Arsenal deserved better than their 1-2 loss at home to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League group stages on Tuesday night.
Despite not reaching the impressive heights that we have witnessed this season, Arsene Wenger‘s side put in a performance that warranted more. In truth, they lost the game due to going for more than a draw. Whilst pushing for the win, they were caught out by a very good Dortmund side, which is nothing to be ashamed of; let’s not forget the German side was runners up in Europe’s elite tournament last season.
Arsenal wasn’t at their best; at times they were sloppy and lacked the consistent spark that has propelled them to the top of the Premier League. But that seemed to have more to do with Dortmund’s relentless swarming of pressure than Arsenal being off their game. They created the better chances and on another night, could have taken all three points home.
The Gunners had a goal disallowed in the second half due to a ‘push’ from Per Mertesacker on Mats Hummels, but I thought that was incredibly soft. If that strike from Aaron Ramsey had counted, then Arsenal would have been in the driving seat.
As it was, Dortmund’s quality was deployed on the break. I don’t think the German’s offered enough throughout to deserve the three points; they looked nervous in defense and, at times, had to result to cheap late tackles on Arsenal’s fluid midfield.
I feel that Arsenal lacked width, but with their current injury problems, that is understandable. It is a positive that they managed to look comfortable against one of Europe’s best teams, but of course, that won’t matter to them now.
I was dissapointed by Dortmund’s lack of creativity, but as it turned out, it worked in their favor away from home. Jurgen Klopp clearly sacrificed their typical attacking exploits for more defensive solidity, but it made them look second best for the majority of the night. Arsenal was the better team for me, and they were on the brink of finding a winner themselves. But this is the Champions League, and you get brutally punished; both Dortmund’s goals were lethal.
I don’t want to be misinterpreted though. Dortmund set up in a way which meant they restricted Arsenal’s freedom. It was disciplined and they too probably wouldn’t have deserved to lose, but they weren’t better.