Ramsey scores again as Arsenal clinch shock win in Dortmund
PUBLISHED: 21:44 06 November 2013 | UPDATED: 09:13 07 November 2013
Champions League: Borussia Dortmund 0 Arsenal 1
Goal machine Aaron Ramsey came up with the goods again as Arsenal stunned Dortmund to boost their hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout stages.
The Gunners had to weather the storm for over an hour before Ramsey headed in his 11th goal of the season to inflict a rare home defeat on last year’s European runners-up.
That result took Arsenal three points ahead of Dortmund in Group F – and they could secure qualification in their next game, at home to whipping boys Marseille later this month.
With Dortmund pressing hard in the middle of the park, the visitors struggled to keep possession early on and rarely ventured anywhere near their opponents’ goal.
They were indebted to the performance of Per Mertesacker, who foiled breaks from both Robert Lewandowski and Marco Reus – although, for all their attacking threat, Dortmund failed to test Wojciech Szczesny at all in the first half.
Neven Subotic bundled a chance wide from close range after Ramsey’s headed clearance went astray, while Jakub Blaszczykowski’s volley also sailed past the post.
Dortmund’s best opportunity to break the deadlock came eight minutes before half-time, when Blaszczykowski sped clear and squared the ball to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but he stabbed wide with just Szczesny to beat.
But the home side piled on the pressure at the start of the second period and Szczesny was called into action to push a header from Reus behind.
The offside flag twice came to Arsenal’s rescue – but, just when a home goal seemed inevitable, the Gunners snatched the lead with their first genuine attack in the 62nd minute.
Mesut Ozil delivered a measured cross for Olivier Giroud, who helped it on and Ramsey threw himself in for a header that Roman Weidenfeller could not stop from crossing the line.
Arsenal almost doubled their lead minutes later when Giroud picked out Ramsey again and, although Weidenfeller turned his effort behind, the resulting corner led to Nuri Sahin clearing off the line from Giroud.
With the shackles off, the visitors began to stroke the ball around with increased confidence and Mertesacker went close to making it 2-0 with a header that looped over Weidenfeller but fell onto the roof of the net.
And, although Lewandowski went close with a late header over the bar, Dortmund were unable to find a way back as Arsenal held on to avenge last month’s home defeat at the Germans’ hands.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Ramsey, Arteta; Rosicky (Vermaelen 90), Ozil, Cazorla (Monreal 75); Giroud (Bendtner 90).
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