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Arsenal halt Dortmund’s march to reach last 16

Arsenal halt Dortmund’s march to reach last 16
Arsene Wenger’s side were desperately in need of a morale-boosting European victory after back-to-back defeats against Swansea and Manchester United left them well adrift in the Premier League title race.

Those dispiriting losses prompted a section of Arsenal’s support to call for Wenger’s sacking, while stinging criticism of the Gunners boss from the club’s second-largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov added to the impression of a season spiralling out of control.

But Sanogo took less than two minutes to notch his first goal for Arsenal, in his 18th appearances since his free transfer from Auxerre in 2013, and a majestic second-half strike from Sanchez ensured the north Londoners, who had needed a point to go through from Group D, once again advanced to the knock-out stages of Europe’s elite club competition.

With Danny Welbeck ruled out with a knee injury and Olivier Giroud ineligible, Wenger gambled on the inexperienced Sanogo as his lone striker instead of Germany international Lukas Podolski. A poor performance would have given the critics more ammunition to attack Wenger, but it proved an inspired move as Sanogo put Arsenal ahead after just 73 seconds.

The France Under-21 forward received possession with his back to his marker and showed tremendous confidence to juggle the ball and then flick it into Santi Cazorla’s path Sanogo then turned and ran on to Cazorla’s pass before guiding a cool finish under Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller.

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