Arsenal snatch 1-0 victory at Dortmund in Champions League

Reuters, Wednesday 6 Nov 2013

Arsenal move top in Group F after securing a 1-0 victory away to Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday

Arsenal's Ramsey scores against Borussia Dortmund during Champions League soccer match in Dortmund (Photo: Reuters)

An Aaron Ramsey header gave Arsenal an important 1-0 win at last season's runners-up Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday, allowing them to take control of Group F with two games left to play.

Arsenal, who avenged a 2-1 loss to Dortmund in London last month, bided their time for more than an hour in pouring rain, soaking up Dortmund attacks before striking with their first effort on goal.

The visitors scored against the run of play with Wales international Ramsey sneaking into the box to head home in the 62nd minute. The result lifts Arsenal to nine points from four games with Dortmund on six.

Dortmund, who until Wednesday had never lost at home to English opposition in seven contests, wasted half a dozen clear chances but failed to make their dominance count.

Both teams brought a solid track record to the game with Arsenal unbeaten for 14 games away from home and Dortmund having won eight out of eight at home this season, including the German Super Cup.

With coach Juergen Klopp back on the bench after a two-game suspension, the hosts took the initiative from the start but found little space to launch their trademark quick breaks.

The two sides cancelled each other out early on with a tactical waiting game in midfield.

It was fittingly a defender - Neven Subotic - who carved out Dortmund's first chance after 17 minutes, drilling his shot from a Sven Bender header just wide.

First effort

Jakub Blaszczykowski's volley sailed over the bar a little later and Henrikh Mkhitaryan's curling left-footed drive whizzed wide as the Germans upped the tempo a notch midway through the first half.

Arsenal worked hard to stifle German attacks but were toothless in attack with keeper Wojciech Szczesny called into action straight after the break, first saving a Marco Reus header and then denying Blaszczykowski once more.

The visitors struck with their first effort on goal when Olivier Giroud headed on a Mesut Ozil cross and Ramsey beat Subotic to the punch and nodded in from close range.

The goal was a turning point with Arsenal gaining in confidence and coming close twice more through Ramsey and Per Mertesacker as Dortmund gradually ran out of steam in their desperate search for an equaliser.

"Dortmund had more chances, that's true, but we kept them at bay pretty well," Mertesacker said. "We did not want to be overrun by them as had happened in London and then just wait for the break. That is what made the difference."

Subotic said he still believed Dortmund had been the better team, despite the result.

"I think we were the better side and the stats will prove that," he said. "We had more chances than them. In the first half they had no shot on goal whereas we missed a good few chances.

"We were ineffective, we had enough chances at least for one goal. It would have changed the game. We know what we can do and we know we can do it. I trust in the team but it did not work today."

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