Arsenal 3 Anderlecht 3
( Arteta 25, pen Sanchez 29, Oxlade- Chamberlain 58, Vanden Borre 61, 73, pen Mitrovic 90 )

If you ever wondered what it’s like for a team without a defence, then here was a good example. Arsenal raced into a 3-0 lead and looked comfortable to not only win, but guarantee qualification from Group D after just four games. Anderlecht however had other ides. Technically competent and efficient as we saw from the first leg two weeks ago, they were the beneficiaries of a huge decision in their favour and then rode their luck to earn a point. Mikel Arteta scored from the penalty spot after Danny Welbeck was blocked by Chancel Mbemba. Alexis Sanchez then smashed in a volley off his own rebounded free kick as the Gunners lead 2-0 at the break. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then created and scored a well taken third as Arsenal dominated after 58 minutes. Two minutes later however and a clearly offside Anthony Vanden Borre clawed one back for Anderlecht. Re-energised, the Belgian side now stepped up with Vanden Borre scoring from the penalty spot after Nacho Monreal impeded substitute Alexsander Mitrovic. Further drama ensured when Mitrovic swooped low to head in Anderlecht’s leveller as a shellshocked Arsenal imploded. They had not only squandered two Champions League points, but after Borussia Dortmund’s win over Galatasaray, they are now unlikely to win the group.

If Arsene Wenger takes anything away from his side’s performance tonight, then surely the realisation that Nacho Monreal is not a central defender will be high on that list. Alongside Per Mertersacker, the Spain defender has been able to get by and paper over the most obvious on the Gunners’ rearguard cracks and surely that matter must be addressed in January and marked as urgent!

Anderlecht had the first sighter on goal when Dennis Praet almost made the Gunners and Danny Welbeck in particular pay for a sloppy pass. Praet saw his deflected shot hit the side netting.

Aaron Ramsey, full of energy and creativity may have thought he was about to open the scoring when well placed, but an excellent defensive block from Mbemba kept the scores goalless.

The visitors then saw Sacha Kljestan go clear and with only Wojciech Szczesny ahead of him, the Poland keeper was able to stretch himself and keep the ball out. It was the first sign of how easy it was to penetrate the Arsenal defence, and something which would come back to cost the Gunners.

Midway through the half and Sanchez reminded us of his continued brilliance, unleashing a shot which hit Silvio Proto’s post and then to safety. After 25 minutes however, Arsenal did take the lead and no surprises that Sanchez was involved. The Chile striker found Ramsey and as Welbeck was about to connect, Mbemba impeded his run. Arteta cooly slotted away the spot kick after 25 minutes for his first Champions League goal. Arsenal had the momentum and in Sanchez in particular, found the necessary belief. He stormed out with a lung bursting run with the close attendance of Vanden Borre, who could only stop him by foul means.

The free kick was awarded and Sanchez, having hit the Anderlecht wall watched the ball return in his direction. Sanchez instinctively volleyed precisely to beat Proto low at his near post after 29 minutes.

Five minutes before the break and Sanchez hit deep pass to Welbeck. With Proto appearing in his view, Mbemba recovered in time to clear the danger.

Arsenal extended their lead just before the hour mark, Sanchez battled for the ball which Oxlade-Chamberlain raced away with before placing the ball beyond the helpless Proto.

What happened next can only be described as immaturity and losing focus. Comfortably in front three goals to the good and Arsenal switched off. Vanden Borre slotted home at least two yards offside. Monreal was then guilty of clattering into Mitrovic. Up stepped Vanden Borre to net his and Anderlecht’s second.

As Arsenal began to wane, the young Anderlecht side kept on pushing. Kieran Gibbs almost put into his own net with an attempted clearance, but the visitors grabbed a leveller as Motrovic’s low header beat Szczesny’s near post dive.

A very entertaining spectacle of a match, but Wenger knows that his side were guilty of not only switching off at 3-0, but underestimating the determination and resolve if the Beligian side.