Premier League giants Arsenal and Manchester City were both in action in the Champions League this week. Both were away from home, both played in Germany and both lost.
While Arsenal were comfortably beaten by Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in Group D on Tuesday, English champions City went down 1-0 to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in Group E on Wednesday.
The Gunners’ performance was genuinely abysmal, as they failed to compete against the Bundesliga outfit. Arsenal’s defence was shaky and their midfield lacked creativity. Even the chances that Danny Welbeck had, he failed to take them.
City were much better than Arsenal in their opening Champions League game. Although Bayern were the superior team, Manuel Pellegrini’s side came within seconds of picking up a point against the German champions.
Analysing the consequences of Arsenal and City’s defeats, former Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp told Sky Sports: ‘If you’d said to me before ‘do you fancy Arsenal to go to Dortmund and win?’ then I’d have probably said 'no, maybe they could pick up a point'.
‘It’s the same with Man City going to Bayern Munich. Those were tough games, really tough fixtures’.
One has to agree with Redknapp. As much as many pundits would like to dismiss Dortmund (click here to read more), Jurgen Klopp’s side are a genuinely good team.
That was clear in the way they demolished Arsenal without Marcos Reus (injured), Shinji Kagawa (not fully fit) and Robert Lewandowski (left for Bayern in the summer).
Adrian Ramos and Ciro Immobile are individually not at the same level as Lewandowski, but together they have the potential to compensate for the Pole’s goals.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is an Armenian superstar and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is one of the more underrated players in European football.
It is not the final result but Arsenal’s performance that should be worrying for manager Arsene Wenger and the fans. Picking up even a point at the Signal Iduna Park was going to be a bonus, but few would have expected the Gunners to have their worst display of the season so far.
As for City, the reigning Premier League champions will be encouraged by their ability to match one of the three strongest teams in Europe until the final seconds.