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Borussia Dortmund punish tame Arsenal in Champions league Group D clash

Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Arsenal

By Duncan Bech

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta admitted the better side won after the Gunners suffered a 2-0 defeat in their Champions League Group D opener at Borussia Dortmund.

Ciro Immobile and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck either side of half-time and the German club would have been more emphatic victors but for the reflexes of Wojciech Szczesny and their own wastefulness.

Arteta said: "We faced a tough side in one of the most difficult stadiums in Europe, we knew that from the start.

"They put us under pressure, it was very sloppy from us to concede the goal with 20 seconds to go in the first half from a long throw from the other side of the pitch and after you are 1-0 down, it's very difficult.

"They are very quick on the break and we didn't perform well enough."

The 32-year-old Spaniard was aware of the pace Dortmund had up front which Arsenal failed to cope with.

He added: "They put a lot of pace and a lot of pressure up front.

"When they play here and when you (are familiar) – we've been playing here every year in the Champions League – but we couldn't cope with that and we gave the ball away too many times in our own half in difficult positions."

For the second time in two matches Danny Welbeck illustrated why his finishing is considered below par for a top forward by failing to convert a one-on-one with a goalkeeper.

With the match goalless and Arsenal under relentless attack, Welbeck managed to drag Aaron Ramsey's clever pass wide with just Roman Weidenfeller to beat.

It was a key moment and the £16million signing from Manchester United, who had other chances to open his Gunners account, only enhanced concerns over his record in front of goal.

On the Gunners' chances during the match Arteta added: "They took the game from where they wanted to take it and that's the disappointing thing for us.

"I think we had three or four very clear chances and I think they had three as well very clear, when it came to chances it was probably equal but I think they were the better side tonight."

Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp was delighted with the result and said matches like this make his job one of the best in the world.

He said: "We had three players ruled out of the team to muscle problems so it was not the best night we had but in the morning we made some decisions and I have to say it was a great performance from my team. It was really strong.

"We were brave and fast and really worked, it was everything we needed for this game.

"If you give them one metre of space they are so strong and they make everything with you.

"You need to brave against these strong players.

"You need go out in space and look for one-to-one situations and be brave enough to lose it because the next one is next to you.

"I enjoyed this game from the first second to the last," he added.

Looking ahead to his side's next tough encounter, Saturday's return to the Bundesliga, Klopp added: "We did what we have to to win this game and for us it was near perfection so the important thing for me is three days and against Mainz, my former club.

"It's hard work all the time but if you see games like this, it's the best job in the world," he added.

Arsenal endured a chastening start at Signal Iduna Park.

Immobile and Aubameyang struck to put the German side 2-0 up early in the second half.

Arsenal's back four were tormented throughout in a display that will see Arsene Wenger face renewed criticism for refusing to sign defensive reinforcements over the summer.

At times they were comically poor with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker fully culpable, although they were offered little protection by Arteta, who was also exposed by the quick wits of Dortmund.

And in front of Arteta, Mesut Ozil once again drifted around aimlessly, contributing nothing until his second-half withdrawal.

Wenger can at least offer Arsenal's injury problems as some explanation for their fragility in defence.

Full-backs Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Debuchy were in the treatment room and Calum Chambers was confined to the bench because of tonsillitis, so Spanish teenager Hector Bellerin made his full debut.

Surprisingly, another right-back option Mathieu Flamini was omitted from the squad so Bellerin was given the chance to add to his solitary appearance as a substitute in the Capital One Cup.

It would have been 3-0 but for Szczesny getting fingertips to a powerful shot from Immobile and Aubameyang hitting the woodwork.

Arteta gave the ball away and Aubameyang should have done better with his attempt and when Welbeck later skied the ball over the bar, Arsenal knew it was not their night.

Belfast Telegraph


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