Arsenal took a point away to the German Champions. In years gone by that would have been Bayern Munich and if you were honest, you’d always take a point away in Germany.
We nearly started with a bang, Gervinho was quick to capitalise on Hummels mistake, he didn’t have enough space to fashion shot.
The ball went straight down the other end, Koscielny made a hash of a clearance and slipped Dortmund in. Luckily they fired over.
The Germans found their stride, they were taking us over the top, round the side… Pretty much wherever they fancied. Gotze capitalised some shoddy Gibbs passing to slip in Lewandowski, the Czech took it round the keeper but somehow Sagna managed to turn the shot over the bar.
We had a fine chance when Yossi fired a Dortmund clearance over the top to Robin who sliced his half volley just wide.
We really struggled to compete with the Germans in the middle. Sven Bender seemed to be first to everything and if he wasn’t he’d find a way of retrieving possession for his side.
Our chance came though, Robin capitalised on a poor pass from Kehl, he laid the ball off to Theo who powered towards goal and slipped in Robin as he peeled away from his defender, the Dutchman took aim and fired in.
A totally deserved lead.
The second half didn’t bring too much excitement until the end. Schmelzer lashed over from a tight angle when he was given a free run at our box. Arteta and Theo both continued our poor run with freekicks by smashing into the wall on separate occasions.
Arteta drew blood after cutting out a free header for Hummels. He put his head on the line, just like he’d put his body on the line a few times that night. Commitment we like.
We had a chance of our own when Gervinho broke the Dortmund back line only to be shoved off-balance which cut out any chance of an attempt on goal.
Dortmund had another opportunity from a corner. Hummels struck from 8 yards out, lucky for us Chezzer’s legs bailed us out.
We couldn’t hold on though. Gibbs cleared a freekick as far as te edge of the box, Perisic volleyed it into the top corner and pulled it level. A quite incredible strike, too incredible to spend anytime debating what we could have done to stop it.
Only a smart save from Chezzer at the feet of Lebandovski kept things level at the end.
A point a piece it finished. Isn’t it nice to be the team who took a hammering but came out with a result? Yes it is… yes it is…
I said before the game a point would be a fantastic result and I still feel the same. We went over there with a team who have barely had two weeks together and we worked hard and ground out a result.
There were some causes for concern though. We don’t have the speed of passing we once had. Arteta is certainly no Cesc Fabregas, he slows play and has so far struggled to dictate the midfield he also gives possession away quite liberally. That was a problem across the park yesterday. Accuracy of passing was way off where is should be. The Arsenal way is out the window for the time being. That doesn’t mean we can’t be effective, it just means we have to adapt. We need to play to the strengths of our personnel. We don’t have the flair for our current system nor do we have the familiarity.
At the back we were exposed all evening. Some serious work needs to be done there. Our highline was suicidal at times. There was far too much last ditch superman defending. We need to build a cohesive unit, only time can allow for that. Time the players should have been afforded during preseason, that’s an argument for another day. Koscielny defender superbly for most of the game, if he can cut out the brain fail he gets at least once a game, he’ll have a very bright future ahead of him.
I thought Alex Song had an excellent night in front of the defence, he broke up play well and showed great strength at times. Keeping him fit this season is going to be of primary importance to our success. Don’t kid yourself Frimpong and Coquelin can come close to what he offers us in terms of experience.
The big worry is the clear lack of quality we have in the side. We managed 2 attempts on target all evening, for an Arsenal team, that’s not good enough. Robin and Gervinho were rarely put in possession and our midfield struggled to make inroads into their half. At times, we even resorted to long ball tactics. Not a good look, but totally understandable given the circumstances.
The question marks raised are important and might come across unfair considering most of the players arrived very late in the window. Trouble is, there is no time to adapt, there will be no grace period. The squad must find its feet quickly and Wenger has to work out a way to get the new players ticking and firing on all cylinders. We know they have it in them, we just need to see it sharpish.
A massive plus point is that we now have a work ethic in the side now. Arteta leads by example. That type of commitment is infectious. Can that subsidise for the glaring lack of quality? Quite possibly. For me, the fans will have a massive part to play in this transition period. We have to make sure we give them our full support at the games no matter how disgruntled we feel about the situation.
It feels like we’re moving into a different era with the club, we’re heading into a storm of season, I just hope we can weather it and come out the other side in tact.
- Szczesny 8
- Sagna 8
- Mertesacker 6
- Koscielny 7
- Gibbs 6
- Arteta 6
- Walcott 6
- Song 8.5
- Benayoun 6
- Van Persie 6.5
- Gervinho 7