The first half was one to forget. It was painful to watch. We could not keep the ball. Koscielny, Gibbs and Song were the main culprits. Dortmund controlled the first 30 minutes, but it was Arsenal who had the first real opportunity of the game. Gervinho was through on goal, and was only denied by a fantastic last ditch tackle. Dortmund had a chance of their own soon after. After some poor defending, the Dortmund player had got past Szczesny, only to see his effort saved off the line by Sagna. I thought we were about to concede. We were playing very poorly. Theo was anonymous for most of the half up until he assisted RVP’s opener. It was a quality through ball through to our captain who was composed enough to finish it with his right foot. To be honest, we did not deserve to be leading at half time.
We were better in the second half. We defended better and Koscielny and Song kept the ball much better. But we still failed to control the match. However, given that we were away to the German champions with an under-strength side, we couldn’t have expected much better. The game was being played in our half, and it was frustrating to watch. By the 70th minute, it was clear that we were trying to hang on to our 1-0 lead. We did, however, have a few good moments where Gervinho or RVP got the ball and showed their quality. Szczesny was confident and at times it looked like he would keep us in the game. It looked as though we would manage to scrape a 1-0 win. And what a win it would have been. Unfortunately for us, Song conceded a needless freekick in our half. Although we managed to clear the first delivery well, there was nothing anyone could do about the second ball. It was a beautiful strike that no keeper in the world would have been able to save.
What does 1-1 mean though?
Away from home in the champions league against the German champions is a difficult match. It would have been a fantastic result if we had managed to get 3 points. But a draw is not the end of the world. It means that if we can win our home games and get at least a point in our remaining away games, we will most probably qualify first in our group. It is the nature of the draw that is not easy to take. The team needs a morale boost, and conceding a late goal like we did is not going to help things.
Player ratings to follow.