A late strike from Robert Lewandowski helped Bourssia Dortmund to a 2-1 win against Arsenal at the Emirates in their Group F encounter.
The German runner ups in last season’s competition took the lead through Mkhitaryan in the first half before Olivier Giroud levelled for the Gunners.
But the second half was dominated by Lewandowski. After what TV Replays showed to be an elbow in Laurent Koscielny face; the striker scored the vital winner in front of the travelling fans to put Dortmund level on points along with Arsenal and also Napoli with six points, after the Italian club defeated Marseille 2-1 in France.
This was always going to be a closely fought contest. Arsenal sat top of the Premier League and Bourssia Dortmund sat second in the Bundesliga, a point behind leaders Bayern Munich. Arsenal were top of Group F at the start of play with two wins out of two, Dortmund were second place, with a defeat in their opening match in Naples (a game which saw Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp given a two game touchline ban) and a win in the last round of fixtures at home to Marseille.
Arsenal started the game with sloppy possession, they took time to get going, and there woeful passing got its just rewards as they fell behind to a nicely place finish from Mkhitaryan. The Gunners then started to find their flare with chances falling constantly to the home side. They got their equaliser four minutes from Half time as a mix up at the back from the visitors allowed Giroud to smash home the leveller from no more than 2 yards.
The introduction of Santi Cazola in the second half made Arsenal more of a threat in the second forty five minutes and the little Spaniard nearly put the Gunners in front with twenty minutes to go after he smashed Mesut Ozil’s pull back against the bar but just as Arsenal pushed forward for the goal to put them in front, Dortmund threw a sucker punch by re-taking the lead and winning the game.
Group F was deemed the group of death at the start of the campaign and after three matches, the three main clubs looking to advance out of the group are level on points. For Arsenal, the competition has got tougher as they must travel to Dortmund and Naples in the coming months. It’s going to go down to the wire in this group and I can’t wait to see which way the pendulum of qualification swings towards.