Zagreb stun clueless Arsenal as Chelsea run riot
European minnows Dinamo Zagreb shocked 10-man Arsenal 2-1 on Wednesday to win for the first time in 16 Champions League matches.
Reigning champions Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw at Roma while Chelsea thumped Maccabi Tel-Aviv 4-0.
An Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain own goal and a header from Junior Fernandes gave Dinamo three points as France forward Olivier Giroud was dismissed for two first-half bookings for Arsenal.
“It is not the way we wanted to begin the competition,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told BT Sport. “We have enough games to come back. We focus to win our next home game and I’m sure we can beat Zagreb at home.”
Zagreb took the lead from virtually their first attack of the game as Leonardo Sigali slipped in Josip Pivaric whose shot was saved by David Ospina, only to rebound off Oxlade-Chamberlain and go in.
By that time Giroud had already hit the post and been booked for dissent, and five minutes before the break he was late and high in a tackle and received his second booking.
Dinamo capitalised on 58 minutes as Fernandes headed home a Paulo Machado corner at the near post as Arsenal’s defence went walkabout.
Theo Walcott gave the Gunners hope 11 minutes from time with a cool, low finish from Alexis Sanchez’s pass, but it was too little too late as Dinamo earnt their first ever win over an English side.
Chelsea finally kick-started their season as Jose Mourinho’s outfit cruised to victory.
The Blues could even manage to miss a first half penalty through Edin Hazard before Brazilians Willian and Oscar, and Spaniards Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas earnt the Londoners three Group G points.
“The same way I was not in hell with bad results, I am not in heaven when we won a game,” said Mourinho defiantly.
The Israelis’ goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic sent Willian tumbling in the box but Hazard blazed the sixth-minute penalty over the bar. Rajkovic was having a terrible game and on the quarter-hour mark he allowed a Willian in-swinging free-kick, which was missed by everyone, to creep inside his far post.
On the stroke of half-time, a pair of Maccabi defenders combined to fell Spain forward Costa in the box and Oscar placed the spot-kick low to Rajkovic’s right.
Costa scored a stunning over the shoulder volley into the top corner from Fabregas’s pinpoint cross and the latter than got his name on the scoresheet, tapping home the rebound after Rajkovic saved Loic Remy’s shot.