As Arsenal prepare to begin their latest European campaign, we continue our weekly reports focusing on their group stage opponents' results and form.
Arsenal warmed up nicely for their opening Champions League game with a 3-1 victory away to Sunderland. And since their opening day defeat to Aston Villa they have performed brilliantly – so much so that they currently sit top of the Premier League after four games played.
Every week we will take a look at how Arsenal’s Champions League opponents have fared in their domestic competitions, giving fans a hint of what to expect in the build-up to the matches that will be taking place over the coming months.
After three straight wins at the start of the season, Marseille are suffering a minor wobble, with their 2-1 loss to Monaco followed by Saturday’s 1-1 draw away to Toulouse. And it would have been worse for the visitors had Lucas Mendes not scored an 87th-minute equaliser.
Given the current positions of the two sides, it is a huge shock that Marseille did not secure all three points with relative ease. Toulouse have failed to win in their opening five games and are currently second-bottom in Ligue 1. But they will be kicking themselves for not securing three points against a side clearly with one eye on Wednesday evening.
Wissam Ben Yedder put the home side ahead in the 66th minute, and Toulouse could have gone further ahead were it not for some fantastic goalkeeping from Steve Mandanda. But Marseille’s late equaliser rescued a point, although they slipped to fourth in the process.
While some clubs let European aspirations get in the way of domestic matters, Borussia Dortmund embraced the one-game-at-a-time mentality as they smashed Hamburg 6-2 on Saturday.
It did not always look like a drubbing was on the cards – certainly not when Hamburg drew level after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan had put Dortmund 2-0 up. But 2-2 was as good as it got for the visitors, as four goals in 16 second-half minutes saw Jurgen Klopp’s side run riot.
A second goal from Aubameyang was followed by a brace from Robert Lewandowski and one from Marco Reus.
The Germans still have a 100% record after five league games, and go into next week’s match against Napoli in high spirits and excellent form.
Napoli claimed top spot in Serie A after a 2-0 win at home to Atalanta, but it did not come easy, with Rafa Benitez’s side having to wait until the 71st minute to take the lead through former Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuain.
Soon after, Atalanta midfielder Luca Cigarini was sent off, leaving Jose Callejon to continue his recent scoring form nine minutes from time.
Having sat behind Roma, Juventus and Inter Milan on goal-difference in recent weeks, Napoli are now top in their own right after the latter two sides played out a 1-1 draw. Although Roma have the chance to reclaim top-spot when they face Parma on Monday evening.
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