Arsenal brush Borussia Dortmund aside
Written By: Robert Halter
Arsenal achieved qualification to the knock out stages of the UEFA Champions League becoming the first English club through after topping Group F following match day five with Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates stadium. The German side started the game strongly after breaking away into the Arsenal half, when Shinji Kagawa passed to Mario Gotze and as Robert Lewandowski advanced towards Wojciech Szczesny, the Gunners goalkeeper smothered the ball. Five minutes into the match, Kagawa tried to beat Szczesny from distance but the goalie produced a comfortable save. Arsenal captain, Robin van Persie tried to force a header over the top of Roman Weidenfeller on thirteen minutes but the Dortmund number one was untroubled. Midway through the first half, Aaron Ramsey put Theo Walcott clean through but the advancing Weidenfeller dived at his feet to stop him advancing forward. After losing Sven Bender to injury, moments later Dortmund pressed again with a fierce low strike by Lewandowski from outside the box which flew fractions wide of the left post. At the conclusion of the first half, Marcel Schmeizer tried to beat Szczesny from long range and then at the other end of the field, Walcott’s well struck right wing cross was turned away by Weidenfeller. Three minutes into the restart Lewandowski’s pass split open the Arsenal defence but Kagawa’s strike was kept out by an instinctive stop from Szczesny. But an inspired run and cross by Alex Song opened up the scoring in the forty ninth minute, as Van Persie’s bullet header could only be palmed into the net by Weidenfeller. A saving tackle from Mats Hummels stopped Gervinho in his tracks on sixty minutes, after Ramsey’s ball through had created the opening. Midway through the second half, Ramsey set up another chance but this time Walcott steered the ball wide. Four minutes from the end of normal time, Van Persie slotted home his second from close range after Thomas Vermaelen’s flicked header from a Mikel Arteta corner. In the final open play of the match, Lewandowski won the ball in the Arsenal penalty box for Kagawa to drill the ball into the bottom right corner but it was only a consolation goal for Bourssia Dortmund as the 2-1 score line ensured Arsenal’s safe passage through after Olympique de Marseille were beaten 1-0 at home by Olympiacos in the other group match.