Borussia Dortmund 0 Arsenal 1: Player Ratings
Arsenal travelled to Dortmund and nicked all three points and put themselves in a strong position to qualify for the next round.
It was a memorable night; a solid defensive display against one of Europe’s elite teams.
The first half was difficult and Arsenal had trouble creating any chances at the Dortmund end. Dortmund were creating a number of half chances, but narrow misses and two outstanding saves from Szczesny kept the score even at halftime.
Gradually Arsenal started to come to life in the second half as Dortmund began to tire. The Gunners still had to maintain their concentration as Dortmund still looked threatening coming forward.
Then the heavens parted and Arsenal created a chance, an Ozil cross, a Giroud deflected header across the goal, and a lunging header by Ramsey into the goal. How sweat! How magical!
From that point on Arsenal seemed rejuvenated and Dortmund deflated. The Gunners created several good chances, while Dortmund were reduced to floating headers into the box. The Arsenal defence dealt with all of them and saw out the win.
Szczesny 8. Two excellent saves in the first half kept the Gunners in the game. He had a quieter second half, but had to stay alert and aware.
Sagna 7. Another good game from Bacary. He wasn’t as effective going forward as in the past, but he was strong at the back and kept his flank quiet.
Mertesacker 9. Man of the match. He was strong in the air, he made a number of timely interventions which snuffed out Dortmund attacks. He rallied the defence and was even able to get forward for a number of set pieces, one header of his narrowly going over the top of the crossbar.
Koscielny 8. Laurent had an excellent game and was able to make a number of key tackles and interceptions during the game. He took quite a pounding from the Dortmund keeper, but he soldiered on to the end.
Gibbs 7. It was good to see Kieran return to the lineup and shaking off his injury. Gibbs had a busy time defending his flank and the Dortmund players often crowded him to win possession back. Despite this he still managed to play well.
Arteta 7. Mikel had a good game, but his rash challenge early in the game meant he had to be careful not to get a second yellow. On a couple of occasions he appeared to be flirting with dismissal. His lack of pace was exposed several times as well, but despite the negatives he put in a solid performance with a lot of grit.
Ramsey 9. A close second in the man of the match sweepstakes. Aaron scored the winning goal, something he is making a habit these days. He ran and ran and worked and worked.
Cazorla 7. Santi did not have a great game, but he worked hard and did his best to get back and play defence.
Rosicky 8. Tomas was super, his work rate splendid, his chasing opponents relentless and he was always willing to throw his body into challenges.
Ozil 7. Mesut was crowded out in the first half, but he became more and more influential as the game proceeded. His cross started the move which scored the only goal in the game.
Giroud 7. Hard working with little service at times, Giroud still makes a difference. He set up Ramsey’s goal, another assist from the centre forward we cannot afford to lose.
Monreal 6. Nacho played the last twenty or so minutes and helped to provide defence.
Bendtner n/a. Brought on to waste time at the end of the game.
Vermaelen n/a. Same as Bendtner.
Source: Arsenal World
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