|Theo Walcott had a poor first half but managed to fire home the opener|
Arsenal's first shot of the game came from Walcott as a long ball over the top found him but his effort was saved by Mandanda.
It was a nervy start from Arsenal as Marseille would then put on all the pressure. Ayew came desperately close with a header that bounced inches wide from Romao's cross.
The French side were having most of the ball in and around the Arsenal penalty area but they were failing to really trouble the defence.
Payet was proving to be a tricky customer and after Valbuena slipped him in on the byline his pull back had to be cleared away by Mertesacker to prevent a goal.
Gignac was then presented with a brilliant chance to break the deadlock near the end of the half but Szczesny pounced on the ball and then got a little lucky that he was allowed to collect it.
The score at half time was 0-0.
The first chance of the second half was provided by Mesut Ozil as he burst into life with a back heel to set up Gibbs but it was saved.
Marseille then came close to grabbing a goal. The ball was floated over from the left hand side and then found Payet on the edge of the area but his low struck effort was well saved by Szczesny.
Minutes later Jack Wilshere had Arsenal's best chance of the night as Sagna picked him out at the back post but Mandanda was in the way to keep the score level.
On the hour mark Marseille thought they'd taken the lead. Payet's ball in was sliced towards his own net by Mertesacker but Gibbs managed to heroically clear the ball off the line to deny a certain goal.
Gibbs was to then have an even bigger impact. Wilshere played him in down the wing and then the left back's cross came off Morel and fell to Walcott who lashed the ball home for 1-0.
The hosts went in search of an equaliser as first Payet's driven shot was saved by Szczesny and then Valbuena fired over the bar.
The Gunners were to then make it 2-0 and seal the points. Aaron Ramsey surged forward and then struck a shot from the edge of the area that found the net via a deflection. That was the Welshman's sixth goal in seven games this season.
Into injury time and the goal scorer gave away a penalty. Ramsey brought down Andre Ayew and then his brother Jordan fired home for a consolation goal.
The final score finished Marseille 1-2 Arsenal.
The teams lineups:
Marseille: Mandanda, Fanni, N'Koulou, Lucas Mendes, Morel, Ramao, Imbula(79), Valbuena(90), Payet(73), A.Ayew, Gignac.
Subs: Samba, Mendy, Cheyrou, Lemina, J.Ayew(73), Thauvin(79), Khelifa(90).
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Flamini(90), Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Walcott(78), Giroud.
Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Hayden, Jenkinson, Monreal(78), Miyaichi(90), Akpom.
My man of the match: Kieran Gibbs
Referee: Olegario Benquerenca (POR)