Arsenal through to Europa League knockout stages - My Arsenal Blog

My Arsenal Blog

Arsenal through to Europa League knockout stages

Posted on November 23, 2017 by David Nugent

Arsenal suffered a 1-0 defeat against Koln in their penultimate game of their Europa League group. However, the north London side still qualified for the knockout stages courtesy of results elsewhere.

The visitors took just two minutes to threaten the Koln goal. Jack Wilshere played a through-ball to Ainsley Maitland-Niles, whose effort at the near post was parried behind by Koln ‘keeper Timo Horn.

The home side’s first attempt on goal came on six minutes. Cordoba’s cross-shot almost caught David Ospina out, but the Colombian diverted the ball wide of goal with his fingertips.

Gunners midfielder Francis Coquelin came close to giving the visitors the lead on 14 minutes. The French midfielder’s effort from 20 yards went just wide of Horn left-hand post with the goalkeeper beaten.

The next real attempt on goal fell to Wilshere, whose tame header from inside the area was easily dealt with by Horn. On the half-hour mark, the Gunners came close to opening the scoring. Olivier Giroud found Coquelin in the box and the midfielder hit the post with his effort. Three minutes later, Danny Welbeck fired just wide of the Horn’s far post.

On the stroke of half-time Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny saw an effort go well off target.

Arsenal enjoyed the better of the early periods of the second half without creating any clear-cut chances. The first attempt of the second period arrived on the hour mark and it fell for the home side.

Sehrou Guirassy worked some space on the edge of the area, but David Ospina dealt with his effort comfortably. It was not long before the Koln forward was in the action again, as he fell to the ground under the challenge of Mathieu Debuchy in the area.

The referee wasted little time in pointing to the spot. Guirassy then sent Ospina the wrong way to give the German side the lead.

Arsenal pushed for an equaliser and on 66 minutes, as Wilshere saw a well-struck effort from the edge of the area parried low by Horn. Arsenal continued to dominate possession and on 72 minutes, Alex Iwobi saw a shot on goal blocked by a Koln defender.

A ball over the top of the Koln defence put Giroud in on goal. However, Jannes Horn got back to make a superb last-ditch challenge and take the ball out for a corner kick.

Arsenal had two chances to equalise on 89 minutes. First substitute Reiss Nelson showed great skill to weave into the box, before seeing his effort parried by Horn. The Gunners kept the ball alive, as Wilshere square the ball to youngster Eddie Nketiah, who bundled the ball just wide of the Koln goal.

In stoppage-time, Wilshere saw a powerful effort from the edge of the area tipped over the bar by Horn. The effort was the Gunners last on goal and Arsene Wenger’s side failed to equalise.

Despite the defeat, the Gunners still qualified for the knockout stages of the competition, courtesy of a draw between BATE Borisov and Red Star Belgrade.

Did any Arsenal players impress in Koln?

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