Champions League - Group D
Anderlecht1Arsenal2

RSC Anderlecht 1-2 Arsenal

Lukas Podolski
  • Two goals in two minutes give Arsenal precious win
  • Podolski nets winner with first goal of the season
  • The Gunners have six points from three matches
  • Dortmund lead Group D with nine points

Arsene Wenger celebrated his 65th birthday with a vital Champions League win as Arsenal scored twice in the final two minutes to beat Anderlecht.

After a dire first half, the Belgian champions looked set to ruin Wenger's day when Honduras winger Andy Najar headed in Dennis Praet's cross.

But left-back Kieran Gibbs's volley at the far post brought the Gunners level.

And Lukas Podolski smashed in the winner from close range as Arsenal maintained their grip on second place.

Match facts
Arsenal's two goals against Anderlecht were the final two shots of the game.Five of Arsenal's last six Champions League away wins have been by a single goal.

The Gunners' remarkable fightback leaves them with six points at the halfway stage of Group D, with German side Borussia Dortmund leading the way with a perfect record of three wins.

Anderlecht's late capitulation - which means they have not won in their last 11 Champions League ties - leaves them five points adrift of Wenger's team ahead of next month's return fixture at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal knew that victories in their back-to-back matches against the Belgians would put them on the verge of the Champions League knockout phase for the 12th consecutive season.

But they looked to be facing an uphill task to reach the last 16 after Najar's goal moved the home side close to their first win against English opposition since beating Manchester United in October 2000.

And the Gunners were fortunate not to fall further behind as a young Anderlecht side threatened to add to their tally.

Ex-Portsmouth defender Anthony Vanden Borre scuffed against the Arsenal post before goalscorer Najar smashed the rebound into the side-netting.

Wenger was forced into giving third-choice keeper Emiliano Martinez his Champions League debut in the absence of Wojciech Szczesny (suspension) and David Ospina (injury).

But the Argentine was barely called into action until the closing stages when he twice stopped Anderlecht doubling their lead.

Chile winger Alexis Sanchez provided Arsenal's greatest threat in the first half, when neither side managed a shot on target, and continued to pose problems after the break with his pace and movement.

The £35m summer signing from Barcelona escaped his marker to meet Santi Cazorla's curling free-kick with a flick which home keeper Silvio Proto pushed clear with a reaction save.

Group D results/fixtures
Home/AwayDortmundArsenalAnderlechtGalatasaray
DortmundX2-09 Dec4 Nov
Arsenal26 NovX4 Nov4-1
Anderlecht0-31-2X26 Nov
Galatasaray0-49 Dec1-1X

Cazorla also forced Proto into saving with an outstretched leg but Arsenal offered little creative threat until Anderlecht's goal stirred them into an unlikely fightback.

It began when England right-back Calum Chambers swung in a right-wing cross which was expertly guided in by Gibbs.

And, just 106 seconds later, Wenger was left smiling when substitute Podolski thrashed in the winner.

Sanchez's low effort bounced into the path of the Germany forward whose clinical finish sparked wild celebrations among the visitors and left Anderlecht's players deflated.

Listen to 5 live coverage of all the goals from a dramatic finale (UK only)

Anderlecht 1-0 Arsenal
Honduras winger Andy Najar headed Anderlecht in front with just their second shot on target
Emiliano Martinez
Argentine keeper Emiliano Martinez made his Champions League debut for the Gunners
Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez has scored six times for Arsenal since joining from Barcelona, but could not add to his tally in Brussels

Line-ups

Anderlecht

  • 1Proto
  • 39Vanden Borre
  • 22Mbemba Mangulu
  • 3DeschachtBooked at 80mins
  • 18Acheampong
  • 31Tielemans
  • 16Defour
  • 7Najar
  • 10PraetSubstituted forDendonckerat 88'minutes
  • 20Conte
  • 15CyriacSubstituted forSuárezat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Suárez
  • 12Colin
  • 19Kljestan
  • 32Dendoncker
  • 33Roef
  • 42Kabasele
  • 45Mitrovic

Arsenal

  • 26Martinez
  • 21Chambers
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 18MonrealBooked at 8mins
  • 3Gibbs
  • 16Ramsey
  • 20FlaminiSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 75'minutes
  • 10WilshereSubstituted forPodolskiat 84'minutes
  • 17Sánchez
  • 23WelbeckBooked at 66minsSubstituted forCampbellat 75'minutes
  • 19Cazorla

Substitutes

  • 7Rosicky
  • 8Arteta
  • 9Podolski
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 28Campbell
  • 39Bellerin
  • 43Huddart
Referee:
Carlos Velasco Carballo
Attendance:
19,881

Match Stats

Home TeamAnderlechtAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home35%
Away65%
Shots
Home14
Away13
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home15
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, RSC Anderlecht 1, Arsenal 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, RSC Anderlecht 1, Arsenal 2.

Goal!

Goal! RSC Anderlecht 1, Arsenal 2. Lukas Podolski (Arsenal) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the top right corner.

Goal!

Goal! RSC Anderlecht 1, Arsenal 1. Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Calum Chambers with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, RSC Anderlecht. Leander Dendoncker replaces Dennis Praet.

Attempt saved. Steven Defour (RSC Anderlecht) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Andy Najar.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Lukas Podolski replaces Jack Wilshere.

Substitution

Substitution, RSC Anderlecht. Matías Suárez replaces Cyriac.

Foul by Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal).

Anthony Vanden Borre (RSC Anderlecht) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.

Booking

Olivier Deschacht (RSC Anderlecht) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Olivier Deschacht (RSC Anderlecht).

Attempt missed. Andy Najar (RSC Anderlecht) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Anthony Vanden Borre following a fast break.

Anthony Vanden Borre (RSC Anderlecht) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Dennis Praet following a fast break.

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Cyriac (RSC Anderlecht).

Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Youri Tielemans (RSC Anderlecht).

Attempt missed. Andy Najar (RSC Anderlecht) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Dennis Praet.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Mathieu Flamini.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Joel Campbell replaces Danny Welbeck.

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Youri Tielemans (RSC Anderlecht).

Goal!

Goal! RSC Anderlecht 1, Arsenal 0. Andy Najar (RSC Anderlecht) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Dennis Praet with a cross.

Foul by Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal).

Cyriac (RSC Anderlecht) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ibrahima Conte (RSC Anderlecht).

Attempt blocked. Cyriac (RSC Anderlecht) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Youri Tielemans.

Booking

Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).

Chancel Mbemba Mangulu (RSC Anderlecht) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt saved. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Dennis Praet (RSC Anderlecht) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Andy Najar.

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Cyriac (RSC Anderlecht).

Attempt saved. Cyriac (RSC Anderlecht) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ibrahima Conte.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Olympiakos32014406
2Atl Madrid32018356
3Juventus31022203
4Malmö FF310227-53

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Real Madrid330010289
2Ludogorets310234-13
3Liverpool310225-33
4FC Basel310226-43

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Leverkusen32015236
2Monaco31201015
3Zenit St Petersburg31112204
4Benfica301215-41

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Dortmund33009099
2Arsenal32016426
3Anderlecht301226-41
4Galatasaray301229-71

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bayern Munich33009189
2Roma311179-24
3Man City302134-12
4CSKA Moscow301238-51

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1PSG32105327
2Barcelona32016426
3Ajax302135-22
4Apoel Nicosia301213-21

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea32108177
2Schalke31206515
3NK Maribor302128-62
4Sporting301246-21

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Porto321010377
2Shakhtar Donetsk31209275
3BATE Borisov3102214-123
4Ath Bilbao301224-21
View full Champions League tables

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