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Arsenal 1-2 Dortmund: 4 Questions & Answers From A Disappointing Defeat

Arsenal lost 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night with Robert Lewandowski netting a late winner. Here, Gunner333 gives us his thoughts on the game.

 Arsenal lost 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night with Robert Lewandowski netting a late winner. Here, Gunner333 gives us his thoughts on the game.

Bacary sagna

Dortmund arrived at the Emirates to lock horns with England’s most in-form team at present. A win for Arsenal and they would need just a point from their remaining three to practically guarantee progression to the last 16. Birthday boy Arsene Wenger left out Vermaelen once again and Rosicky was called up in midfield.

Neither side looked capable of taking a foothold in the match during the early stages until the breakthrough came following a rare mistake from Aaron Ramsey, Henrikh Mhkitaryan was on hand to fire home from Lewandowski’a assist after the Welshman lost possession on the edge of his own box. A disappointing start to the night for a recently formidable Arsenal side.

Frustration surrounded Wenger’s men after the opener as countless poor crosses from full-back’s Sagna and Gibbs broke up attempted counter-attacks. Wilshere had a chance but Weidenfeller’s clearance gave him little time to pounce.

Finally a goal did arise for the Gunners though, as Olivier Giroud finished into an empty net after a rarely accurate cross from Sagna troubled the Dortmund keeper. It was the Frenchman’s first in four and his hard work all evening paid off.

The second half provided very little in the early stages, but Arsenal were seeking a victory desperately as Santi Cazorla was brought on for  below par Wilshere.

Divine football was exhibited once again by Arsenal as Santi Cazorla ended a series of one touch passes with a curling shot which rattled the bar. Unlucky for the Arsenal. In a very tight game of football Arsenal had looked the side more likely to take the initiative to go ahead, but it was a Dortmund sucker-punch which won it.

A brilliant cross from Großkreutz met Lewandowski who volleyed in the winning goal. Heartache for Arsenal in a game they had controlled in the second period. Full time and Arsenal had lost for the first time in twelve through a cliché European counter-attack. Here I ask four questions and delve deeper into why this game was lost.

Q1) Did nerves get in the way?

Of course there is no denying we were up against one of the greatest technical sides in world football, but surely we would have finished them off if the game was not treated as such a big deal?

On big nights like this players must be able to keep their composure and for the most part they did. A side like Borussia Dortmund will punish ANY mistake and we should remain strong at all times. The boys gave it a good go but in our tough run in over the next few weeks [including Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd and Dortmund once again] we will have to put the nerves aside and play the quality football we have done so far this season.

Q2) Rosicky should play more?

The Czech was a diamond in the rough tonight. The midfield played average but Tomas’ work rate was well-above par. His ability to find Giroud with the long-ball was of a high quality but at times the Frenchman lacked the pace to meet the ball.

In the second half of the game Wenger switched Rosicky to the centre and played Özil and Cazorla on the wings where all three were far more influential. Perhaps if we play them behind Giroud with Ramsey/Arteta and Wilshere/Flamini playing in deeper roles, we will have a more balanced midfield.

Q3) Time For Jenkinson?

It is unfair to slate Sagna after one or two bad performances, but the full-back needs to get his act together and fast. He has an important role to play both defensively and offensively, but he went missing for the winner and his deliveries at the other end on the whole have been poor.

Carl Jenkinson has been in and out the team so far this season but it is clear he is Wenger’s second choice. Is it time he’s given more playing time at right back? If he’s given a chance, he might just give us an added impetus going forward and supply Giroud with some dangerous crosses, it’s just defensively I worry about.

Q4) Will we get out of the group?

Perhaps an unanswerable question at this stage. Today was a difficult one which we will hopefully learn from. We play Dortmund away next and must beat Marseille in the following game at the Emirates.

It is a three horse race at the moment and I feel ourselves and Dortmund look the most likely to progress. A draw in Germany would set us up nicely to win the other two and top the group ahead of Dortmund, Napoli and then Marseille. Fingers crossed that’s how it works out!

Thanks for reading and feel free to suggest future questions for me to answer in following articles.

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