Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dortmund 1-1 Arse

As long as Arsenal can do their business at the Emirates- which has ceased to be a comfortable home- a draw in Dortmund should eventually be looked back on as a positive result.

Given Arsenal's recent troubles, it can already be viewed that way, but the feel good factor is lessened by the fact that the German side's equaliser came so late, after Arsenal had worked hard to cling to Robin Van Pesie's opener.

Overall, however, a draw was a deserved result for the home team. Arsenal could have no complaints. Again, the Gunners failed to find any real groove.

They did gain a lead, close to half time. As against Swansea, the goal stemmed from opposition sloppiness. A casual, underhit pass across the Dortmund back four was seized upon by the alert Van Persie, who slid into nudge the ball to Walcott. This time, the mistake left Arsenal with a bit more to do than aim the ball into an unguarded net, and what they had to do they did very well. Walcott played an unusually incisive through ball with his left foot. It was perfctly weighted for Van Persie, who smashed home impressively with his trusty "chocolate leg".

Arsenal failed to build on that and found themselves under the cosh for much of the second half. Still, this had the look of a difficult trip- would have been difficult even without the negative atmosphere around Arsenal at the moment- and so Arsenal's resilience is a good sign.

They came close to holding out for the 1-0, but were denied by a very late equaliser. Gibbs headed a free kick away, but only to the edge of the box, and Perisic struck a first time volley that dipped into the top corner, leaving Szczesny standing. While it initialy looked a wonder goal, I think there was a slight but crucial deflection off Benayoun.

After that there was time for another Dortmund chance, but Szczesny came to the rescue. His form has been the single biggest plus point of the season so far. There are so many problems on and off the pitch, so it is a relief that one of the longest standing issues- the lack of a top class goalkeeper- appears to have been solved.

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