CL 2014: Ciro Immobile on target as Dortmund ease past Arsenal 2-0
Borussia Dortmund comfortably beat Arsenal 2-0 to launch their Champions League Group D campaign with a dominant performance that saw them overwhelm their error-prone opponents on Tuesday.
Dortmund: Borussia Dortmund comfortably beat Arsenal 2-0 to launch their Champions League Group D campaign with a dominant performance that saw them overwhelm their error-prone opponents on Tuesday.
Italian forward Ciro Immobile, who has yet to score in the league for Dortmund, gave the hosts a deserved lead on the stroke of halftime with a solo effort after the hosts controlled possession and set the pace for much of the first half.
Winger Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, who terrorised the Arsenal defence with his speed and also hit the post, added another goal after the break as the Germans, missing several players through injury, avenged last season`s home loss to the English side.
The win puts Dortmund in the driving seat in Group D on three points with Galatasaray and Anderlecht drawing 1-1 in Turkey in the other game in the section.
"We had a perfect game today and we could have scored a lot more goals tonight," said Dortmund`s Sebastian Kehl.
Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp had said before the game that his team would try to take possession of the ball and that is exactly what they did in a stormy start that kept the English side boxed in their own half. Defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos and last season`s Serie A top scorer Immobile had a couple of efforts that sailed wide before Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny denied Gabon international Aubameyang from close range.
Arsenal were running low on defenders, with the injured Mathieu Debuchy and left back Nacho Monreal staying behind and Calum Chambers on the bench but being treated for tonsilitis, so coach Arsene Wenger drafted in 19-year-old debutant Hector Bellerin to help stem the flow of Dortmund attacks.
Arsenal`s first real chance came after half an hour with Kieran Gibbs chipping the ball for Danny Welbeck in the box but the striker, who joined from Manchester United in the close season, failed to connect from close range. Welbeck missed their biggest first half opportunity in the 41st when he was sent through by Aaron Ramsey but fired wide with only keeper Roman Weidenfeller to beat. Dortmund were not that wasteful and Immobile, starting ahead of fellow Dortmund newcomer Adrian Ramos, completed a fine solo effort after shaking off Gibbs and Laurent Koscielny. The hosts picked up where they left off when Kevin Grosskreutz spilt open the Arsenal defence to send Aubameyang through to double their lead three minutes after the restart. Szczesny was kept busy early in the second half, palming a powerful Immobile drive over the bar. Aubameyang hit the bar in the 57th with the keeper beaten. Arsenal became more sloppy in defence, spilling the ball into the Dortmund players` path and Szczesny had to use all his skills inside and outside the box to keep the scoreline down.
"They played with a lot of pace up front," said Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta. "We could not cope with that and we gave the ball away to much. We had three or four very good chances but I think they were the better side tonight.
"We faced a top side in one of the most difficult stadiums to play in in Europe. After you go 1-0 down here it is very difficult. We didn`t perform well enough tonight."