Arsenal FC v Borussia Dortmund –
Final Score/Result: Arsenal 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
Man Of The Match: Robert Lewandowski
It was the most awaited game of this matchday as two in form sides – Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund – went head to head. Dortmund were quick off the blocks and looked dangerous in the opening exchanges. The away then took an early lead, and deservedly so, as new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored past Szczesny. The goal came from a mistake by Aaron Ramsey, who lost possession in a dangerous area of the pitch. Dortmund pressed hard and didn’t allow Arsenal midfielders any time or space on the ball. The Gunners struggled to get their passing game going in the first half of the game.
Ironically, Arsenal’s equaliser also came from a mistake, this time from Neven Subotic as Dortmund failed to clear the cross from Sagna. The ball eventually arrived to Olivier Giroud, who volley home from close range. The score of 1-1 at the half time break, but Dortmund were perhaps the better side on the pitch in that half.
Arsenal came back into the game in the second half and started to dominate possession. The introduction of Santi Cazorla added more purpose in the attack and the Gunners put Dortmund on the back foot. But just when it looked as if they might be able to grab a second goal, Dortmund hit them on the break. Großkreutz finally delivered a good cross into the box and Lewandowski timed his run perfectly to bury it past Szczesny. The goal came against run of play, but it once again highlighted the German side’s capabilities on counter attack.
That goal turned out to be the winner and Dortmund perhaps deserved it based on overall performance. Key players of Arsenal – Ozil, Wilshere and Ramsey had a fairly off day on the pitch. Arsene Wenger pointed out that his side weren’t at their fluent best and didn’t start the game on the right note.
“It’s difficult to take because we were maybe not at our most fluent tonight going forward, but at that moment [of the second Dortmund goal] we were on top. We lost the game because we wanted to win it so much that we forgot that if you cannot win it, don’t lose it. That’s what is most annoying because we put a lot of effort in.
“We started hesitantly and gave them confidence. Our fluent football was not quick enough. We went 1-0 down and when you don’t start well it is difficult to get back into the game. But we did well and in the second half we were on top. We just forgot to be cautious. We were not cautious enough and we paid for it. We put ourselves on the back foot for the first goal, and we were naive for the second.
“It was a game of high intensity but very few chances. Dortmund were well organised to stop us playing. Disappointment is part of how a team grows. Some players are a bit jaded. The group is tight and difficult for us, but possible. We need a result away from home.” – The Arsenal manager told the press.
Jurgen Klopp on the other hand was delighted with his side’s performance and how they restricted Arsenal from creating too many chances.
“It was a fantastic performance. We had an away game against Arsenal, who are in sensational shape at the moment, yet we managed to cause them a lot of problems. It was an open game which we ended up winning thanks to a fantastic move.
“My team gave their all. We started very well, had fantastic work-rate when not in possession and created some superb counterattacking situations for ourselves. Then we took a 1-0 lead, but Arsenal are too strong to contain for the whole time. However, they didn’t end up having that many chances.
“Both teams then battled hard against each other, but we were always alert and ready to decide the game with one attack. After that happened, we did a great job [to hold on for victory], especially in the last eight minutes. It was a great performance, we were very mature.” – The Dortmund manager said.
Arsenal v Borussia Dortmund – Statistics
Robert Lewandowski scored the late winner to give Dortmund all three points. But his contribution in the game wasn’t restricted to that. He set up Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the first goal and created two more opportunities for his side. When Dortmund were on the back foot in the second half, Lewandowski was good outlet for his players as he held up play brilliantly and helped Dortmund in closing out the game at the later stages. The above heat-map depicts his movement and positioning on the pitch against Arsenal.