In terms of the line-up Arsenal made three changes, two of which were forced. Debuchy and Monreal were both out with injury whilst Chambers had tonsillitis. Defence was the place we didn't want any injuries and being Arsenal that is of course the area we now seriously lack in. Debuchy's injury and Chambers not being 100% meant Bellerin came in for his first start whilst Gibbs returned at left back. The other change saw Arteta come in for Flamini.
|It was a bad day at the office for Arsenal who were wearing their new blue kit for the first time|
Many a pundit recently has picked up on our inability to change our game when we come up against the big teams. It appears as though we approach every game with the same game plan and so far this season 4-1-4-1 just simply hasn't worked whatsoever. Our full-backs bombing forward seem to be the main issue at the moment, but that wouldn't be an issue if we had an enforcer in the middle of the park. Whether Wenger tells the full-backs to effectively play as wingers or whether they chose to do it themselves remains an unanswered question but our centre-backs are being left with no cover. Last season we got opened up against the big teams on the counter attack and against City and Dortmund it's been no different.
That was evident with the goal Ciro Immobile opened the scoring with yesterday. He exploited the gap in midfield and drove into the space where the left back should be. Although he perhaps got a little lucky with a touch to take him away from Koscielny he still provided a confident finish. The second goal meanwhile was a ball in behind and after Szczesny came racing out of his goal, Aubameyang stole in to fire into an empty net.
It was an extremely poor defensive performance which wasn't helped by Mikel Arteta's inability to keep the ball in midfield. Our new skipper is definitely not the answer to our defensive midfield woes and at the moment I'm finding it difficult to find a solution to that role. It amazes me how we failed to sign a player in that position despite having the funds available. Flamini, despite being a bully in midfield isn't the type of player that we're looking for to break up play and move it on throughout the different phases. Until that problem is addressed I can't see Arsenal doing particularly well in the big games, which comes as no surprise really.
On a more mundane level Hector Bellerin had an average game on his first start for the club. His attacking play was good but he looked a little vulnerable defensively, an area which I've already touched on.
Despite Dortmund's dominance throughout the game, Arsenal did have chances in the game and all of them seemed to fall to Danny Welbeck. Despite the fact that Dortmund probably should've won the game by a much bigger margin we did have our chances. In the first half Welbeck dragged a similar chance to the one he had against City wide, before in the second half blazing a chance over the bar after turning nicely past Sokratis. It's difficult to judge him after two tough games and I'm sure he'll improve but from first sightings he does look as though he needs to improve his composure, something that was picked up on during his spell at Man United.
The players will need to get this result out of their system quickly and move on and hopefully put in a much different performance next time out. Arsenal will be looking for their first win in four matches on Saturday as they travel to the Midlands to face a high flying Aston Villa side.
The team's line-ups:
Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Durm, Subotic, Sokratis, Schmelzer(79), Kehl(45), Bender, Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Grosskreutz, Immobile(85).
Subs: Langerak, Bandowski, Ginter(45), Amini, Jojic(79), Kagawa, Ramos(85).
Arsenal: Szczesny, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta(77), Ozil(61), Ramsey(61), Wilshere, Sanchez, Welbeck.
Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain(61), Rosicky, Cazorla(61), Campbell, Podolski(77).
Referee: Olegario Benquerenca.