Borussia Dortmund (0) – (1) Arsenal
Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Who else would score the all important goal?
Aaron Ramsey is in absolutely sensational form and tonight, Arsenal showed heart, grit and determination against for me, one of the best sides in Europe.
For large portions of the game, Dortmund were excellent. They pressed high, attacked in numbers and the sheer organisation and way they go forwards is one scary sight. Arsenal however were resilient and excellent at the back.
It was a real team performance and for the first hour, it was Dortmund who had most of the possession. Arsenal sat deep and for all their possession the home side only really made one clear cut chance and a few half chances. Robert Lewandowski was lively and looked a threat every time he got the ball.
If Arsenal were hit by a sucker punch by Dortmund at The Emirates, then Arsenal did one better on the hour mark. After absorbing all of the pressure from the home side, Arsenal broke and with some purpose. Mesut Özil, who was on the periphery, found Olivier Giroud with a chipped cross. The ball dropped to Aaron Ramsey who was fearless and threw himself at the ball (almost getting a kick to the face) and headed in the opening goal.
A huge goal at a huge moment. I was stunned buy was jumping around like a mad man.
So there we were – half an hour left to play and we had a one goal lead. If that wasn’t dramatic enough, what followed was unbelievable.
For the first time in the game, Borussia Dortmund were on the ropes and Arsenal sensed an opportunity and had 3 real chances to double their lead. Giroud found that man Ramsey with a beautifully floated cross and the Welshman, brimming with confidence, coolly chested the ball down and lashed a fizzing shot at goal. Weidenfeller got fortunate as the ball bounced off the inside of his leg and just wide.
From the resulting corner, Giroud had a chance cleared of the line and moments later a great cross from Santi Cazorla almost, almost found Per Mertesacker who was so close to connecting with his head and scoring.
Borussia Dortmund were then throwing men forward and the game opened up. They had a few half chances but the Arsenal defended in numbers and were outstanding.
In the end, Arsenal produced the perfect performance – controlled and attacked at the right times. If we wondered if the team had learnt anything from the first game at The Emirates, then after tonight there was no doubt whatsoever.
What we are witnessing here is a special, special team.