Liverpool, the match which upset me so much last year I almost packed this blog in. I'm anticipating a similar game to last year, but we've now sold Eboue...
I think a lot depends on RVP, who was starved of service last week, but I am going to predict a win.
Keep the faith.