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Dinamo Zagreb 2-1 Arsenal: Wait, what?

Arsenal lost to Dinamo Zagreb. Yep.

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

1-0 Oxlade-Chamberlain OG 24'
2-0 Fernandez 58'
2-1 Walcott 78'

Stop me if you've heard this before: Arsenal went away in the Champions League and lost dismally. It's happened so often over the years that it is no longer surprising, though losing away at Dinamo Zagreb, who haven't won a Champions League match since 1999, is particularly special. A late goal from Theo Walcott gave 10-man Arsenal some hope of completing a come back, but it was too little, too late.

Arsenal made a number of changes in anticipation of Saturday's visit to Stamford Bridge; David Ospina, Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Mikel Arteta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud all came into the side. There is a reason why they haven't been playing, particularly Debuchy and Gibbs, who showed they are not unlucky to be second choice to Hector Bellerín and Nacho Monreal.

The match started slowly, with Arsenal in control but lacking the attacking movement and dynamism to create much. The best chance came from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross, with Giroud striking the post and missing the rebound. Giroud, frustrated, was then booked for dissent. Moments later, Zagreb attacked. Mathieu Debuchy got sucked in to the right hand side, Gabriel dropped behind the offside line, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain didn't track the left back, Josip Pivaric, who's shot was saved by a crouching David Ospina, and then rebounded into goal off of Oxlade-Chamberlain's knee.

Five minutes before half time, Arsenal went down to ten, with Olivier Giroud tripping a Zagreb player and receiving a second yellow card. It was a soft yellow, but was very stupid from Giroud, who is not enjoying a good start to the season.

The second half didn't start much better; Zagreb hit the post from a corner, foreshadowing what would come later. After some Arsenal pressure, Zagreb had a corner. Kieran Gibbs ducked out of the delivery, and Koscielny was beaten by Junior Fernandez in the air, who headed the ball past Ospina to make it 2-0. It was quite simply, ridiculously bad defending from Gibbs and Koscielny.

A late tidy finish from Theo Walcott got Arsenal back into the game with twelve minutes left, but it was too little, too late. Only time will tell how costly this result will be for Arsenal, but it makes getting a result from a match against Bayern Munich of paramount importance. In the bigger picture, it's another poor performance from a side who have been far below expectations for their past ten matches, the FA Cup final aside. There are too many starters--Koscielny, Alexis Sánchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla tonight--who have been poor, and the reserves--Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy--were unable to affect proceedings in a positive manner. The attack lacks movement and dynamism to begin with, and then composure when Arsenal do create a good chance.

This is not down to the strikers. Too many times this season, Arsenal have not been able to create from midfield. Mesut Özil is left isolated by a lack of runners, Alexis gets in the way, and Oxlade-Chamberlain is adding nothing. Arsenal need pace and movement, and that is a strong argument to play Theo Walcott wide (his goal tonight coming from another outside to inside run) and Aaron Ramsey in the middle. Too many players have been coasting to start the season, and Arsene Wenger would be well advised to change a good three or four of them.