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Theo Walcott’s first-half goal was enough to give Arsenal the advantage over Udinese going into the second leg of their Champions League play-off tie.

The winger volleyed in Aaron Ramsey’s right-wing cross from close range to give the Gunners a fourth-minute lead.

Udinese went close on several occasions with the influential Antonio Di Natale striking the bar with a free-kick and scraping the post with a low shot.

Pablo Armero and Mauricio Isla had goalbound efforts blocked.

It was a tense, nervy night but Arsenal take a first-leg lead to Udinese in the return leg next week.

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