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  • Arsenal 1-2 Borussia Dortmund, Champions League

Lewandowski makes Arsenal pay

ESPN staff
October 22, 2013
Klopp: We stopped Arsenal from playing

A goal from Robert Lewandowski ensured Borussia Dortmund returned to London and made up for their late Champions League final defeat by inflicting similar agony on Arsenal at the Emirates.

Dortmund took the lead after quarter of an hour thanks to a mistake on the edge of his own box by Aaron Ramsey, who was caught in possession and when the ball worked its way to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the one-time Liverpool target finished low from 20 yards.

Arsenal had one effort cleared off the line before equalising shortly before half-time, with Ramsey atoning for his earlier error by setting Bacary Sagna clear on the right and crossing for Olivier Giroud to round Roman Weidenfeller in the Dortmund goal and blast home from close range.

Arsenal had the ball in the net again midway through the second half but Per Mertesacker was penalised for a foul in the build-up, and Santi Cazorla also had a menacing shot blocked, but it was Dortmund who grabbed all three points through Lewandowski's assured volley with just eight minutes remaining.

With Napoli defeating Marseille, it means the Italian club join Arsenal and Dortmund on six points in Group F at the halfway stage in what is now a three-club dogfight for the top two spots and a place in the last 16.

Dortmund had looked lively from kick-off, with Marco Reus supporting Poland forward Lewandowski as manager Jurgen Klopp watched on from the stands serving his UEFA touchline ban.

It was no real surprise when the Germans took the lead on 16 minutes. Ramsey was hustled out of possession by Reus on the edge of his own penalty area, with the ball fed to Lewandowski. The Pole played in Mkhitaryan, who smashed a low shot past Wojciech Szczesny from 15 yards.

Arsenal, who moved clear at the top of the Premier League with a 4-1 win over Norwich at the Emirates on Saturday, were used to having it very much their own way this season and faced perhaps their first real test of character.

Giroud showed great strength to out-muscle full-back Marcel Schmelzer and win the ball on the nearside touchline, before cutting back towards the Dortmund box where he was unceremoniously upended by Mats Hummels. The assistant referee behind the goal was well positioned to correctly signal a free-kick just outside the box, which Laurent Koscielny headed over from Ozil's delivery.

Tomas Rosicky clipped a ball through for Jack Wilshere to run onto, but it was just too far ahead of the England man. However, Wilshere landed awkwardly on his ankle, and immediately fell to the ground before needing treatment off the pitch. He was back on soon enough, but still not moving freely.

Arsenal continued to be patient, often allowing Dortmund long spells of possession. When the ball broke to Giroud on the left, his cutback was fired goalwards by Rosicky, but Hummels cleared off the line.

Arsenal, though, were level five minutes before the break. Ramsey brought the ball forwards and fed Bacary Sagna on the overlap. His cross in behind the defence caught out Neven Subotic and goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, with the mix-up allowing Giroud to smash the loose ball into the net.

Wilshere looked to have shrugged off any problems as he emerged for the second half. The match remained delicately balanced as both sides held good periods of possession, but lacked a decisive ball in the final third.

On 58 minutes, Wilshere was replaced by Cazorla, before Dortmund - coached from the technical area by assistant Zeljko Buvac - made a double change as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Jonas Hofmann came on for Jakub Blaszczykowski and Mkhitaryan.

Lewandowski was somewhat fortunate to only be shown a yellow card by Sweden referee Jonas Eiksson when he clashed with Koscielny, and looked to have caught the defender with a stray elbow.

Arsenal were within inches of taking the lead when Cazorla's curled effort from 20 yards struck the angle of post and crossbar with the keeper beaten.

Dortmund, though, hit Arsenal on the counter attack with eight minutes left. The ball was played out to right-back Kevin Grosskreutz on the overlap and his deep cross drifted over towards the far post, where Lewandowski arrived on queue to swept it past countryman Szczesny.

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