Lewandowski’s late goal stuns Arsenal in Champions League
PUBLISHED: 21:40 22 October 2013 | UPDATED: 08:05 23 October 2013
Champions League Group F: Arsenal 1 Borussia Dortmund 2
Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski struck a late Champions League winner that sentenced Arsenal to their first defeat since the opening day of the season.
The Gunners had fought back after a shaky start to Tuesday’s tie at the Emirates, with Olivier Giroud scoring just before half-time to cancel out Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s 16th-minute opener.
But Polish international Lewandowski netted eight minutes from time to secure all three points for last year’s Champions League runners-up – and blow Group F wide open.
Arsenal looked tentative in the early stages, giving the ball away and failing to close Dortmund down, with Marco Reus thumping a drive wide from the edge of the box.
The visitors went ahead when Reus caught Aaron Ramsey in possession and quickly found Lewandowski, who teed up Mkhitaryan to slot past the exposed Wojciech Szczesny.
While there were half-chances for Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, frustration crept in as the Gunners laboured in vain to pierce Dortmund’s defence.
There were only seven minutes left in the first half when Arsenal finally created a chance worthy of the description, with Giroud’s cross cleared as far as Tomas Rosicky, whose left-foot drive was scrambled off the line by Mats Hummels.
But an error from Hummels led to the equaliser soon afterwards, with the defender lunging in to reach Bacary Sagna’s measured cross and setting up the ball perfectly for Giroud to slam into the unguarded net.
The goal lifted the Gunners and, with Mesut Ozil finally beginning to see more of the ball, they visibly grew in confidence as the second half got under way.
Dortmund might have regained the lead when Mkharityan set up Kevin Grosskreutz, who should have produced something better than the tame effort he steered at Szczesny.
The introduction of Santi Cazorla revitalised Arsenal, with the Spanish playmaker getting involved in most of their best moves, and he almost put them ahead 20 minutes from time.
The Gunners made ground on the right and Ramsey slid a pass through to Ozil, who cut it back for Cazorla and his curling first-time shot clipped the woodwork.
Arsenal looked the more likely to carve out a winner – but they were caught on the break eight minutes from time as Grosskreutz got away on the right and whipped over a cross for the unmarked Lewandowski to volley past Szczesny.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Ramsey (Bendtner 86), Arteta; Wilshere (Cazorla 59), Ozil, Rosicky (Gnabry 89); Giroud.