Arsenal 'not the real deal' as Lewandowski strikes late
Gunners suffer setback as Borussia Dortmund end unbeaten run and Wilshere hobbles off injured
Arsenal 1 Borussia Dortmund 2. Arsenal's two-month unbeaten run came to a sorry end as they were undone by a professional Borussia Dortmund team that scored a breakaway goal in the last 10 minutes to win 2-1 at The Emirates last night.
Dortmund quietly dominated the first half-hour and despite Arsenal assuming control for much of the rest of the game, they created little. Dortmund harassed the home team relentlessly and never really allowed them to get into their stride. If this was their first big test of the season, Arsenal came up short.
"They're certainly not the real deal yet," a typically blunt Roy Keane said on ITV after the game.
Aaron Ramsey has been one of the Premier League's players of the season so far but after just 15 minutes, he carelessly lost possession to Marco Reus while trying to dribble to safety from his own area. The ball broke to Robert Lewandowski, who swiftly moved the ball on to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who shot straight into the bottom right hand corner.
It was Lewandowski's first telling intervention on what would end up a triumphant return to London following his struggles last week for Poland against England.
Arsenal took a while to recover from that blow as Dortmund continued to dominate possession. But with 30 minutes gone, Olivier Giroud showed his determination and strength with two unsettling surges into Dortmund's box. The forward was started to show all the drive, power and touch, which has been so evident this season.
He was rewarded for his persistence after 40 minutes. Following a neat interchange between Mesut Ozil and Ramsey, the ball was swept out to Bacary Sagna who delivered a pinpoint cross right between Dortmund defender Neven Subotic and goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller. The pair hesitated and Giroud bundled between them to smash the ball into an empty net.
The second half started slowly but Arsenal finally clicked into gear when Santi Cazorla replaced a hobbling Jack Wilshere around the hour mark. Wilshere sat out the game with an icepack on his foot but Cazorla linked up beautifully with Ozil as Arsenal went hunting for the win.
After 68 minutes, the German passed to Cazorla who smashed a curling shot into the upright. The same pair combined as the Spaniard had a shot blocked a few minutes later.
Lewandowski was shown a yellow card after 64 mintes for elbowing Laurent Koscielny in the face. Arsenal fans would have been baffled why it was not a red and they were left ruing the referee's decision just eight minutes later.
It was all Arsenal by this stage but with less than 10 minutes to go Dortmund broke up the field and rampaging right back Kevin Grosskreutz crossed to the far side and Lewandowski emerged from the left wing to sidefoot into the net with aplomb.
Arsenal and Dortmund will resume hostilities in Germany in a fortnight. Tonight's evenly matched game suggests the return will be another close affair but Arsenal will need to play better to overcome this classy German side.
With Napoli winning 1-2 in Marseilles, the Italian side join Dortmund and Arsenal on six points. The game at the Westfalenstadion is starting to look very important indeed.
Arsenal 'not the real deal' as
Lewandowski strikes late ·