The Gunners came into this game unbeaten since their opening day defeat at home to Aston Villa. since then they have only drawn once away to Westbrom just before the international break.
The Champions League beckoned and the spirit was high but Henrikh Mkhitaryan opened scoring for Borrusia Dortmund in the 16th minute before Olivier Giroud scored from close range just before the break. Robert Lewandowski brought Arsenal to earth with 7 minutes left to play to the delight of Jurgen Klopp.
A Rough Start to A Tough Run.
This was the beginning of the real test of Arsenal’s strength this season with fixtures against Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool around the corner. This 2-1 home loss is not the scoreline the gunners needed to boost their confidence over their league rivals or even their UCL opponents. Crystal Palace although may offer the gunners a breathe of confidence and belief if the gunners would whip them. If we must win anything this season, we must overcome this tough run.
Flamini was Defensively Missed
Mathieu Flamini’s concussion ruled him out of this tie despite training with the team but not used due to doctor’s advise. The warhorse left a hole in the midfield which Arsenal’s man of the season, Ramsey failed to fill up. Flamini’s combo with Arteta had been near-water-tight and gave the defense a sense of shield. Against Dortmund, we missed that tightness. we lacked enforcement from the back. Arteta and Koscienly did superbly but they were undone by that Lewandowski goal. I feel Arteta should have at least closed down the Pole before he shot at our Pole.
Slow Start or Over Confidence
The game started slowly on the Arsenal perspective with Dortmund pressing and Arsenal relaxed to receive the pressure. It is unlike Arsenal to wait and retain pressure especially in the early part of the game. we were comfortable playing in our half without any attempt to surge on for a goal. It seems we were overconfident because we were the home side. But I never look at football games as home-and-away. A good side is a good side even on the moon.
we must take every opponent as serious as possible no matter the location of the match. I hope we don’t underrate Crystal Palace by weekend.
Lackluster, Fatigue, Selection or out of position.
Jack Wilshere, and Aaron Ramsey didn’t have the greatest of games last night. Wilshere seemed foreign on the right and had little or no telepathy with Bacary Sagna. This continuously exposed Sagna because the Englishman always unconsciously drifted to the middle. When he stayed on the right, he doesn’t play like a right winger. we miss Walcott or Chamberlain on the right.
Ramsey would ruin his mistake that caused the first goal. Dortmund are like Arsenal. if they score you first, they would most likely score again when you try to equalize or get a winner. we woke up late to surge for a winner and getting pegged 7 minutes to go was too much to overturn. The First goal shaped the game.
Ozil couldn’t wade his magic wand in favour of the gunners but managed to get a yellow card for his troubles. Rosicky had the yellow too when the game started looking frustrating. The chances never really came but we would wish Cazorla’s shot had gone in instead of nicking the bar.
Did Bendtner or Gnabry touch the ball? Their Sub was so late that it only wasted time.
Giroud is Man of the Match
Not because he scored the equalizer but because he won virtually all duels with the Dortmund defense. he created scoring chances, won free kicks and headers and that goal capped up his agility for the half. the Frenchman is leaving up to expectation. 20 goals may be too small for him this season.
So, the group is wide open with 6 points apiece for Arsenal, Borrusia Dortmund and Napoli with Marseille the whipping boys. We must pay back Dortmund in their own coin. remember the Munich battle. We must lose again in this group. We need just 4 points out of 9 to make the knock out stages, but 9/9 isn’t bad. It is noting to worry over. Let us take the games as they come and we may end up toping the group.
On the Nigerian front, The Golden Eaglets fought gallantly from 2-0 to draw Sweden 3-3 in the FIFA U-17 Worldcup in the UAE. Iheanacho failed to score but Success and co managed a point for the Nigerians. The goalie let them down, but the forward boys lived up to expectations.
One day, you are excited about a wonder goal and a 4-1 Norwich bashing by Arsenal garnished with a 6-1 drubbing of Mexico by Nigeria, another day, you down to earth with a home lose and a draw for your national side. Life goes on. This is football. Hope the Manchester clubs stutter.
A sour birthday present for Arsene Wenger.