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All three clubs are in top form both domestically and in Europe and it is a tragedy that one will have to leave the Champions League at the group phase

COMMENT
By Enis Koylu

What a difference 90 minutes make. Prior to Tuesday's action in Group F of the Champions League, it looked like in-form Arsenal would stroll into the last 16, with Borussia Dortmund and Napoli scrapping it out for second place.

However, after a late Robert Lewandowski strike won BVB three precious points at the Emirates and Rafa Benitez's side claimed victory at Marseille, the trio stand at eye-level going into the final three rounds.
GROUP F AS IT STANDS
Team

1. Arsenal
2. Dortmund
3. Napoli
4. Marseille
P

3
3
3
3
W

2
2
2
0
D

0
0
0
0
L

1
1
1
3
Pts

6
6
6
0

It would have been easy to write off Dortmund following matchday 1. After a lacklustre performance in the 2-1 loss at the San Paolo, and the spate of injuries, it seemed that the threat of two in-form teams would be too much for them.

A fortnight later, it was Napoli who looked to be under the cosh. They had been played off the park by a Mesut Ozil-inspired Arsenal, losing 2-0 in London, while BVB had bounced back with a 3-0 triumph over OM in Germany.

Now, the balance has shifted once more. At this level, you cannot afford to lose your home games, yet that is exactly what Arsenal did when they entertained Dortmund on Tuesday.

The 'Group of Death' is truly living up to its billing.

In truth, all have proved that they are worthy of a berth in the round of 16, and even beyond. Arsenal are Champions League regulars who have not failed to make it out of the first phase of the competition since 1999-2000.

Dortmund, meanwhile, famously made it to the final of the competition last season, seeing off the challenges of the likes of Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and Manchester City en route to Wembley. After spending big in the summer, they are certainly capable of repeating the fairytale run.

Napoli, of course, cannot be discounted. In their inaugural appearance in the competition two years ago, they proved themselves capable of mixing it up with the best and they now have a coach with genuine Champions League pedigree in Rafa Benitez and an experienced star in Gonzalo Higuain.

 NOVEMBER 6
Dortmund
Napoli
v
v
Arsenal
Marseille
 NOVEMBER 26
Arsenal
Dortmund
v
v
Marseille
Napoli
 DECEMBER 11
Dortmund
Napoli
v
v
Marseille
Arsenal

Two of them will go on to make waves in the Champions League. The second-placed team will genuinely fancy their chances of challenging the likes of Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich and making a run into the latter stages of the competition.

The one who is awarded the bogey prize of a place in the Europa League will be among the favouites for Europe's second competition.

No other group in these season's competition possesses such an array of quality, depth and form. Arsenal, Dortmund and Napoli are all in the running for their respective domestic titles and it is a tragedy for football fans, and Uefa, that one of them won't be in the Champions League after Christmas.

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