Arsene Wenger and his team were sent packing from the Signal Iduna Park last night with plenty of wounds to lick, following their abysmal performance which resulted in a 2-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund.
However, it would appear that the Dortmund stars won’t be letting them forget their shortcomings anytime soon, with Sebastian Kehl slamming the Gunners over their performance and claiming that his side could have easily scored three or four goals.
"Arsenal never really offered much. I was very confident after we got the first goal and I knew we'd be going for it again in the second half. We could easily have won three or four-nil," Kehl told the official Uefa website.
"I'm not really surprised by how dominant we were. We know we can be very good when we put a lot into it and that's what happened Tuesday night.”
Optimism was fairly high for Arsenal heading into the encounter, particularly given the fact that their opponents had been significantly weakened by the injuries sustained by Mats Hummels and Marco Reus. The same fixture last year had ended up with Wenger’s side snatching an unlikely victory and, despite the fact that Arsenal had a few concerning squad absences of their own, the general feeling was that there were indeed points to be taken from the game.
Regardless of that though the positive vibes from the travelling fans were quickly snuffed out, with Dortmund impressing their dominance upon the visitors from the early stages of the game. A barrage of pressure during the first half yielded little for the home side, but a fantastic solo effort from recent import Ciro Immobile was enough to break the deadlock and make it 1-0.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled Dortmund’s lead in the second-half and, though the Bundesliga outfit weren’t able to capitalise on their many chances, Arsenal offered little in terms of a fight-back. In truth it will be worrying for Wenger, who coming off the back of the 2-2 draw with Manchester City would have assumed at least a point was salvageable from their opening Champions League fixture.
Now though they’ll have to ensure that maximum points are obtained against both Galatasaray and Anderlecht, who recorded a 1-1 draw last night, in order to guarantee progression.
As for Dortmund Jurgen Klopp will have every reason to be satisfied with both the performance and the result. Once again they look like defying their critics in the face of having lost their most influential player in the summer (Robert Lewandowski), and the signings Klopp has made will install confidence in the stands.
Having bowed out to eventual champions Real Madrid last season, following their loss to Bayern Munich in the final the year before, one gets the feeling there remains a sense of unfinished business for Dortmund in Europe’s premier competition. Is this their year?