BORUSSIA DORTMUND 2 ARSENAL 0
ANGRY Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger slammed his side’s abject performance as they got their Champions League campaign off to a losing start.
Ciro Immobile and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck either side of half-time to earn Dortmund the points, though the margin of victory could have been far greater with the Germans registering 24 efforts at goal.
The night got worse for Gunners fans with news midfielder Jack Wilshere had injured his troublesome ankle. But Wenger’s immediate concern was his team’s failure to cope with their hosts.
“We were not at the required level,” said the Arsenal boss.
“They deserved the win. But despite a very average performance we created a number of chances and could have been leading the game.
“Danny Welbeck was dangerous. He tired in the second half. He couldn’t finish but looked clever and he needs a goal to get that off his shoulders.
“But on the night it is difficult to go into an individual assessment of any player because as a team we were not at the required level.”
The Gunners were forced to include 19-year-old Hector Bellerin at right-back, with Mathieu Debuchy facing a three-month lay-off with an ankle injury, while former Southampton starlet Calum Chambers is suffering with tonsillitis.
And their backline were given the run around all night, as they struggled to cope with the speed with which Jurgen Klopp’s team were able to counter.
The breakthrough came on the stroke of half-time. Italy international Immobile sped forwards from inside his own half, sprinted wide of defender Laurent Koscielny and arrowed a low finish into the bottom corner.
And, just three minutes after the break, Aubameyang was inexplicably given acres of space on the edge of the Arsenal box to take down Kevin Grosskreutz’s pass and rounded goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny before applying the finish.