B. Dortmund 2 - 0 Arsenal
Another season, another shot at the Champions League. Just like last year, Arsenal travelled to Borussia Dortmund to face the Black & Yellows. Dortmund were having injury problems, but their starting eleven was more than good enough.
As a result, the first half undoubtedly belonged to the Germans.
They focused their attacks down the right-flank, where the youngster Hector Bellerin was making his Champions League debut. They were also funelling through the middle, throwing numbers forward in every attack.
Arsenal’s only real chance in the first half came to Welbeck. Ramsey put him through on goal, but the Englishman’s finish was well wide of the mark.
Immobile basically waltzed through Arsenal’s soft-centred midfield
Typically, Dortmund managed to take their chance. And it was on the stroke of half time.
Immobile basically waltzed through Arsenal’s soft-centred midfield, past Mertesacker, Gibbs and Koscielny and then finished brilliantly past Szczesney. Their lead was deserved.
The second half started just as the first half ended - with Dortmund scoring.
Ozil, Ramsey and Arteta were all replaced by Cazorla, Chamberlain and Podolski, but to no avail. Dortmund’s dominance was too much.
Aubameyang brought down a long ball on the edge of the area, touching it past a far-too-eager Szczesney, who had sped off his line. The finish, after that, was easy.
Dortmund continued to dominate, imposing themselves on Arteta in the middle. Arsenal’s lack of steel in the middle was once again being exposed.
Arsenal’s passing had been extremely poor, and it was only getting worse. Ozil, Ramsey and Arteta were all replaced by Cazorla, Chamberlain and Podolski, but to no avail. Dortmund’s dominance was too much.
Arsenal Player Ratings
Made a couple of good saves, but threw it all away when he sprang off his line way, way too fast for the second goal. Aubameyang saw him coming a mile off, making it easy for him to side step him. Also very nearly gave the ball away in the box trying to be clever. Ospina watches on.
Not a bad performance for a young Champions League debutant. He was thrown in the deep end, and he didn’t drown. Didn’t exactly take the game by the scruff of the neck either though.
Slow and uninterested in the build up to Immobile’s goal. Otherwise, no complaints.
Was Arsenal’s best defender on the night, but he was beaten too easily by Immobile for the Italian’s goal.
Kept Grosskreutz relatively quiet, and put in a great cross in the first half to a sleeping Welbeck. Could have done better against Immobile in the build up to his goal.
Worryingly bad. Dortmund dominated him. His passing, which is usually the key asset he brings to the team, was also very poor tonight. If Arsenal plan on playing Arteta in defensive midfield this season, we all better strap ourselves in for a very bumpy ride.
Fancy paying over £40M for one of - if not the - best number 10’s in the world, and then plays him on the wing away at Borussia Dortmund. Wenger did that today, and has been doing it all season. Ozil’s confidence is dying before our eyes, and our fans aren’t doing much to help the poor guy out. Tonight, he was predictably ineffective.
Wilshere:[7.5/10] - MOTM
Only guy on the pitch with any passion tonight. He broke up play, made excellent tackles and tried to push the team forward. Keep going, Jack.
Went missing for very long periods tonight. He either isn’t fully fit, or is desperately out of form. Let’s hope it’s the former.
Misplaced quite a few passes, and failed to stamp his authority on the game. Still, he showed glimpses of class, but nothing that sparked any chances.
Danny’s game tonight reminded me of Adebayor. *Shudders*. His first touch was poor, his finishing was worse, and he looked half-asleep. There was one Adebayor-esque moment which particularly stood out. In the final moments, he turned a defender brilliantly, going one on one, only to smash it high over the bar.
Tried his best, and made a fantastic last-ditch tackle to avoid yet another conceded goal.
Cazorla, Podolski [N/A]
Arsenal were taught a few lessons tonight.
1) Our Defensive Midfield situation is worse than we first thought - and there’s no way to fix it before January.
2) Ozil on the wing away at Dortmund makes about as much sense as Gibbs up front away at Barcelona.
3) Welbeck isn’t the answer to our chronic missed-chance syndrome.
It was painful to watch. Wenger got his tactics all wrong again, and our players didn’t look bothered for one minute. A slap dash attempt at Dortmund away gets you dominated. Let’s be thankful we weren’t humiliated.