Arsenal suffered a 2-1 defeat against Dinamo Zagreb in their opening game of the Champions League group stages.
It seemed that everything that could go wrong went wrong for Arsene Wenger’s team in a poor night for the men from north London.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger decided to rotate his squad by bringing in the likes of Mikel Arteta, David Ospina, Oliver Giroud and Mathieu Debuchy. It was fair to say the gamble backfired slightly.
The home side took the lead on 24 minutes. Hilal El Arbi Soudani played a superb ball behind the Arsenal defence to raiding full-back Josip Pivaric, whose initial shot was saved by Ospina, only for the ball to rebound into the net off helpless Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The night got worse for Arsenal on 40 minutes, as Olivier Giroud was shown a second yellow card for a hack at Dinamo midfielder Ivo Pinto. The referee had little doubt that the challenge deserved a second yellow card and Giroud was dismissed.
The home side doubled their lead on 58 minutes. Midfielder Junior Fernandes headed home powerfully at the near post to double Dinamo’s advantage.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger responded by bringing on attackers Joel Campbell and Theo Walcott. The move paid-off to a certain extent, as on 79 minutes the Gunners got a goal back through Walcott.
Alexis Sanchez produced a defence-splitting pass through the Dinamo defence and Walcott kept his composure to fire low past Dinamo ‘keeper Eduardo.
Unfortunately for Arsenal that was as good as it got, as Wenger’s men could not find a crucial equalising goal.
Can Arsenal recover from their poor start in the Champions League?