Mikel Arteta is certain Arsenal can still progress to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League after a 2-1 defeat against Borussia Dortmund saw them move into a three-way tie at the top of Group F.
The Gunners looked to have weathered the storm at the Emirates when Olivier Giroud cancelled out Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s opener for the German side, but Robert Lewandowski’s late strike ensured Jurgen Klopp’s men went home with all three points.
The Spaniard admits Arsene Wenger’s men are in a tough group, but he does not believe that Tuesday night’s defeat will derail their campaign.
Speaking to the Arsenal official website, he said:
We’re still capable of going through but we’re really disappointed with the way we lost the game.
It’s going to be tough [to qualify], we knew it was probably the toughest group in the Champions League. We don’t think any differently now.
I think we deserved better. We did the hardest bit, to score the goal just before half-time. It was when we had control of the game and created the best chances when we just got caught on the counter-attack. That was disappointing.
I don’t think we chased the game too much, we just gave the ball away at the edge of the box. We know that they are a very good side on the counter-attack and I think we had kept them really quiet, but we conceded the chance and they scored.
Arsenal’s impressive 12 match unbeaten run came to an abrupt end as the Gunners were beaten at home by Borussia Dortmund in a crucial Champions League match. The Gunners performance was unconvincing and uncharacteristically sluggish from the start. We were poor in the first half except for the 10 min spell at the end which eventually led to the Giroud goal.
The 2nd half performance was also poor until Cazorla was introduced as the change brought some fluidity to the attack and the Gunners dominated for a while but eventually fell to a counter attack. They’re a top quality side, so losing to them isn’t that bad but still I thought they were a bit over confident going forward although it is hard to blame them for having a go.
The loss means that the group is wide open now; Napoli and Dortmund are also on 6 points after the Italians beat Marseille. That makes our life a bit more difficult, but then it was never going to be a easy task going through this group. We’ll have to get something from at least one of the away games and look to smash Marseille when they come to London. We play Crystal Palace away this weekend, so getting back to winning ways will hopefully not be too hard.
Can Arsenal top their group? Share your thoughts in the comments below.