Report: Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Arsenal

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Arsenal’s 150th game in the Champions League saw the Gunners claim a hard earned point in Germany as Borussia Dortmund scored late to snatch a 1-1 draw.

Robin van Persie had given the Emirates outfit a half-time lead, but despite an impressive defensive performance, Ivan Perisic’s terrific volley ensured that honours were shared evenly.

Chaperoned to his seat in the stands by two UEFA officials, Arsene Wenger sent out an attack-minded side at the Westfalenstadion as the Gunners looked to build on their morale-boosting win over Swansea. In midfield Yossi Benayoun was handed his full debut alongside Alex Song and Mikel Arteta, while Gervinho and Theo Walcott joined Robin van Persie up front. The same defence as used on Saturday was charged with keeping another clean sheet.

In a scrappy, but open first ten minutes both sides had chances to open the scoring, Gervinho denied at point blank range by an interception by Mats Hummels and Shinji Kagawa hitting a volley over the bar after racing clean through the Arsenal defence.

In the centre of the park Mario Goetze pulled the strings for Die Schwarzgelben and in the eleventh minute set up Polish international Robert Lewandowski only for his shot to be blocked on the line by Sagna. Arsenal looked nervous, struggling to play the ball out of defence and vulnerable to quick counter-attacks.

When Arsene Wenger’s men did put a move together they rarely threatened the box. Both Walcott and Gervinho often guilty of starting dribbles only to run straight into opposition defenders before making a pass. Up front on his own Robin van Persie cut an isolated figure, struggling to get into the match despite the best efforts of Benayoun and Arteta.

Goetze and Kagawa continued to provide the threat for the home side, the little German with delightfully quick feet which saw him trouble Alex Song time after time. Nevertheless, despite promising much on paper, as the match reached the half hour mark it was a stale affair.

After 32 minutes though Robin van Persie had Arsenal’s best chance of the match, a Yossi Benayoun through ball setting him free on the corner of the Dortmund box. Despite appearing to have time, the Dutchman opted to shoot early only for his tame effort to force an easy save from Weidenfeller.

He didn’t make the same mistake twice. Four minute before half-time Van Persie gave the Gunners a lead out of nothing.

A poor pass from Sebastian Kehl was diverted by the Dutchman into the path of Walcott. As the captain raced forward, the England winger fed a beautiful through ball back to Van Persie and he finished with clinical aplomb from the edge of the box with his right foot. It was a fantastic goal and gave the Gunners the lead at the break.

The disjointed feel to the game continued as the second-half got going although Kagawa’s energy, both on and off the ball, continued to shine like a beacon. The Japanese attacking midfielder proving every bit the dangerous and mobile threat that Wenger had predicted.

On the hour Gervinho should have doubled his side’s lead. Through on goal, the Ivorian slipped at the vital moment, seemingly recovered, but couldn’t get any power on his shot as Weidenfeller closed him down. Arsenal appeared to be growing in confidence with every attack.

Unfortunately, for all the improved confidence going forward, at the back the Gunners looked increasingly jittery. While Szczesny looked composed, both Mertesacker and Koscielny were forced into frantic blocks and hurried clearances. Time after time, the ball was cleared only to find a yellow shirt and the threat of another attack. With 75 minutes on the clock Pat Rice opted to sure up the midfield with Emmanuel Frimpong replacing Theo Walcott and Yossi Benayoun shifting to the left to accommodate the tenacious Ghanaian and help cover Kieran Gibbs.

Dortmund could and should have equalised with ten minutes to go when Neven Subotic met a corner inside the six yard box only to squirm his shot straight at Szczesny. The pressure continued to build, Goetze shooting just wide soon after.

In the dying minutes both Robin van Persie and Gervinho were withdrawn, Marouane Chamakh and debutant Andre Santos coming on. Unfortunately, despite looking good for a win, the Gunners conceded.

After a free-kick was cleared by a Kieran Gibbs’ header, substitute Perisic crashed home an unstoppable volley from the edge of the area. It was a tremendous goal and one which the Germans will claim they deserved. It could have got worse; only Szczesny’s bravery denying his compatriot Lewandowski as the game entered injury-time. Moments later, the referee signalled full-time.

A point gained away from home in arguably the trickiest fixture of the group stage is no bad return considering the club’s start to the season. That being said, having got so close to a winning start in the Champions League, Arsenal fans will no doubt end the evening feeling frustrated.

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Mooro
Mooro

Shame about the wonder goal but there you are. Some of those players worked their cocks off for that result, and that makes me proud as Gooner, after all the recent shit.

Benny, Alex and SZCZ in particular for me – take a bow.

Plev
Plev

Benny was terrible..

JohnDale
JohnDale

You are kidding right??

ken

Wow. I am completely surprised by this defeatist culture from Blogs, Rice, etc. I’m a fairly realistic and rational fan, but in no way was I pulling for a draw. I know the defense is continually frail and it’s obvious now the team can’t outscore opponents like they used to, and I know that very well might be everyone’s reason for embracing a draw but this result was poor.

TSOTIA
TSOTIA

song,szcz, and kosk were excellence-song clearly my best. Sagna was very good and, as usual, dependable. Vp did well, especially since arteta (whom i’ve always admired), benny (who, surprising merely started playing at about the 70 mins mark), theo (safe for that one cesc-esque assist), and gerv (since he always had 3 men on him, should have been commanded to pass the ball instead) failed him over and over again. Frim was alright. Thought arshavin should have been brought in when all our crafty forwards were withdrawn. Mert was fair but has a good presence. Gibs was committed.
Overall i’m very satisfied. This team will make us all laugh again.

Padwoir
Padwoir

You know what, I’ll take that quite happily. It is without doubt very disappointing to concede with 2 minutes to go and lose the three points, but in my opinion, thats our hardest game in this group done and dusted and prior to the match I’m sure most of us (abliet the rabid types) would have been content with a draw away to the German champions with players still bedding into the squad.
Gutted ? Absolutely. More reasons to be cheerful than down though I think. COYG.

Alpha T
Alpha T

Very good summary, well done.
It’s a shame we couldn’t hang on but a point at Dortmund is a good result.
Onto the next one!

Wanderer
Wanderer

Absolutely fantastic by Szczesny, even his interview was so mature, praising Pat Rice and not rising to the Sky reporters bait.

Szczesny was absolutely awesome in the second half , as were Song, Sagna and Koscielny. Really been impressed with Koscielny recently. Despite conceding a late goal, we defended resolutely under relentless pressure.

One of the best Arsenal performances I have seen of late, really gritty but structured, organised and not afraid to get involved in challenges when needed. May not have had that many chances, and may not have been the slick passing of recent years, but this performance will give encouragement to the players.

azamat
azamat

amazing goal helps ease the pain of losing the two points but a good result nonetheless

Popeye
Popeye

Good result great effort from all no complaints good to have 11 players working for the team Arshavin take note lazy bastard. Better team without him. Proud gooner again

Mooro
Mooro

My thoughts exactly on the Commie lad. Yossi is gonna stick the collar in and if he does that and plays well, there’s no room for Arshavin.

vp
vp

arshavin is a player who is capable of creating stuff from nothing.. he might not do that very often,, but capable nonetheless…. i dont think benayoun is that much capable of that kinda stuff… arsha always ll ve a room man…

Mooro
Mooro

Granted, but he’s also a lazy fucker and the effort required last night to get a point wouldn’t have suited him. I’ll reserve judgement on Benayoun’s ability to create when I’ve seen him play a bit more.

chris
chris

A good result and considering there goal came from a wonder shot and it wasn’t given away softly I can’t have any real complaints. We defended very well and although a there was a lot of last ditch tackles it shows the actual quality of our defence in being abel to read the game and know when the right time is to tackle and not give away free kicks cheaply like we have done on many times in the past. And Scezney well he was just on fire finally good to see an Arsenal goalie who is assertive and confident in what he’s doing.

TomC
TomC

Hear hear. Hats also to Kos and to Arteta. Fantastic work rates, spirit and commitment. Their goal was unstoppable and there’s no shame in that.

JohnDale
JohnDale

Sorry, but did you mean to say Benayoun instead of Arteta?

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

Arteta worked his nuts off as well……

Craig Partridge

1-1, away to the German champions. I’ll happily take that!

I thought Merts and Koscielny gelled well in the centre of the park, Song worked hard, Szczesny adding to his reputation with some vital stops. Gervinho unlucky with that chance early in the 2nd half, did well to stay up – just couldn’t get the decisive touch goalwards.

For me though, Theo needs to buck his ideas up. Okay, he made the assist, but that’s about all he did tonight. We need him now to step up in every game, not 1 in 5.

Eric Irish gunner
Eric Irish gunner

Spot on about theo, chase back when you lose the fucking ball and be more consistant

Good-Bloke
Good-Bloke

Proud of the team’s effort that showed real grit and brought back a decent point.

Maple leaf
Maple leaf

Always after a headline SKY are, tossers. Anyway a lot of heart in that performance, that’s all we ask for. Up the Arse !!

TomArse
TomArse

Althought i’m gutted that we drew to a goal that couldn’t have been stopped by most top draw keepers in the world, I thought we did brilliant. Benayoun worked his arse off

TomC
TomC

Song’s second half tackles were immense. He Lost possession too much in first half for my liking but great to have him back.

TexasGooner6
TexasGooner6

no kidding. he came to play tonight.

perrygrove$world
perrygrove$world

Spot on mate. Song was great and he stuck to doing the job he does best. I really think a lot of the problems we had last season came when he seemed to forget his main job and tried getting forward too much. He can be such an important player for us if he sticks to what he does best.

Top gun
Top gun

Was nice to see us defend a 1-0 lead until that wonder goal. Theo and Gervinho though looked off colour. Should have perhaps used Arshavin instead of packing up the defence. He may be lazy but am sure would produce more assists than Theo. Ten minutes of Arshavin would have given the Germans something to think about. Question. Did we try to sign Goetze? Very Arsenal. Him and Jack in the same team and who needs Cuntry Swinger.

chris
chris

I heard we put in a bid for him but Dortmund were unwilling to sell him and Gotze agent said he doesn’t want to consider leaving until after Euro 2012.

Johnnyboy
Johnnyboy

Arsene clearly knew a lot about Gotze before the match, so i imagine that arsenal tried to track him down, very good player, was very impressed with the 19 year old

dt
dt

anyone else thought arteta had a poor game?

argonaut
argonaut

Not really. I thought he got lumps kicked out of him by Dortmund as they seemed to be persistently fouling him. No doubt he was being targeted and the ref did very little about it.

JohnDale
JohnDale

Yeah, he very much did. I could virtually count the number of times he touched the ball. Him and Theo.

nuetral
nuetral

I don’t understand the people who slate Song and Kosc, they were both excellent at critical times tonight. Overall Arsenal looked bereft of ideas up front. The only consistent possesion play they had was between the back four and Song. Dortmund pressed really well and caused problems with every possesion. I was really impressed with their organization and creativity, sadly, Arsenal looked a bit stale in comparison. That said, Arsenal are in bad shape and can only get better. Imagine that game without Arteta, Sacker, and Benayoun…

MistaKen
MistaKen

Good point but we were saved by their lack of composure in front of goal. Our best players was Szczesny, our worst was Gervino. He and Walcott couldn’t get past my gran tonight

Niro
Niro

Although Gervinho was horrendous going forward, he still crept up and had a couple of chances. More importantly, Gervinho came back and defended…Theo, not so much.

Jody

Gritty performance. Defence was much better in the second half. Would have liked a bit more composure in midfield along with more chances, but hopefully that will come. Theo was poor again though apart from the pass. Not sure about his attitude at the moment and would like to see him win the ball back when he looses it.

TexasGooner6
TexasGooner6

I know everyone is pleased with the point. We were not the better team. Obviously we’ve got a lot of people out injured but I thought Dortmund owned the center of the field. Song and Szcz are the only reasons we stayed in the game. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Ramsey and Wilshere can get healthy soon.

On the positive note, our defensive diamond of Song, Mertesacker, Koscielny and Szcz was great. We are stronger, larger and more confident there. That will keep us in games and give us a chance.

Top gun
Top gun

And while Arteta and Benayoun worked very hard we are still missing that defence splitting pass.

Goonarf
Goonarf

Song was immense in the second half. Despite Benayoun’s work rate I would have actually liked to see Frimong back there with Song. Like Little Jack, Frimpong has the ability to turn, find space and move forward that is rare and beautiful to see. Always positive.
I see people praising Arteta but how many times did he turn around and pass to the defense instead of making something more positive of his touches?
And as mentioned in the article, both Gervinho and Walcott were running into dead ends over and over again. Nice pass by Theo but not much else out of him in the game.
Like the point. Looking forward to the team really meshing together.

nuetral
nuetral

I agree about Frimpong. I’d like to see him in a midfield 3 with Song and Wilshere. Frimpong is refreshingly direct.

JohnDale
JohnDale

I will take Benayoun over Arteta currently. At least Benny pushes forward with the ball. Arteta just keeps passing sideways/backwards. So frustrating given he’s suppose to be the creative one.

Lennon
Lennon

Good result.

Nasri, meanwhile, sucks the sweat off a dead mans balls.

RDB
RDB

Some good defensive performances, Mert is looking good & Kos was solid. Theo & Gervinho tho disappointed, consistently losing the ball when in good positions. Shezza in goal is growing in stature. He stays cool & nicely confident. Nothing he could do about their goal.
How many goals have we conceded like that over the last few years?
It seems to happen a lot, we need a bit of luck back…along with our confidence

Jeth
Jeth

Very disciplined performance tonight … no silly fouls.
Solid effort from the Gunners.

shane
shane

szecny was great, as were koscielny and song. benayoun did well in midfield and arteta was ok. i thought mertesacker was really poor, he was played out of the game too easily on too many occasions, especially in the first half. gibbs positioning is also worrying. walcott was rubbish .besides the assist he did nothing. he doesn’t work for the team,doesn’t track back, can’t get past a player despite his pace and is generally clueless on the ball. gervinho kept running into trouble tonight but i’m keeping an open mind, i think he’ll come good. we played poorly again but a draw is a good result away from home.

Niro
Niro

agree 100% with Walcotts lack of comittment. There was one play where he gave the ball away on the sidelines, and refused to run back and cover….with his pace he should have been able to help.

vp
vp

exactly man… i was completely shocked to see that one.. one terrific attribute this guy has got,,, and was reluctant to use that too!!!!!

charlie
charlie

take that result. It is really sad tho how we were going for European supremacy last season when we deservingly beat Barcelona. Now, to make it to the knockout stages would look like an achievement. Agree with what Merson said. The boys in midfield treating the ball like a hot potato. Our fluency and pretty football has left with Cesc and Nasri this season. I think Rosicky is better than Benayoun tbh.

And I’m getting more and more frustrated with how poor Theo is. He has not improved technically since the age of 16. Not only would he be a shit michael owen without his pace, he’d be a shit excuse for a footballer, period, if he aint that already. Either he plays through the middle or not at all imo. I’d be interested to see a statistic about player ball retention, I’m positive that he loses the ball more than any other player we have. You just know that as soon as the ball reaches him, if he is not running onto the ball, the ball will be clumsily lost. He lost it high up the pitch trying to do a poor excuse for a back heel, the player read him, as every player does, they set off on a break and almost scored on a low cross in our area.

I thought Arshavin was our most creative player against Swansea and I thought he was unlucky not to get the Cesc role behind Robin. Has Arsene forgotten that that is Andrei’s best position? Did he forget that Andre played as a centre forward for two months in Cesc and Robin’s absence during the 2009 and 2010 season.

We are gonna need to be exceptionally patient this season to see a recovery of our fluency. In 2008/9 after Hleb and Flamini left and the Cesc injured half the season, it took the best part of a season before he were flying again. We need to sign some more quality in Jan in my opinion. What happened to the super quality Oxlade as well? Impressive England performances can’t even get him into our travelling squad.

I’m happy with the result, but honestly I don’t remember Arsenal being dominated like that by any team other than Barcelona. We’ve lost our heartbeat and the rest this summer, and we dont look like getting it back any time soon.

Might have been nice to have pinched Cesc from Barca’s bench tonight!!!!!

Truegooner
Truegooner

Too much pessimism Charlie. Our midfielders have to come back and our real team has to gel. We’re probably not going to be as fluid as we have been in years past, but we also won’t give away as many cheap, preventable goals.

We look bad because we started the season handicapped (Wenger/the board’s fault for delaying business). I feel confident that we will improve as the season goes on. I think we will finish the season strong instead of flounder, and if we win some cups and do well in the BPL/CL, we’ll still be able to attract creative talent in the offseason.

Hopefully BvB flounder domestically and in Europe so that Gotze feels the need to develop his game elsewhere. Bender, Grosskreutz, and Schmelzer looked quite average today. Maybe we can convince Gotze and Hazard to come over next August? With those two, we would be a force again.

maddo
maddo

Well done fellas…. You did well tonight. You were a good defensive team… and the German goal was a great one… and nothing the Pole in Goal could do. You were solid and I am very proud… Small Baby steps… we will get better.

JW19 the days are slow… we need you to get better quickly… you are young and your body should heal faster… so come on.

Song and Kosser immense in second half. Yossi ran more miles than Theo – who really should work harder… Gervinho was surrounded by three Dortmund players… not much he could do. We now need 9 points (three home games).

Jerome
Jerome

I want to applaud RVP for his hustle to win the ball from the defender immediately prior to the goal. Slide in to win the ball back to Theo, then popped up and lost two defenders to seize the through pass and goal. What a play all around by the captain!

Noidee
Noidee

Great game by us defensively. But we need to integrate the new boys into the team quickly and we also need to pass better. We lacked cohesion in the midfield and final third. Lastly, I think we should play 2 strikers. We can’t keep expecting Walcott/Arshavin and now Gervinho to be prolific scorers from the wings a la Overmars/Pires/Ljungerg. Let’s play 2 strikers and try 4-4-2.

Plev
Plev

Could not agree more. BUT we don’t have the personel, we would need another world class striker for that to be effective. Also Walcott, Gervinho and especially Arshavin don’t track back and defend, so they can’t play as deeper lying wide midfielders. They HAVE TO BE deployed in a forward line (ie on the wings). Our current formation is decieving though. Without possession it would seem that van Persie is too isolated. But when we get possession, and hold it long enough to form an attacking shape (which we didn’t against Dortmund), our front 3 looks more like this:

Gervinho Walcott

van Persie

RvP drops deeper to pick up the ball and act as a pivot (like a false number 10), trying to release one the speedsters. Pay attention to this next time your’e watching the Arsenal

Plev
Plev

Woops thats meant to look like this

Gervinho…………………………………………Walcott

………………………………RvP………………………………

…………………………(Midfield)…………………………..

Niro
Niro

Has anyone here ever seen Theo slide tackle….ever?

Has anyone here ever seen Theo use his pace to run to our byline and defend the opposition?

I understand he’s a bit clumsy with the ball, but so was Freddy Ljungberg…but Freddy’s workrate was x10000 more than Theo’s.

Badaab
Badaab

Agreed on the part about Freddie’s work rate. Even seeing him last year in the States playing for Seattle Sounders, after two knee surgeries and at 35 years old, Freddie was still working hard for the ball and man-marking… and the man even had time to joke around with me and my friends and sign a couple autographs after.

Geoff
Geoff

Great point, gritty performance. All attacking players were poor but we got a positive result.

8 conceded in 90 mins, just 1 in the following 180 mins…..slowly slowly improving…..the creative players performances will improve, individually & collectively.

josh
josh

Cant really do much about a goal that will surely be in the top 3 goals of the whole champions league campaign. To be honest i didnt see any real threat from them and there crowd is 80,000 strong so the boys did really well today.
And for the people who have been sucking off Goetze all week, he was absolutely rubbish tonight. Give Benayoun time, that was his first start for the club, first champions league game in years and he was decent enough.

Alex Song makes all the difference in this team though, i would say that along with Szeszny & Thomas Vermaelen they will be the spine of the time this season. hopefully Song doesnt miss too many matches this season.

Nick B
Nick B

Gotze rubbish?
Were we watching the same game? He bossed the first half, and was the attacking hub of the whole BvB team.

Also, my views on Mert.
Lots of people are slating him already, but even if he isnt the best single defender to grace the squad, he is a communicator. he talks, the others listen,.
Already in the 2 games he has played the defence as a whole looks a lot more steady. It seems the others are more diciplined, more alert.

neutral
neutral

Goetze was quality and he would walk into our team. In general the link-up play from Dortmund was very good, if their finishing was as good we would have lost 3-1 easily.

Gossip Gooner
Gossip Gooner

Can I just take this moment to aknowledge that amazing save from Bacary Sagna.
Was that not worthy of our praise?

weedonald
weedonald

ANDREW ALLEN……..Hide your fucking head in shame mate. you are surely one of the crappiest cheerleaders for the gloomy-doomer goners ever! Arsenal went into the game with an 18 man squad, 4 of which have a total of 2 games experience playing the Arsenal style and lacking Vermaelen, Wilshere, Diaby, Rosciky, Jenkinson and Arshavin. They played in one of the hardest venues to take points away from, against the 2010 Bundesliga champions before 78,000 fans and stood their ground, got a point and played solidly.
You managed to make it sound like we had dropped three points with a shitty team against opponents that were so superior, we should have been humbled by their very presence on the field. Why the fuck don’t you take off your Wenger-Arsenal-hating glasses and admit that it was a great start to the CL campaign. Marseilles will be a tough game but Dortmund will have to face them as well and we’ve made an excellent start to the CL campaign. Stick to writing poetry lad…at least nobody has to read that!

JohnDale
JohnDale

Idiot

Ahem
Ahem

Wedonald, I know you didn’t mean to sound like a TWAT so you’re forgiven.

Viks53
Viks53

I think Kosclieny is massive player for us in the backline……only prob is he is not a leader and he needs a motivator and an organiser in his CB partner.

Sneaky fucking Russian
Sneaky fucking Russian

Koscielny is easily one of the most improved players in the premier league. Certainly the most consistent defender we have apart from toasted sanga, kos played a ridiculous number of games for us last year I think wilshire only topped him?

Johnny Massacre

Yeah, alright result I guess but still depressed we’re not the team we used to be. Still throwing away leads. No excuses for me, should have closed the dude down.

1steved1
1steved1

We got to stop bloody conceding late goals, it’s our Achilles of recent

Johnnyboy
Johnnyboy

alex song was incredible last night. i was a bit nervous when kosh got near the ball, kept giving the ball away in dangerous position, but he defended really well. i liked gibbs’ game, he was solid. and as always SZCZ was amazing, what a player

Smeer Na$ri (with shit)
Smeer Na$ri (with shit)

I think we should sign that guy called Bender just so we can shout his name at him.

Arthur
Arthur

I think where we could’ve really improved our game last night was the substitutions. Come 60-65th minute it was obvious Walcott should go off and have someone in that could proviode a bit of an attacking edge, I hoped for Arshavin. But no, we waited for another 15 minutes or so, unable to attack one bit, with Arteta underperforming, Benayoun not shining and let them build pressure and confidence. We should’ve attacked a bit, force them to be more cautious, catch them offguard with counterattacks. However, a decent result, all things considered, overal we were more assured, more confident than in the second half of the last season. It still isn’t the Arsenal I used to love but I guess the lads just need more time and more matches together.

TSOTIA
TSOTIA

this boys will bring the arsenal back.

Alp

we need wilshere and arshavin in our midfiled cos these two will make the passing and the switch from defense to offense more stable as they did last season. we have to compensate fabregas somwehow, he misses a lot. you could see how the midfield was struggling to stick the ball to our strikers yesterday. vermaelen coming back will give us more strength defensively, hes very important for the team. im sorry i dont see mertesacka for the starting line up, kosc and verm should be our solid centre backs. benayoun and gervinho have quality, but they need to find themselves as must the whole midfiled.

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[…] A resolute defensive showing by Arsenal yesterday nearly got us the full 3 points. However, we were to be denied, by a, albeit late, wonderful goal. Arsenal only went home with a point, a good one nonetheless. Match report available here. […]

Goonerbob
Goonerbob

Note how the back four consistantly caught the Germans offside? Had not seen that in years.

Goonerific
Goonerific

Wonder why Chamakh came on instead of park, not ready, not a hold up type player while defending the lead? Chamakh blew a chance for 2-0 also.

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[…] early team news from our perspective is pretty much how we were prior to the Dortmund game […]