Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Dortmund See Double Dutch

Arsenal faced German champions Borussia Dortmund this evening at the Emirates with the chance to secure passage through to the knockout stages of the Champions League; all we needed was a win. Unfortunately I worked late tonight and ended up missing the entire first half. Luckily it didn't matter one bit as I got home just in time to see van Persie head us into the lead and then score again just before the end to wrap up the win, 2-1 to the Arsenal (Dortmund got a late consolation thanks to some sloppy defending).

I'd only been watching for less than 5 minutes when the first goal was scored. Man of the match and fan favourite Alex Song picked the ball up near the half way line and went on a scintillating run, teasing and twisting the Dortmund defenders inside out. After skilfully making his way past his last opponents, Song chipped a delightful ball into the box where the prolific Robin van Persie was waiting to dispatch a powerful header down low into the ground. The ball was headed with such force and so low to the ground that the Dortmund goalie couldn't keep it out despite his best efforts: 1-0 the Arsenal and it gave the entire team the boost they needed. Momentum favoured the Gunners then and we looked more and more dangerous as Dortmund were forced to push harder and harder for an equaliser. The game was still in the balance until, with only 5 minutes left, Arteta's corner wasn't dealt with by the Dortmund defence and van Persie was perfectly positioned to sweep home his and Arsenal's second goal of the game. Game over (well, let's forget about that crap Dortmund consolation) and three points in the bag. Group winners and progress to the knockout stages ensured, exactly what we needed.

With tonight's win Arsenal are the first English team to make it through to the next round of the Champions League, with a game to spare as well. With the other English clubs struggling this year, (Chelsea lost tonight to Bayer Leverkusen, Man City fell to Napoli and United limped through to a draw with Benfica) it only makes tonight's achievement even more impressive. After our well-documented struggles early on in the season, Arsene and van Persie have really righted what once looked like a sinking ship. Our progress in Europe is just another part of this mini resurrection we're currently enjoying. The squad are certainly firing on all cylinders, especially our Dutch captain, and with the form in the team are in right now, we look unbeatable. Here's hoping the good times keep coming, all the way to the end of the season!

Thanks for reading.

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