Juventus jersey 2015 but it was Arsenal who remained
27 November, 2014 at 7:30 am in Services
Arsenal Wholesale Manchester United jersey cruised through to the knockout stages of the Champions League for the 15th season on the spin with a comfortable victory over the Group D leaders, bringing some calm after the recent storm clouds over Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal's manager has found himself criticised from within the club by shareholder Alisher Usmanov, but he will take quiet pride from a positive performance, a clean sheet and the identity of the two scorers, Yaya Sanogo and Alexis Sanchez, reflecting his desire to develop quality as well as buy it. Many problems remain at the club, and with element of Wenger's philosophy, but this was a good night for him.
The only negatives were a hamstring injury for Sanogo and the failure to score a third goal which would have opened up more chances of finishing top, so avoiding the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. As it stands, a draw for Dortmund at home to Anderlecht on Dec 9 guarantees them top spot even if Arsenal prevail in Istanbul against Galatasaray, leaving both with 13 points. With both games between the sides ending 2-0, Dortmund's vastly superior goal difference gives them the edge.
From the kick-off, Arsenal had shown a greater urgency than of late, pressing hard for the ball, not letting Dortmund settle, seizing the lead in the second minute through Sanogo. The French Under-21 international has divided opinion amongst the Arsenal faithful, some pondering exactly what Wenger sees in him but he totally vindicated the manager's selection here.
Sanogo's previous appearances had been a mix of the promising and profligate. Yet he responded positively to Wenger's decision to start him ahead of Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell in the absence of the injured Danny Welbeck and ineligible Olivier Giroud.
Sanogo was the beneficiary of far more assertive football from Wenger's side, the players pressing hard, opening up space amid the black-and-yellow ramparts throughout, something Sanchez exploited in the second half. Arsenal's captain, Mikel Arteta, revealed Manchester City home jersey that the players held a meeting to discuss how to prevent the type of counter-attacking goals they conceded against Manchester United at the weekend.
The gist of Arteta's message was that individuals needed to take more responsibility, and his team-mates immediately turned words into actions. Nobody hid against the Group D leaders. The likes of Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sanchez were particularly good.
Sanogo, too. As many home fans were still filing in, Arsenal penned Dortmund deep, winning a throw-in. As Aaron Ramsey made a run down the line, dragging two Dortmund players away, Calum Chambers threw the ball towards Sanogo, who had his back to goal and was being closely attended by Sven Bender and Matthias Ginter. He juggled the ball twice before back-heeling it to Santi Cazorla, turning and waiting for the return.
Cazorla responded with typical dexterity under pressure, stroking the ball to Sanogo, who had found a yard of space. Dortmund, particularly Ginter, appealed for offside as Sanogo controlled the ball deftly with his right foot and then sent it sliding between the legs of Roman Weidenfeller. He sped towards the jubilant Arsenal fans, leaning over the hoardings and sharing their embrace. Wenger watched from afar, a smile lighting up his face.
Sanogo was almost unplayable in the early stages. Neven Subotic and Ginter did not know what had hit them. Sanogo sprinted through again, checking back on entering the box and eventually seeing his shot blocked by Ginter.
Arsenal were hungrily hunting a second. Sanchez so troubled Ginter that the centre-half was relieved to concede a corner. Such was Sanchez's menace that Subotic was then booked for fouling the Chilean. Over on the right, Oxlade-Chamberlain was a constant threat, linking well with Chambers. This was admirable, buoyant stuff from Arsenal, resilient football well received by their fans, an antidote to the naivety that cost them against United. For all their Bundesliga travails, Dortmund have been imperious in Europe, conceding only once in the previous six hours in their four Group D wins. As Arteta indicated, Arsenal were aware of Wholesale Real Madrid jersey their vulnerability on the counter. Gibbs shone defensively as well as attacking.
Arteta kept rallying his players. He did take his own demand for them to stand up and be counted to excessive lengths, being booked for a foul on Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Arsenal were imposing themselves. Cazorla elegantly deceived Ciro Immobile, whipping in a cross that so nearly reached Per Mertesacker. Arsenal continued to lift their fans. Sanogo was holding the ball up well. Ramsey was more like the player of old, making occasional charges forward. Gibbs went flying down the wing until held back by Lukasz Piszczek, who was cautioned.
Yet Dortmund were occasionally a threat, sometimes producing some of the flowing football they have become famous for under Klopp. Piszczek headed the ball across for Mkhitaryan to nip in ahead of Arteta, bringing a good save from the 22-year-old Argentine Emiliano Martinez, who was deputising for the injured Wojciech Szczesny, and David Ospina.
Klopp's side started the second period strongly in control. Sanchez dribbled away from Ginter and unleashed a low shot that Weidenfeller did brilliantly to push round the post. Oxlade-Chamberlain teed the ball up and then let fly with a half-volley that clipped the crossbar.
Arsenal were getting closer to a second which duly arrived after 57 minutes. Cazorla darted through the middle, and angled the ball left to Sanchez. Arsenal's pounds 30?million summer signing from Barcelona stepped inside and curled an exquisite
20-yard shot past Weidenfeller.
The focus now turned to whether Arsenal could claim a third goal. Their first scorer, Sanogo, then indicated to the bench that he had to come off and started feeling his left hamstring. Podolski duly replaced him, the charismatic German running on to a deafening roar from the Arsenal fans. Martinez then dropped down low to clutch Ilkay Gundogan's shot.
Having been caught out in recent games, Arsenal closed the game off. But bigger tests lie ahead.