Arsenal set to finish second in Champions League group after capitulation

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Arsenal threw away a three goal lead against Belgian club Anderlecht to draw 3-3, putting a big dent to their hopes of topping their Champions League group. The result was compounded by Borussia Dortmund dispatching Turkish club Galatasaray in convincing fashion, as Jurgen Klopp's men cruised to a 4-1 victory.

Last night's result leaves Dortmund five points ahead of Arsenal with two group games remaining. The Gunners will have to win both matches in order to have any chance of finishing first in their group and avoiding a potentially tougher tie in the second round of Europe’s elite club competition.

Arsenal's result against Anderlecht

The north London club took the lead against their Beglian counterparts when Mikel Arteta lifted his penalty over the Anderlecht goalkeeper Silvio Proto on the 25th minute. The impressive Alexis Sanchez then scored a wonderful goal after his free-kick was blocked by the wall; the Chilean forward volleyed in the rebound with an impressive first time strike.

At half-time the result seemed like a formality and that Arsenal would claim all three points. By the time that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored Arsenal’s third in the 58th minute Group D looked all but wrapped up as Dortmund were similarly convincing in their match with Galatasaray.

Shock resurgence

That all changed after a shocking decision from the match officials allowed Anthony Vanden Borre to score on the hour mark when he was clearly offside. That decision was compounded when he followed it up with another strike, this time from the penalty spot with 74 minutes played.


This came after a rash decision from Nacho Monreal to grab and haul Serbian forward Aleksandar Mitrović to the ground. In truth the Spanish defender was lucky not to be sent off after receiving a yellow card and then putting his hands on the referee.

Arsenal’s embarrassing organisation continued to be reflected as they clearly lacked the defensive leaders in order to regain control of the match and it seemed inevitable that Anderlecht would equalise. The Belgian club’s moment came in the 90th minute when Mitrović found the net.

Merson criticism

The match was symptomatic of the Gunners’ stuttering start to their season and Ex-Arsenal midfielder, Paul Merson, did not hold back in his criticism of his former club after the game.

“If I’m being honest, I think they’re tactically clueless. That’s an honest opinion. How can you be 3-0 up and be attacking. This is not the first time it’s happened, this happens a lot of times. It’s absolutely clueless,” he said.

Premier League
Paul Merson

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