It maybe a bit too late for the post match analysis, but we really want to talk about one of the biggest matches that Arsenal had to play this season. It was good to see Wenger going in with the same team that played Norwich last week, it showed how important it was for us to win this and top the group. With Manchester City dropping points and Manchester United fighting it out to earn a point the previous night it showed how difficult the Champions league is for all top teams in Europe.
When the match started and it was quite a sight to see the 8000 traveling fans from Dortmund shouting and showing their support at the Emirates for their team who looked very hungry for a win. They had won 7 games of the last 9 including a win against Bayern last week, and they would have thought of getting some points out of the game. It was great to see our Legend Henry with Tennis great Federer in the stands and cheering for our team.
The game started with Dortmund doing all the attack and Arsenal trying to try their chances on the counter attack . Wenger looked at start like a person in concern while his counterpart was looking very calm and composed. The sold out Emirates was set for a treat of attacking football from all the 22 on the field. Going 28 mins into the game Dortmund was forced to do two changes one being Goetz, the man higly linked to Arsenal. It was sad to see the young player substituted due to injury. This probably had some impact on the game as Arsenal became the team to press harder, and it was great to see Walcott and Gervinho changing positions and putting pressure. At around the 40th min Walcott thought he scored from a pass from Van Persie but he was called offside and it seemed then like a tough call.
Second Half started with Arsenal pressing forward and Dortmund looking at counter attacks. Then came the break for Arsenal with a headed goal from a Van Persie pass thru a wonderful cross from Song after dribbling past 3 players!
There was a golden chance for Gervinho in the 59th min to get a second Arsenal goal but he looked like he put the wrong finishing boots on and couldn’t put the goal in. Then a couple of changes were made for Arsenal and we saw Diaby on the pitch for the first time this season (as we had predicted in the preview post). The second goal also came from Van Persie from a corner taken by Arteta and headed on by Vermalen. We should have won the game 2-0 and could have got a clean sheet but that was not to be. In the dying minutes of the game, Dortmund got a goal in from their Japanese Striker Shinji Kagawa.
Overall it was an amazing win and with Marseille losing their match we will remain the group toppers irrespective of what happens in the remaining group matches. What that means is we wouldn’t have to face a Barca or Real or Bayern in the next round. With Chelsea also losing their group game Arsenal becomes the first English side to qualify for the next round this season. And now Wenger can rest his important players and rotate the team a bit in the coming games. Lets not talk too much about this win and hope that the team continues their good run and get back to where they belong in the big league!
If you missed the match check the highlights below:-
Now we can concentrate on the premiere league match against Fulham this weekend.
from the AIS Desk