Van drives Arsenal into last 16

Robin van Persie continued his fine scoring form as Arsenal beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Last Updated: 23/11/11 at 22:01 Post Comment

Van Persie (c): Scored twice

Van Persie (c): Scored twice

The Dutchman, who passed the 30-goal mark for 2011 with a double at Norwich on Saturday, repeated the feat again on Wednesday.

He headed home following an excellent run and cross from Alex Song five minutes into the second half, and then swept home after a flick-on from a corner as the Gunners clinched top spot in Group F.

Arsenal were, though, made to work hard by an industrious German side, who lost playmaker Mario Gotze to injury after less than half an hour, and grabbed a stoppage-time consolation through Japan forward Shinji Kagawa.

Jurgen Klopp's team were well organised, having come into the European tie on the back of a 1-0 league win at Bayern Munich, which cut the deficit at the top of the Bundesliga to just two points.

Cheered on by a vocal travelling support of some 8,000, Dortmund - unbeaten in six games, winning five - settled quickly.

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski - a reported target for Liverpool - stretched the Arsenal backline, with Kagawa forcing a low save from Wojciech Szczesny.

It was nearly 20 minutes before the home side mounted a serious attack, with Aaron Ramsey's pass sending Theo Walcott away down the right.

Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller was out quickly to make the block.

There was then a delay after Thomas Vermaelen and Sven Bender collided when they challenged for a 50-50 ball, with the Dortmund midfielder falling awkwardly and eventually needing to be carried off on a stretcher, replaced by Moritz Leitner.

Dortmund were forced into another unplanned change when much-hyped 19-year-old Gotze, who scored the goal that saw off Bayern and who has been linked with a £30million move to Arsenal, limped off and Croatian Ivan Perisic came on.

Walcott continued to be the main outlet down the right for Arsenal, and he was correctly flagged just offside from Van Persie's pass as he ran through to tap the ball into the net.

The England man turned provider when he drilled in a low ball across the six-yard box, which Weidenfeller palmed away just as Van Persie looked set to pounce.

Dortmund continued where they had left off at the start of the second half, as Per Mertesacker hacked the ball behind for a corner.

However, the Gunners had the lead after 49 minutes.

Song charged down the left, before barging his way through three defenders with no little skill and chipping the ball towards the far post.

Van Persie arrived on cue to send in a downwards header, which Weidenfeller got a hand to, but could not keep out as the frontman made it 16 goals for his season.

After Dortmund rallied, Arsenal had a great chance to double their lead as Ramsey's toe-poke put Gervinho clear.

Although the Ivory Coast forward rounded the goalkeeper, he had allowed covering defender Mats Hummels enough time to knock the ball behind.

As the match entered the final 20 minutes, Gervinho was replaced by on-loan Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun as Wenger looked to protect his side's lead.

Walcott was also withdrawn in the latter stages, giving Abou Diaby the chance to make a welcome return from another frustrating spell on the sidelines.

Van Persie made sure of victory after 87 minutes when he swept home unmarked at the far post following Vermaelen's flick from a corner.

Dortmund gave their excellent supporters a consolation goal when Kagawa shot home from close range in stoppage time.

With Olympiacos winning in Marseille, the Germans mathematically still have something to play for in their final group match, but they most likely face the prospect of Europa League football at best.

Arsenal, though, can head to Athens next month safe in the knowledge qualification and crucially top seeding for the last 16 is assured - which means there will, for now at least, be no chance of another clash with the likes of Barcelona.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

More Match Results

Wednesday, 09 April 2014
19:45
A Madrid 1-0 Barcelona Report
Bay Munich 3-1 Man Utd Report
Tuesday, 08 April 2014
B Dortmund 2-0 R Madrid Report
Chelsea 2-0 PSG Report
Wednesday, 02 April 2014
PSG 3-1 Chelsea Report
R Madrid 3-0 B Dortmund Report
Tuesday, 01 April 2014
Barcelona 1-1 A Madrid Report
Man Utd 1-1 Bay Munich Report
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
B Dortmund 1-2 Zenit Report
Man Utd 3-0 Olympiakos Report

Footer 365

Contract news: Tim Howard has been handed an extension to his Everton contract

Tim Howard will be staying with Everton until at least 2018 after agreeing a two-year extension to his contract.

Neymar and Jordi Alba will miss the bulk of the remainder of the season

Barcelona forward Neymar has been ruled out for up to a month due to a left foot injury.

Transfer news: Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino warns off Luke Shaw suitors

Mauricio Pochettino says in-demand defender Luke Shaw will be staying at Southampton.

Mail Box

Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

City: Bottle Jobs, A Laughing Stock...

There are some harsh words for Manchester City and Manuel Pellegrini in the Mailbox this morning, as well as some rather nicer ones for Tony Pulis and his magic hat...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property