Champions League: Arsenal swept aside 2-0 by Dortmund
Dortmund 2 Arsenal 0
Arsenal took exactly what they deserved from their first Champions League game of the season: Nothing. Swept aside by Borussia Dortmund, they can only count themselves fortunate that their goal difference did not sustain more damage.
The Gunners never got going, looking skittish and nervous from the start.
The pace of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the right caused problems from the first whistle. While Dortmund were able to attack at will, Arsenal could barely keep the ball.
A combination of appalling Dortmund finishing and the gumption of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker kept the game deadlocked for 44 minutes, but Arsenal couldn’t expect their luck to hold all night.
And it didn’t.
On the stroke of half-time, an Arsenal attack broke down, Ciro Immobile picked up the ball in his own half, ran all the way down the pitch and beat Wojciech Szczesny with a low shot into the corner of the goal. It really was as simple as that.
Could Arsenal change it after the break?
The answer was quickly and emphatically delivered through the medium of Aubameyang, who rounded Scszesny and slotted into the net as poor Koscielny threw himself into the post in a painful and futile effort to block the shot.
Ten minutes later, the Gabonese front man crashed a shot off the crossbar, again after an Arsenal attack had broken down.
More chances would come and more would be wasted, especially from the profligate Mkhitaryan, but somehow Arsenal were able to retreat down the tunnel at full time without incurring a humiliating defeat.
But Arsene Wenger will know that much improvement is required if Arsenal are to make an impact in this competition.
All the vulnerabilities that are evident in the Premier League were exploited here. Had Dortmund been more ruthless, this could have been a thrashing.
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