Borussia Dortmund Dominate Arsenal FC
24 to 7 attempts - 7 to 1 on target. Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal FC 2-0. Sometimes statistics do not lie. What we have seen on yesterday evening was a Dortmund side, that dedicated itself so much to the game, that it reminded you of the last championship years. No player of Arsenal FC could ever feel save at any place of the pitch, due to the caustic and greedy BVB players, which chased after the ball as if it was the last thing they had to do on this planet.
Once more the club impressed with dedication, even putting away the last-minute loss of right-back Lukasz Piszcek, who had some problems with his thigh. Furthermore no moaning about being forced to move Milos Jojic as well as Shinji Kagawa out of the starting XI due to minor injury problems. A first eleven without Piszczek, Hummels, Sahin, Gündogan, Kirch, Ji, Jojic and Kagawa. And what happened? Another evidence that it is not necessarily individual brilliance that is needed in modern football, but eleven players that live "all for one and one for all" for their teammates and tactics.
One of this guys was new signing Ciro Immobile, who scored the opener with an act of volition close before the break. The Italian international could be found everywhere on the pitch with a total coverage of 10,8 kilometers until his substitution (minute 86'). Another one was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who extended the lead shortly after the restart. Compared to his performances of last season, the Gabunese seems to be a new signing, too.
Nevertheless it would be unworthy to pick out every single Black and Yellow player - they all would have deserved a praise. What counts is the outstanding team performance.
Jürgen Klopp: "It was a great performance from my team, it was really strong. We were brave, we were fast and we had everything we needed to win this game. If you let Arsenal have one metre of space they will hurt you. We need to be brave against strong players like these and you have to be brave enough to lose.
I enjoyed this game from the first minute to the last. We did what we needed to do to win. It was nearly perfection. If you see games like this it is the best job in the world. We wanted to play pressing football and we did it in a perfect way. That's the kind of football I really love. We have been very aggressive and purposeful. It was a fantastic start to the Champions League."
Ciro Immobile: "I'm really really happy that we did well today and I could contribute a goal to it. I desperatly wanted to score my first goal. It's great that I could satisfy the supporters as well as the club today."
Kevin Großkreutz: "Our performance today was outstanding and I guess we satisfied everyone. Ciro has done a great job today, we know his skills. Nevertheless it's not important who scores, we are delighted for every goal scorer. Our Gegenpressing and duels were brilliant, when we work together like a team, it's realldy hard to beat us."
Arsene Wenger: "It is a difficult night for us, but congratulations to Dortmund – they were the better team. We have had a disappointing performance. We had two good chances to score first, but then we ran into counterattacks. It was a very difficult game tonight. We lost the ball 80 metres away from our goal and we still had three against one at the back. So it is difficult to understand how we conceded the goal. They were very strong in midfield, stronger than us. As a team we were not at their level."
Minute 5: Henrikh Mkhitaryan enters the box from the right side of the pitch, as he sidesteps it seems that Mikel Arteta fouled him. Nevertheless, the referee yellow-cards the Armenian. A first outrage. To be honest, even after five different camera angles it still becomes not clear, whether it was a penalty or a dive.
Arsenal FC seemed to be surprised by the effort Borussia Dortmund put in. A hard-running style in which BVB fought as if there were no tomorrow sooner or later promised attempts..
Minute 27 and 29: The first scoring opportunities for Borussia Dortmund. Two times they delivered the ball quickly from the right wing to the left wing, where a cross found Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who's shot was saved by Szczesny and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who fired wide out of the box.
Minute 34: Sebastian Kehl finds Aubameyang on the right side of the pitch, after leaving behind several Arsenal defenders his shot can be saved by Szczesny.
Minute 40: Nearly as a counteraction Arsenal FC scored the opener. After a turnover in midfield, Erik Durm was forced to clear in highest danger. Unfortunately Jack Whilshere could pass the return through to Danny Welbeck, who fired wide with only having Roman Weidenfeller in front of him. Breathe deeply.
Minute 45: Arsenal loses posession at the BVB box and endurance runner Kevin Großkreutz delivers the ball quickly to Ciro Immobile, who starts to run nearly the halfway line. With a lot of effort he leaves behind three (!) Arsenal defenders, slithers through and scores his first goal in an official match for Borussia Dortmund. Well done, Ciro! A goal we would probably describe with "durchwurschteln" in Germany.
Half-time break: In comparison to Arsenal's attempts on target, BVB's lead was deserved. In fact, the home side put in more effort than Arsenal and worked hard for the first goal, which could not have happened at a better time. Due to problems with his adductors, former skipper Sebastian Kehl was replaced by Matthias Ginter, who made his Champions League debut.
Minute 47: Again Arsenal loses posession and is punished by BVB's quick transition style of play. Ginter passes the ball to Kevin Großkreutz, who finds Aubameyang nearly 16 meters in front of the goal. The Gabunese leaves Szczeny behind and scores the second goal while nearly stumbling. Curious: Due to the stumbling he spins the ball and made it impossible for Koscielny to clear.
Minute 57: A cross is saved by Roman Weidenfeller who initiates a counterattack with a lovely delivery to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. In the end his shot can only be saved by the crossbar. Brilliant move by Weidenfeller as well as Aubameyang.
Minute 73: The same old song: Arsenal loses the ball, quick transition, Mkhitaryan fires wide with only Szczeny in front of him. The Armenian international made a brilliant match, but did not reward himself. In this situation, he probably should have crossed the ball to Aubameyang or Immobile.
Minute 76: Danny Welbeck leaves Sokratis behind but fires wide out of 12 meters. That could have brought back Arsenal into the match!
After the newly blows to the neck, an outstanding performance like this could not have been expected. Still, this squad surprises us again and again. Compared to Arsenal, BVB was able to force through it's own match tactics and it is quite astonishing, that the Gunners walked right into the trap. Keeping in mind how many players are still not able to play, this first win was a major breakthrough for BVB in this season's Champions League campaign. Now it is time to relax and focus on the next task: FSV Mainz 05. Hopefully, we will see Sebastian Kehl, Lukasz Piszczek as well as Mats Hummels back on the pitch on Saturday.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Durm, Subotic, Sokratis, Schmelzer - Kehl, Bender - Großkreutz, Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan - Immobile.
Substitute's Bench: Langerak, Ginter, Jojic, Kagawa, Amini, Ramos, Bandowski.
Arsenal FC: Szczesny - Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs - Ramsey, Arteta - Özil, Whilshere, Sanchez - Welbeck.
Substitute's Bench: Ospina, Chambers, Rosicky, Campbell, Santi Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlaine, Podolski.
Bookings: Mkhitaryan, Whilshere, Özil.
Goals: Ciro Immobile (45'), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (47').