Borussia Dortmund 1 Arsenal 1: I had no chance – Szczesny
Arsenal seal point in their Group F opener after Ivan Perisic cancelled out Robin van Persie's opener
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny admitted he could do nothing to prevent Ivan Perisic’s stunning late equaliser after Arsenal kicked off their Champions League campaign with a draw at Borussia Dortmund.
Robin van Persie fired the Gunners into the lead three minutes before the break after Theo Walcott slid the Dutchman through on goal.
But sustained pressure from the home side eventually told as Perisic lashed a brilliant looping volley into the top corner four minutes from time.
“Sometimes they go in from 20 yards into the top corner and you take that,” said Szczesny. “I saw it ended up in the top corner and I didn’t move – I had no chance.”
Their first point in Group F puts them in second place after Marseille sealed a 1-0 win at Olympiakos, and the Arsenal stopper believes a draw was a fair result.
“I think it’s well deserved,” he continued. “We were under a lot of pressure in the second half and I think they deserved the draw.”
Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger watched on from the stands as he served the first half of his two-match Uefa touchline ban.
Assistant manager Pat Rice assumed temporary duties in the Gunners technical area and right-back Bacary Sagna hailed his input.
“Pat Rice did well,” said Sagna. “He gave us a lot of advice and I think we tried to apply that on the pitch.”
The France defender added: “I think we can be happy because it’s not easy to take points in Dortmund. We knew they were a good team – they did well last year so we were expecting this kind of game.
“We were a bit unlucky to concede the goal but you have to take it and look forward to the next game.”
With a trip to Blackburn Rovers next up for the Londoners on Saturday, Szczesny believes Arsenal are gradually beginning to put their difficult start to the season behind them.
“I think we showed on Saturday against Swansea that we know how to win games,” Szczesny added. “Today was a very tough fixture and overall I think we should be happy with the performance. If we keep it going then there’s good things to come for us.”