Football

What went wrong for Arsenal against Dortmund?

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I don't know if I'm the only person who thinks this but I thought last night's performance from Arsenal was very poor, given the recent run of form the Gunners have shown.

Aaron Ramsey, who has been one of the most impressive footballers in the world this season gave away a very sloppy goal by trying to take on three Dortmund players on the edge of his own penalty area. As you would have thought, Henrikh Mkhitaryan slotted in the ball into the bottom right corner of Arsenal's net. 

To be honest, it didn't look like Arsenal was going to score first, they came out onto that pitch switched off and they seriously underestimated how good this Dortmund side actually is. 

However, Arsenal have a very good record at home in the Champions League so I was expecting a win just like the Napoli game a couple weeks ago. I said before the game that I would be disappointed with Arsenal only coming out with a point from the game, but then again, I wasn't expecting that shoddy performance. 

Before the goal was scored, the Gunners looked tired, probably because of their game against Norwich on Saturday - but they really should have been better prepared.

And also its not like Dortmund didn't play during the weekend as well.

The fact is basically that Dortmund wanted it more than Arsenal at the end of the day. Dortmund wanted to show that it isn't impossible to be a European side and beat Arsenal on their turf, which is the mentality Schalke brought to the game last season and they ended up winning 2-0 and then went on to win the group. 

I think that Arsenal will now have to buck up their ideas and realise that trophies will not be gifted to them. There will be trickier fixtures than Norwich and Stoke. Arsenal have to play Crystal Palace (a), Chelsea (h), Liverpool (h), Dortmund again (a), Man United (a), Southampton (h), Marseille (h) and Cardiff (a) over the next month and a bit which will be a real test of this side's strength. 

Another test will be whether they can finish top of this Champions League group of death. If Arsenal won yesterday, they would certainly have been favourites but now the tables have turned and the best odds will be going to Dortmund.

If Arsenal couldn't beat the German side on their own soil, how are they going to deal with the pressure of beating them at the Iduna?

Don't also forget that the Gunners have to go to Naples and play at the same stadium which saw Chelsea (who won the Champions League that season) get slaughtered by Napoli 3-1. Arsenal will have to and should beat Marseille and then they have to beat either Napoli or Dortmund then a draw should be good enough to get the top spot. 

A couple weeks ago, I wrote an article on what my Arsenal side would be when the first team is over their injuries. I am afraid that I will have to change it a bit. Last night, a lot of people were saying on Twitter that the Gunners were missing Flamini and I realised that this was true.

Mathieu Flamini has been a quality defensive midfielder this season and it is confusing to me that Didier Deschamps didn't call him up to his latest France squad. But hopefully Flamini will get in the squad for the playoff matches against Ukraine next month.

Mikel Arteta played well last night to be fair to him and seeing how Flamini has played so well this season, he had big shoes to fill. 

Another player who was strongly missed last night was Theo Walcott. I forgot how Theo's pace just completely tears teams apart, his pace makes the best left backs in the world look awful. In my best lineup, I put Mesut Özil as my right midfielder but last night Arsenal might have won if they had Walcott was on the wing.

Marcel Schmelzer, who was struggling to just deal with Jack Wilshere, would have never been able to deal with Walcott. Unfortunately, Theo has suffered a small setback on his abdominal injury and he was missed last night.  

Arsenal started to press after Olivier Giroud scored a real poacher's goal in the 41st minute to make that his seventh goal of the season on his 60th appearance for the club. Arsenal brought off the struggling Wilshere and substituted him with Santi Cazorla who really started to get the game going for Arsenal.

He was finally linking up passes with the other players and he brought some flair to the Arsenal attack. He missed a golden opportunity to send Özil through for a one on one chance but overall he was Arsenal's best player on the night and he only played 35 minutes. 

The second goal Arsenal given away was just as sloppy as the first. Bacary Sagna didn't fall back to help out the defenders which meant that Robert Lewandowski was open to smartly volley the ball from just inside the area into the back of the net.

It was arguable that Lewandowski should have been sent off about 15 minutes earlier for what looked like to be a deliberate elbow from him on Laurent Koscielny. He only received a yellow and took this second chance to send Arsenal fans into a state of misery. 

If I knew what the performances were going to be like before the match and there were no injuries in my squad. My team would be: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Flamini, Arteta, Walcott, Özil, Cazorla and Giroud. 

If injuries are included it would have been: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Ramsey, Arteta, Gnabry, Özil, Cazorla and Giroud. 

Wilshere would have been on the bench and Gnabry would be in stating XI because his pace would have been lethal against Schmelzer. 

Anyway, a very disappointing result for the Gunners, but they should beat a manager-less Crystal Palace this Saturday and hopefully they can find their feet once again. 

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Topics:
Football
Mathieu Flamini
Arsenal
Robert Lewandowski
Borussia Dortmund

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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