Info

3 - 1

Köln

D L L L L
Competition
UEFA Europa League
Date
14 September 2017
Game week
1
Kick-off
22:05
Half-time
0 - 1
Full-time
3 - 1
Venue
Emirates Stadium (London)
Attendance
59359

Goals

0 - 1
9' J. Córdoba (G) (assist by: L. Bittencourt)
S. Kolašinac (G) 49'
1 - 1
A. Sánchez (G) 67' (assist by: A. Iwobi)
2 - 1
Bellerín (G) 81'
3 - 1

Commentary

Minute   Description
That's all from the Emirates! Thank you for following our LIVE text coverage of the UEFA Europa League - hope you've enjoyed it. Until next time, see you soon!
Arsenal have the three points after an impressive turnaround having trailed 1-0 at the break thanks to Jhon Cordoba's long-range strike. Goals from Sead Kolasinac, Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin made it a winning return to the UEFA Europa League for Arsene Wenger.
FULL-TIME: ARSENAL 3-1 COLOGNE
90'+3 There goes the final whistle - Arsenal start with a win!
90'+1 We are now into the first of two additional minutes at the end of this game.
89' CLOSE! Following a brilliant one-touch move by Arsenal, Sanchez is whiskers away from adding a fourth goal as his audacious chip from a tight angle drifts narrowly wide of the far post.
88' The Gunners will have been disappointed not to have qualified for this season's UEFA Champions League, although the Europa League does offer them another potential route back into Europe's premier competition. The omens are certainly good for Arsenal, who have reached the final in three of their last four seasons outside the Champions League - doing so in the Cup Winners' Cup in 1994 and 1995, as well as the 2000 UEFA Cup.
85' Arsenal are set to extend their run of having not lost a home game on a Thursday since Boxing Day 1974. That record appeared to be in doubt after the first half, but the Gunners have certainly turned things around since the break.
82' With the job almost done, Wenger gives Walcott a breather and replaces him with Reiss Nelson.
81' GAME OVER!!! Bellerin wraps it up! Kolasinac and Sanchez combine down the left flank and the former's ball into the box finds Walcott, whose shot is parried straight into the path of Bellerin. The Spaniard makes no mistake with the rebound to surely seal the points for Arsenal.
79' It is worth giving a mention to Wilshere, who is making his first Arsenal appearance in 383 days. The England midfielder will be desperate to force his way into Gareth Southgate's FIFA World Cup squad providing the Three Lions qualify, but needs to make the most of an opportunity like this one in order to have any chance of doing so.
77' CHANCE! Wilshere gets involved for the first time with a well-timed through ball into the path of Sanchez, who does not connect properly and sends his attempted finish wide of the target. That was a great opportunity to kill this match off and seal the points.
76' A third and final change for the visitors as Klünter goes off to be replaced by Yūya Ōsako.
75' GOOD EFFORT! Arsenal are awarded a free-kick 30 yards from goal and Sanchez stands over the ball. The Chilean gets plenty of dip on his delivery, but it is straight into the grateful arms of Horn.
72' GOOD SAVE! Cologne look to respond quickly with a dangerous attack down the Arsenal left channel. Cordoba gets his shot away from a tight angle and Ospina is forced to get down to his left to make an important save.
70' Well, his future may be uncertain but if you needed any proof regarding Sanchez's commitment to the cause then there it was! It was a truly magnificent goal worthy of winning any game, as it looks like it will do here.
68' That was Iwobi's last action of the game as he goes off to be replaced by Jack Wilshere.
67' Iwobi laid the ball into the feet of Sanchez, who did the rest in emphatic fashion.
WHAT A GOAL!!! SANCHEZ PUTS ARSENAL IN FRONT! A moment of magic from the Chilean, who cut inside from the left wing before brilliantly curling the ball into the top corner beyond the flat-footed Horn. The Gunners have completed the turnaround at the Emirates!
65' Marcel Risse replaces Zoller in Cologne's second change.
64' SHOOT! Maitland-Niles cleverly skips away from a challenge to get in behind the Cologne defence. However, one-on-one with Horn, looks to round the keeper, who shows good reflexes to claw the ball away to safety. The youngster should have just got his shot away there and Arsenal could well have been 2-1 up.
61' GOOD STRIKE! Cologne break up an Arsenal attack and look to hit their opponents on the counter. Some space opens up for Jojic to let fly with a powerful effort that stings the palms of Ospina.
58' Wenger's players are certainly dominating proceedings at the moment. They have been very much on top at the start of this second half - knocking the ball around nicely and looking dangerous going forward.
55' The German side are the 64th different team that Wenger has faced in European competition since taking charge in October 1996. He will be desperate to mark the occasion by claiming all three points.
52' Whatever Wenger said to his players has clearly had the desired impact at the start of this second half. Arsenal are playing with a lot more purpose and actually performing to their usual standard. Cologne need to be careful...
49' KOLASINAC!!! ARSENAL ARE LEVEL! Just three minutes after his introduction, the Bosnian fires home the equaliser. Walcott made a good run to connect with a lofted ball into the area and, although his cross was blocked, Kolasinac was on hand to volley past Horn and square things up. Game on!
46' Wenger has made a tactical change at the break with Holding making way for Sead Kolašinac.
KICK-OFF! Mr Estrada blows his whistle and Cologne get the ball rolling once more.
The teams are back out and the second half is imminent.
Jhon Cordoba's strike is the difference between the two sides at the break and Cologne are threatening to claim a big scalp against a struggling Arsenal. Arsene Wenger may be resting key players for this match, but will be expecting a positive response in the second half.
HALF-TIME: ARSENAL 0-1 COLOGNE
45'+3 The referee blows the half-time whistle!
45' There will be two additional minutes at the end of this first half.
43' Arsenal could do with an equaliser before half-time just to settle them down more than anything else. Not only that, it would make Wenger's team talk a whole lot easier.
40' With five minutes of the first half, it is worth noting that Arsenal have lost five of their last seven home matches against German opposition in Europe. Although, at the same time, Cologne are still searching for their first continental victory in England.
37' Despite the setback of losing Hector, Cologne continue to push in search of that second goal. They threaten on the counter-attack with Cordoba and Bittencourt combining again. The latter sends the ball into the box, but Maitland-Niles makes up good ground to chest it back to Ospina.
35' Hector's match is over as he goes to ground again with nobody near him. He limps off to be replaced by Milos Jojic.
32' Better football from Arsenal as they put a neat move together on the edge of the Cologne area, before Elneny's half-volley flashes wide of the target.
31' We have a slight break in play here as Hector stays down after looking to get on the end of a dangerous ball into the Arsenal area. The German international appears to be struggling as he limps to the touchline.
29' Of course, Cologne are coming into this game off the back of three straight defeats at the start of their league campaign. However, you would not have thought that judging by the performance so far.
26' What a chance that was for Arsenal to level and Walcott knows he should have put it away. The home fans are starting to get a little restless as their side still trail the bottom club in the German Bundesliga.
23' CHANCE! Walcott should have equalised! The England winger was set through on goal by a nice touch from Giroud but, slightly off balance under pressure from Heintz, could only scuff his effort wide of the target.
22' Cologne go forward again with Bittencourt and Cordoba combining down the left. Although, the final delivery is poor and goes aimlessly behind for a goal-kick.
19' MAN IN RED! Stoger is sporting an unusual pair of bright red shoes on the touchline. It is fair to say that they are far from traditional to wear with a suit, although they do match the colour of his tie!
16' At the other end, Cologne go in search of a second with Zoller chasing a high ball towards the penalty area and Ospina has to go to ground to deny him from getting a sight at goal.
15' WELL HELD! Arsenal look to respond and force a corner. Sanchez's delivery is met by the head of Mertesacker, but his effort is lacking power and goes straight into the grateful arms of Horn.
12' Well, that was very much against the run of play! Arsenal had generally been on top during the early stages of the contest, but have been hit out of the blue as Cordoba punished Ospina's loose clearance to give the Germans an unlikely lead.
9' Bittencourt controlled the ball into the path of Cordoba.
COLOGNE LEAD!!! What a goal from Cordoba! Ospina races out of goal to clear a long ball over the top of the Arsenal defence, but only as far as Bittencourt, whose touch lands at the feet of Cordoba and the striker sends it looping over the Gunners keeper into the empty net. The visiting German fans are going wild in their section of the stadium.
8' Of course, today marks the start of Arsenal's first season without UEFA Champions League football since 1997/98 which, ironically, was Wenger's first full campaign in charge.
5' Nothing is the answer as the set-piece is struck straight into the wall and Arsenal quickly clear the danger.
4' FREE-KICK! Although, the Gunners could be in danger here as Holding concedes a free-kick right on the edge of the area after bringing down Bittencourt. What can the visitors make of this?...
3' Arsenal are quickly settling into their rhythm as they knock the ball around and maintain possession. Other than the odd interception, Cologne are yet to really touch the ball.
1' KICK-OFF! Javier Estrada of Spain is our referee today. He blows his whistle and Arsenal get the match underway!
HERE THEY COME! The teams are finally making their way out onto the field and kick-off is just moments away.
Well, at least we now have a guaranteed start time at the Emirates. Both managers will have encouraged their players to try and remain focused on the task in hand amid the delay.
The players are out warming up and confirmation via UEFA that we're all set to get under way in roughly 10 minutes time...
It's certainly the last thing that Wenger would have wanted with that huge clash against Chelsea coming up on Sunday. Ideally, he will have got this game done and out of the way as soon as possible but, obviously, this is completely out of his hands.
What impact will the delay have on both sets of players? And the crowd as well? It's sure going to be an interesting game after such a long delay.
COLOGNE SUBS: Kessler, Sorensen, Risse, Jojic, Osako, Guirassy, Horn.
COLOGNE (4-1-4-1): Horn; Klunter, Mere, Heintz, Rausch; Lehmann (c); Zoller, Hoger, Hector, Bittencourt; Cordoba.
Meanwhile, Peter Stoger is adopting a 4-1-4-1 formation but has made just two alterations for Cologne, as he aims to end their poor start to the season. Jorge Mere and Konstantin Rausch come into the side as Frederik Sorensen and Yuya Osako drop to the bench. Notable names include regular German international Jonas Hector, as Jhon Cordoba prepares to operate in the lone striker role.
ARSENAL SUBS: Macey, Wilshere, Mustafi, Adelaide, Kolasinac, Akpom, Nelson.
ARSENAL (3-4-3): Ospina; Holding, Mertesacker (c), Monreal; Bellerin, Iwobi, Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Walcott, Giroud, Sanchez.
As expected, with Chelsea awaiting on Sunday, Arsene Wenger has rung the changes for Arsenal - nine in all from the team that started the 3-0 win over AFC Bournemouth last weekend. Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin are the only survivors, while Alexis Sanchez starts alongside Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott in a three-man attack. Per Mertesacker returns in defence to captain the side as David Ospina keeps goal, and there are also starts for Alex Iwobi, Rob Holding and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Jack Wilshere and Shkodran Mustafi are part of a very youthful bench.
Both teams are marking a return of some kind today. Arsenal are back in this competition for the first time since reaching the final of the UEFA Cup in 2000, while Cologne are putting an end to a 20-year absence from European football.
The original kick-off was delayed for an hour due to the fear of crowd safety following a couple of incidents outside the stadium. Huge numbers of Cologne fans are in the city and at the ground. However, thankfully, those safety concerns appear to have eased and we will soon be up and running at the Emirates.
Hello everyone and welcome to our LIVE text coverage of the UEFA Europa League! Today, we're at the Emirates Stadium for the Group H opener between Arsenal and Cologne - it's good to have your company!

Lineups

R
A
A
1
T. Horn
3
D. Heintz
4
P. Mertesacker
6
M. Höger
7
A. Sánchez
11
S. Zoller
12
O. Giroud
13
D. Ospina
14
T. Walcott
14
J. Hector
15
J. Córdoba
16
R. Holding
17
A. Iwobi
18
Nacho Monreal
21
L. Bittencourt
22
Jorge Meré
24
L. Klünter
24
Bellerín
30
A. Maitland-Niles
33
M. Lehmann
34
K. Raush
35
Mohamed Elneny
8
31
7
10
13
61
C
C
C
C

Additional info

Referee
Javier Estrada
Assistants
Miguel Martínez
Fourth official
Pau Cebrián

Match Stats

Arsenal Köln
58 Attacks (Dangerous) 35
5 Corners 3
6 Fouls 11
15 Free Kicks 12
5 Goal Kicks 13
6 Offsides 4
2 Shots (blocked) 3
6 Shots (off target) 3
3 Shots (on target) 2
0 Shots (woodwork) 0
17 Throw Ins 16

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
105+08
116-18
125-17
136-27
146-77

Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
146-46
156-76
166-74
176-43
186-121

Emirates Stadium

Name:
Emirates Stadium 
City:
London 
Capacity:
60355