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Lewandowski strikes as Dortmund down Arsenal

Published: Tuesday 22 October 2013, 22.45CET
Arsenal FC 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
Robert Lewandowski scored with eight minutes to go to end Arsenal's perfect record and leave Group F wide open.
by Michael Harrold
from Arsenal Stadium

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Published: Tuesday 22 October 2013, 22.45CET

Lewandowski strikes as Dortmund down Arsenal

Arsenal FC 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
Robert Lewandowski scored with eight minutes to go to end Arsenal's perfect record and leave Group F wide open.

Robert Lewandowski scored with eight minutes to play to earn Borussia Dortmund a 2-1 success against Arsenal FC and leave UEFA Champions League Group F wide open.

Arsenal had seemed good value for a point after a strong second-half performance, but as they pressed for a winner they were hit on the break, Lewandowski sweeping in Marcel Schmelzer's deep cross from the right to clinch victory after Henrikh Mkhitaryan's early opener had been cancelled out by Olivier Giroud's 41st-minute strike. With SSC Napoli beating Olympique de Marseille, the Serie A side, Dortmund and Arsenal are all tied on six points as the Gunners go to Germany in a fortnight.

Arsenal had started at a blistering pace in their matchday two triumph against Napoli, but this time they were forced back in the opening stages and Dortmund's high pressing game soon claimed its reward. On 16 minutes Marcus Reus dispossessed Aaron Ramsey on the edge of his own area and the ball broke to Lewandowski, who rolled it into the path of Mkhitaryan to fire low beyond Wojciech Szczęsny.

Dortmund, back in London for the first time since their UEFA Champions League final defeat in May, looked slick and confident and with Arsenal given no time to settle, home chances were few, even if they gradually began to have more possession. Dortmund remained threatening on the break, Szczęsny saving from Reus low to his left on 35 minutes, but Arsenal were getting closer.

On 38 minutes Tomáš Rosický’s strike from the edge of the box was hacked off the line by Mats Hummels. Then, when Neven Subotić and Roman Weidenfeller got into an uncharacteristic tangle trying to clear Bacary Sagna's cross from the right four minutes from the interval, Giroud gratefully pounced to fire in the loose ball. On Arsène Wenger's 64th birthday, Arsenal finally had cause for celebration.

The second period followed a similar path to the first, with Dortmund initially in the ascendancy. Arsenal improved as the half progressed, with Mikel Arteta influential in wresting the momentum their way. Mesut Özil, hitherto quiet, sprang to life on the right and he squared the ball to Santi Cazorla – on for the injured Jack Wilshere – to smash a shot against the bar on 69 minutes.

As Arsenal pressed, though, they left themselves open to the counter, and Schmelzer ensured Lewandowski took full advantage as the clock ticked down.

Last updated: 03/12/13 20.15CET

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