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Song wager helps ease Arsenal through

Published: Thursday 24 November 2011, 8.34CET
A pre-match pledge to team-mate André Santos inspired Alex Song to set up Arsenal FC's opener in the 2-1 win against Borussia Dortmund which sealed top billing in Group F.
by Trevor Haylett
from Arsenal Stadium
Published: Thursday 24 November 2011, 8.34CET

Song wager helps ease Arsenal through

A pre-match pledge to team-mate André Santos inspired Alex Song to set up Arsenal FC's opener in the 2-1 win against Borussia Dortmund which sealed top billing in Group F.

Arsenal FC's Alex Song played down his superb dribble and chip that set up Robin van Persie for Arsenal FC's opening goal in the 2-1 UEFA Champions League Group F victory against Borussia Dortmund in London, which sealed progress and seeding as section winners. Dortmund are now fourth and Mats Hummels and Felipe Santana told UEFA.com that first-half injuries to Mario Götze and Sven Bender had seriously hampered their cause.

Before the game I said to André [Santos]: "Tonight I will score or I will give an assist." And he said: "No chance."
Alex Song
Arsenal had the fortune to have two individual moments that were enough to win the game
Felipe Santana

Alex Song, Arsenal midfielder
I had the opportunity, when I saw the space, and I just wanted to take it. I did well and crossed the ball to Robin and he finished well. I'm very happy. Robin is a fantastic player and when he has the opportunity to score, he scores every time. In my job, I just try to give him the ball every time.

What's important is not what I did, it's what the what team did. We had a good result. Before the game I said to André [Santos]: "Tonight I will score or I will give an assist." And he said: "No chance." It was that sort of challenge you give each other before a game. Last season we dropped some points and we had a hard game against Barcelona – it's always very good to finish top because when you're second you pick up the big teams.

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal midfielder
It's fantastic for us, with one game to go. We didn't want to go [to Olympiacos FC on 6 December] needing to win because we knew it was going to be really tough. We knew how it important it was tonight against a really tough side, who put you in trouble and press you really, really hard – and we've done the business.

We are really happy. I think we are improving every game. If you talk about two months ago and the situation at the moment, we're much improved. We're playing with more confidence and we're more solid, we keep scoring goals and hopefully we can keep on a good run.

Mats Hummels, Dortmund defender
Of course we're not happy with the score. We had a very good start to the game, some very good situations and good chances. Then Arsenal got better, got more control of the game, got more control of the ball. We went on defending well and they didn't have many chances in the first half. But then they got a really good goal at the beginning of the second half, and for us it was really difficult to come back. And we didn't manage it because they scored five minutes before the finish.

Of course, it was a problem losing Sven and Mario. They are really good players and they're always in our team. Mario is one of the best offensive players we have – and in the Bundesliga. But that wasn't the final reason for losing the game.

Felipe Santana, Dortmund defender
It was a game we always knew would be difficult. The team knew we had to come and try and win, but Arsenal had the fortune to have two individual moments that were enough to win the game. We have to win our final match [against Olympique de Marseille] and hope Olympiacos lose, but until we have a 0% chance we have to keep trying.

Mario Götze and Sven Bender are very important players for our team and it was unfortunate that they were injured, but we have good players on the bench to take their places. Life goes on, and now we have the derby with Schalke and we have to win.

Last updated: 26/09/14 2.21CET

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