Dortmund dominates Arsenal in Champions League victory
DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Borussia Dortmund strikers Ciro Immobile and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored either side of halftime to give their side a 2-0 with over Arsenal on Tuesday, kick-starting the German side's Champions League campaign in Group D.
Immobile, signed from Torino in the offseason, sprinted almost half the length of the pitch and held off Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny before dispatching a low shot inside the far post just before the break.
"I'm very happy to score, that we won, because it hasn't been easy for me to settle into the Bundesliga. I'm happy that I was able to make my teammates happy," Immobile said.
Aubameyang scored three minutes into the second half after a brilliant chip over the defense from Kevin Grosskreutz, whose clearance led to Immobile's opener. Aubameyang stumbled initially, but recovered to take the ball past Arsenal 'keeper Wojciech Szczesny and guide it past the flailing Mikel Arteta on the line.
It was Dortmund's first home win over Arsenal — the sides have met three times in four seasons — since a 2-1 win in October 2002, and it atoned for last season's 1-0 home loss to the Gunners.
In the other Group D game, Burak Yilmaz scored in injury time to salvage a 1-1 draw for Galatasaray at home to Anderlecht.
Despite dealing with a host of injuries — Shinji Kagawa stayed on the bench and Dortmund was without attacking midfielder Marco Reus, midfielders Jakub Blaszczykowski, Ilkay Gundogan and Nuri Sahin, as well as defenders Lukasz Piszczek, Mats Hummels and Oliver Kirch — the home side dominated the game and missed a host of opportunities to increase the score.
"It's not important," Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said when asked if the result flattered Arsenal. "We had more chances; Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan and Szczesny made a great save. But it's not important. 2-0 is a perfect result for us."
Dortmund forced four corners inside the opening 13 minutes and Szczesny had to make a number of saves in the first half, when the visitors were restricted to two good chances for former Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck.
"Congratulations to Dortmund, they were a better team. We had a disappointing performance tonight. Still, the paradox for us is that we had the opportunity to open the scoring," Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said.
Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who claimed a penalty in the fifth minute after going down under Arteta's challenge only to be booked for diving, blazed over under pressure from Jack Wilshere.
Immobile's breakthrough was a relief when it came and Aubameyang's second goal blew away any of the home side's inhibitions.
Szczesny pulled off a flying save to deny Immobile another, Aubameyang struck the crossbar and then nearly made Szczesny pay for a poor first touch in the 72nd, one minute before Mkhitaryan missed another great opportunity.
"It was a great team performance and deserved win," said Dortmund midfielder Sebastian Kehl, who went off at the break with a groin problem. "We were almost perfect."
Arsenal substitute Lukas Podolski lamented his side's poor performance.
"We have to play with a broad chest. We're Arsenal and that's how we have to go. We didn't do that today," the German forward said.