Borussia Dortmund 2 Arsenal 0
( Immobile 45, Aubameyang 48 )

It may have been one of the most abject Arsenal performances in Europe. What transpired to be a fitter, leaner and meaner Borussia Dortmund comfortably saw off the Gunners in their Champions League Group D opener in Germany, and it would be no exaggeration in claiming that Dortmund could have struck half a dozen goals in the match, Arsenal we’re that poor. Ciro Immobile and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck either side of the break, and Arsenal never recovered. Former Arsenal player and now TV pundit Charlie. Nicholas described his former club’s performance as ” pathetic,” before revaluing that he was actually being kind with that remark.

Going into the tie, and after injuries had forced the absence of Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and Nacho Monreal, Arsene Wenger was forced to give 19 year old Hector Bellerin his debut on the big European stage, and Dortmund wasted no time in exploiting the inexperience of the young right back. Immobile, Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan had looked lively from the off. When Immobile was allowed to run unchallenged at the Gunners’ rearguard, his thumping low drive was too good for Wojciech Szczesny to give the home side the lead on the stroke of half time. The Italian was the beneficiary of a lucky bobble, but other that that he was afforded too much time.

Crucially, and with the scores at 0-0, Arsenal should have opened the scoring after Aaron Ramsey found Danny Welbeck with a neat pass, and as Weidenfeller came out, Welbeck slotted the ball past the German keeper, but also just wide of his upright. The England striker would have another chance in the second half after strong hold up play and a turn, but again the finishing was not his best

The Bundesliga side were asked to press Arsenal all over the pitch and at every opportunity. If the Gunners’ defence was lacking, sadly, so too was the midfield. Mesut Özil, Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and Alexis Sanchez endured a night they’ll want to forget in a hurry.

Özil remains an enigma and you cannot have your big name players going missing on such nights. Struggling to find any positives, but Szczesny did well to keep the scoreline at only 2-0, and leaving the Arsenal manager reflecting on possibly his worst European night in 17 consecutive seasons.

Wenger said ” Congratulations to Dortmund, they were the better team. We had a disappointing performance and the victory is normal. Still the paradox of the night is we had very good chances to to score first that didn’t go for us and went for them. We were caught on two counter-attacks on 45 and 48 minutes and that was very difficult.

” They were better and stronger than us in midfield, I agree with that. But it’s very difficult on the night to go into any individual assessment of any players because as a team we were not at the requested level.”

Any crumb of comfort for Wenger may lie in the fact that this is the opening game and although his side are bottom and without any points, Anderlecht and Galatasaray’s 1-1 draw makes the overall picture a little less of a worry. Wenger knows that he will have to get into the heads of his senior players to drum home what is required. You simply cannot have an off night otherwise more opponents will simply pick off any deficiencies.