Thursday 07 November 2013
It was a good night for Barclays Premier League clubs in the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea and Arsenal emerging triumphant against German opposition.
Aaron Ramsey's second-half header made Arsenal the first English club to beat Borussia Dortmund on their ground in the UEFA Champions League and the first in any European competition since Manchester United 49 years ago.
The goal, in the 62nd minute, was Arsenal's first shot on target after soaking up pressure from the competition's runners-up last season. It was the Welshman's 11th of the season and means that Arsenal, who lead Group F with nine points, could join Manchester City in the last 16 should their result at home to Marseille on 26 November better that of Dortmund's at home to Napoli the same evening.
"This season he has gained confidence and he has an unbelievable engine to go from box to box,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said about Ramsey. "Confidence and his ability of course makes him a dangerous player."
Wenger then turned his attention to Sunday's Barclays Premier League match with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
"I just hope that it strengthens the belief of my team that we can put another great performance in," Wenger said. "You know we have another massive game on Sunday, and we want that kind of performance again."
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho had praise for Samuel Eto'o after the Cameroon striker scored twice in the victory over Schalke at Stamford Bridge.
Eto'o's brace, along with a late goal from Demba Ba, put Chelsea atop Group E with nine points and their passage to the knockout stages will be assured should they avoid defeat away to Basle on 26 November.
"My favourite players are the players that win matches for me, not the ones that lose matches for me," Mourinho said of Eto'o, with whom he won the competition at Inter Milan. "Samuel worked with me in the best season of my career. We won everything. So he's in a good position."
Mourinho also said that Eden Hazard, who was omitted from the squad for the Schalke match, would return for the Barclays Premier League home match against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Chelsea's Under-19s qualified for the last 16 with two matches to spare after a 1-0 victory at home to Schalke. A free-kick from Lewis Baker maintained the 100% record for Dermot Drummy's team.
"We had to defend to the hilt so I'm pleased with the boys' mentality," Drummy said. "We created plenty of chances, we tried to play our usual game but at times their pressing forces you to kick out. If you look at what we set out to achieve in this competition we've done very well."
Arsenal's Under-19s conceded a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Borussia Dortmund but still lead their group after the match in Germany. Austin Lipman and Jon Toral got Arsenal's goals and their performance impressed Dortmund coach Marc Meister.
"Two weeks ago we already saw very good youth football, a very intense match with lots of fair play, which is really important," Meister told uefa.com. "Technically and tactically it is a big challenge playing Arsenal. The team fought really well, you just cannot shut them down the entire time, which is why our goalkeeper kept us in the game with fantastic efforts two or three times.
“Arsenal are just outstanding in attack. They are really quick, I could almost enjoy them creating numerical superiority close to the ball, if only I wasn't coaching the opposing team!"
Wednesday 6 November
Chelsea (Eto'o 2, Ba) 3-0 Schalke
Steaua Bucharest 1-1 Basle
Borussia Drtmund 0-1 Arsenal (Ramsey)
Napoli 3-2 Marseille
Thursday 7 November
Kuban Krasnodar v Swansea City, 5pm
Tottenham Hotspur v FC Sheriff, 8.05pm
Wednesday 6 November
Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Arsenal (Lipman, Toral)
Chelsea (Baker) 1-0 Schalke