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UEFA Champions League
November 23, 2011
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: F. De Bleeckere
• Attendance: 59531
R. van Persie 49', 86'
S. Kagawa 90'+
And that goal was effectively the last kick of the match with it having little effect on the group standings. Arsenal grab a deserved win at the Emirates and qualify for the knockout stages.
90' + 2'
Assist Robert Lewandowski
90' + 2'
Goal Shinji Kagawa
90' + 2'
GOAL!!!! Dortmund get one back, but it is probably too late! Arsenal faff about with the ball near the corner and lose possession. Perisic finds Lewandowski who lays the ball back to Kagawa to slide home.
Again, the corner comes to nothing for the Germans.
Dortmund win a corner, somewhat fortuitously as Perisic tries to flick the ball onto Djourou, and although the Arsenal man doesn't actually touch it, the Germans win the set-piece.
Assist Thomas Vermaelen
Goal Robin van Persie
GOAL!!!! Arsenal secure the win, and it is Van Persie once again! Arteta's corner is flicked on at the near post and the Dutch strike is waiting, unmarked to just smash the ball home from two yards. Simple as that, and Arsenal are going through.
The anonymous Arteta takes the free-kick, but it flicks off the wall and out for a corner.
Arsenal win a free-kick in a dangerous position, but it was very fortunate. Van Persie beat Hummels to the ball, but took a tumble, and TV replays suggest he was already on his way down before he got near Hummels.
So close to an second for Arsenal! Santos played a nice ball into the area for Benayoun. The Israeli then looked to poke the ball to Walcott just to his right, but Santana does well to come across and blast clear.
Walcott runs at Schmelzer once again, partially beating him round the outside, but his cross is awful.
Yellow Card Yossi Benayoun
The ball very nearly fell kindly for Barrios in the area as a long-ball landed near his feet, but the Paraguayan couldn't control the bouncing ball.
Yellow Card Aaron Ramsey
The visitors are getting a little more possession in the Arsenal half at the moment as they go in search of an equaliser, but as has been the case for the entire evening, they are struggling to create any chances.
Dortmund win themselves a corner following Perisic's drive down the left flank, however the set-piece comes to nothing. That sums up Dortmund this evening, given the chance to create, but ultimately fail.
Robin Van Persie in some pain here following some studs accidentally scraped down his heel by Leitner. The Dutchman gets back to his feet gingerly.
Alex Song does well to challenge Grosskreutz near the Arsenal box. He then finds Ramsey who releases Walcott, but the winger's powerful strike finds the side-netting.
Perisic takes a free-kick from quite a way out, but it is deflected over the goal by the wall. Corner for Dortmund.
Yellow Card Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott finds himself in the referee's book for clashing with Schmelzer.
Should have been two for Arsenal! Ramsey did well to poke the ball past the defence for Gervinho to run on to, but the Ivorian looked to take the ball past Weidenfeller, and in the process he gave Hummels the chance to get back and tackle. Poor decision by Gervinho.
Grosskreutz almost released into the area from a throw-in, but the attacker attempted a fancy flick and it didn't come off at all.
Lewandowski played in over the top, but the Pole can't get to the ball before it is almost out of play and his volley is wayward, troubling no one bar the fans behind the Arsenal goal.
Yellow Card Marcel Schmelzer
That goal sees Arsenal top of the Group and set to qualify tonight, while it leaves Dortmund seven points behind at the bottom.
Assist Alex Song
Goal Robin van Persie
GOAL!!!!! Arsenal take the lead! You will never guess who scored this... Robin Van Persie! Fantastic play by Alex Song as the midfield tricks his way past three Dortmund defenders down the Arsenal left before supplying a delightful cross with the outside of his foot, and Van Persie was there to head home.
Good chance again for the visitors! Kagawa was released from the left, but his right-footed shot was always going to struggle to get past Szczesny due to the angle, and the goalkeeper duly saved.
Almost a great chance for Dortmund! Piszczek charged down the right, playing a one-two before crossing, but a deflection very nearly takes the ball into the path of Lewandowksi and Kagawa, but Mertesacker puts it behind for a corner.
Here we go for the second half.
Send me your thoughts to @RyRyBenson on twitter. How do you think either side can win this tie? Who do you think will be the key players in the second half? I'll share the best.
Here is Wayne's latest update: A mute response from the Arsenal fans at the end of a disappointing opening period in which their team looked bereft of ideas other than using Walcott's pace on the counterattack. Dortmund, roared on by their excellent fans, have looked lively and sharp. Plenty of Wenger and his staff to ponder during the break.
Halftime at the Emirates as the match remains goalless. A very disappointing first 45 there with both sides cancelling each other for the most part. Hopefully the second half will open up as both sides go in search of the win.
45' + 2'
Luck almost helped Arsenal there as Walcott charged down Schmelzer's clearance and it very nearly fell kindly for Van Persie, but instead it flies to Weidenfeller, who almost made a meal of it.
Great chance for Arsenal! Walcott plays in a delightful low-cross, but Weidenfeller gets one hand to it just before Van Persie can get to it. Santana clears as Arsenal looked to pounce.
Good play by Dortmund there as Kagawa plays a smart back-hell from the goal-line, giving Lewandowski the chance to cross, but it is cleared only as far as Schmelzer, however, Szczesny saves.
Here is Wayne's latest update: The 8,000 Dortmund fans remain in excellent voice despite losing two of their players in the opening half-hour - Bender to a serious-looking blow to the head and Gotze after the darling of German football failed to shake off an early knock. Despite the disruption Dortmund have made the better start and limited Arsenal to a few Walcott breakaways. Down in the technical area, Wenger's brow has taken on a furrowed look.
Good move by Arsenal as Van Persie plays a clever ball through to Walcott who slots the ball into the back of the net, but the winger was offside.
Shinji Kagawa has had a frustrating first half so far. The Japanese dynamo has struggled to put his stamp on the Dortmund attacks and hasn't been able to create much.
Although Arsenal aren't creating much, Dortmund are doing little better and look quite clueless at times once they get into the Arsenal half. Can't imagine that will continue, but they haven't looked particularly good, specifically since Gotze was replaced.
Dortmund certainly look content on allowing Arsenal to have possession at the moment, but the Germans do a good job at hassling the Premier League side every time they venture into the Dortmund half. The home side have created very little so far.
The match seems as though it is trying to charge itself up again following the stoppage for Bender's injury. Just having a few moments slightly calmer football, but it will undoubtedly pick up again.
Here's the latest stadium update from Wayne, focussing on Bender's injury: There was a hush across the stadium as Sven Bender was carried off on a stretcher following a clash with Vermaelen which resulted in the midfielder lying prone while he was attended to by medics. Bender was wrapped up and his head kept still while he was gingerly taken to the touchline and no doubt whisked straight to hospital. It looked extremely serious.
Very good effort from Lewandowski! The young Pole smashed a volley towards the goal, but it flew just wide of Szczesny's right-hand post.
Dortmund's Sven Bender looks to have played his last minutes of the match after colliding with Vermaellen. The young German leaves the pitch on a stretcher with Moritz Leitner set to replace him.
Brilliant chance for Arsenal! Walcott was through on goal after a pass over the top by Ramsey, but out came Weidenfeller and made a perfect block at the last second.
Van Persie's in-swinging corner was very poor, getting headed away by the first man.
Arsenal win themselves a corner following a deep free-kick. Good chance here.
The Germans have looked solid at the back during these early exchanges, particularly on the floor.
Brilliant passing move by Arsenal. It included some slick one-touch passing down the right side with Mertesacker, Koscielny, Walcott and Song all involved, but Van Persie is eventually dispossessed.
Van Persie gets his head to a deep cross, but his looping effort is easily caught by Weidenfeller.
The game has calmed down for a minute after a quite frantic start, but the hosts are getting more of the ball now.
Here's another update from Wayne Veysey at the Emirates.
Dortmund almost make another chance as Gotze passes into the area, but Lewandowski takes the ball off Kagawa's foot and the chance dies.
Kagawa tries his luck from range, but it's easy for Szczesny to collect.
Arsenal carve open their first attack of the evening with Andre Santos marauding down the left, before finding Van Persie more centrally, but the striker couldn't find Walcott on the right and Dortmund win a goal-kick.
Very positive start by the Germans so far as they've had plenty of the early possession and have shown they intend to attack as often as they can.
Dortmund almost create an opening inside the first minute as Gotze slipped through a clever pass towards Lewandowski, but the pass had just too much on it.
And they're off at the Emirates.
Throughout the night our man at the Emirates, Wayne Veysey, will be providing updates, and here is his first of the evening: Kick off is just a few minutes away but there are still plenty of empty seats here, a product no doubt of some major traffic problem in north London this evening. Many fans and media have arrived far later than they planned to after suffering considerable delays both by road and public transport.
With those teams, Arsenal are unchanged from their 2-1 victory at Norwich at the weekend, while Dortmund are also unchanged from their last league fixture, an impressing 1-0 win against Bayern Munich.
The German side will line-up as follows: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Felipe Santana,Hummels, Schmelzer; Bender, Kehl; Gotze, Kagawa, Grosskreutz; Lewandowski Subs: Langerak, Owomoyela, Leitner, Błaszczykowski, Gundogan, Perisic, Barrios
The Arsenal team for tonight is: Szczesny, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Walcott, Gervinho, Van Persie Subs: Fabianski, Djourou, Diaby, Frimpong, Benayoun, Arshavin, Chamakh
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE commentary of Arsenal versus Borussia Dortmund. I am Ryan Benson and will be describing the action to you.
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