Lewandowski breaks Arsenal hearts with late Dortmund winner
Robert Lewandowski brought Arsenal down to earth with a late winner as Borussia Dortmund won 2-1 in the Champions League Group F clash at the Emirates Stadium.
The Premier League leaders had done well to fight back from going behind to on 16 minutes when Henrikh Mkhitaryan drilled the ball in after Aaron Ramsey had given away possession on the edge of his own penalty area.
Olivier Giroud's close-range strike sent the teams into the break on level terms, before substitute Santi Cazorla directed a 20-yard effort against the woodwork.
However, all of the Gunners' efforts were undone as Dortmund – last season's beaten Champions League finalists – netted with just eight minutes left on the counter-attack through Lewandowski to ruin Arsene Wenger's 64th birthday and leave the Gunners still with work to do to qualify for the knockout stages.
Dortmund had looked lively from kick-off, with Marco Reus supporting Poland forward Lewandowski as manager Jurgen Klopp watched on from the stands serving his UEFA touchline ban.
It was no real surprise when the Germans took the lead on 16 minutes. Ramsey was hustled out of possession by Reus on the edge of his own penalty area, with the ball fed to Lewandowski.
The Pole played in Mkhitaryan, who smashed a low shot past Wojciech Szczesny from 15 yards. Arsenal, who moved clear at the top of the Premier League with a 4-1 win over Norwich here on Saturday, had more than their fair share of play, and were level five minutes before the break.
Ramsey brought the ball forwards and fed Bacary Sagna on the overlap.
His cross in behind the defence caught out Neven Subotic and goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, with the mix-up allowing Giroud to smash the loose ball into the net.
Arsenal were within inches of taking the lead when Cazorla's curled effort from 20 yards struck the angle of post and crossbar with the keeper beaten.
Dortmund, though, hit Arsenal on the counter attack and left them no way back in.
The ball was played out to right-back Kevin Grosskreutz on the overlap and his deep cross drifted over towards the far post, where Lewandowski arrived on queue to swept it past countryman Szczesny.
With Napoli winning in Marseille, the Gunners are now locked in a three-way scrap for qualification – and will need a better result when they travel to German in two weeks' time.
A Fernando Torres double saw Chelsea seize control of Champions League Group E with a 3-0 victory over Schalke at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen.
Chelsea were playing on German turf for the first time since winning the 2012 European Cup in Munich and, as then, for large parts of the game had to absorb the pressure applied by their German opponents.
On his 100th Chelsea start Torres netted his 38th and 39th goals for the Blues – hitting the bar in between – to take his tally for the season to four.
Eden Hazard scored a breakaway third three minutes from time as Jose Mourinho's men joined Schalke on six points, moving ahead of their rivals on head-to-head record ahead of the November 6 clash at Stamford Bridge.
Torres put Chelsea in front with a fifth-minute header, but the visitors were firmly on the back foot during the rest of the first half.
Only some marginal offside calls and a spectacular save from Petr Cech to deny Roman Neustadter saw the visitors take an interval advantage.
Six minutes into the second half Torres hit the frame of the goal with a header from Frank Lampard's free-kick as the visitors went close to doubling their advantage.
Determination made the second goal. First Hazard won the ball midway inside Chelsea's half, then Oscar shrugged off Jermaine Jones' attempts to dispossess him. The Brazil playmaker reached the edge of the Schalke area and centred for Torres to score.
After beginning the campaign with a surprise loss to Basle, Chelsea now lead the pool following wins away to Steaua Bucharest and Schalke ahead of the return match with the Germans at Stamford Bridge.