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14 Sep 2017

Uefa Europa League Live Update: Arsenal vs FC Cologne



KICK OFF: After the delay and all the trouble in the build up, Arsenal get things going at the Emirates

5' Cologne have had the better of things so far, Arsenal can't afford to give away too man sloppy free-kicks.

9' G O O O A A A L - Jhon Cordoba scores

11' David Ospina clears a long ball poorly which lands with Cordoba.

18' Arsenal controlling possession but must hit back quickly to settle the fans

20' Bellerin hurtles down the right and digs out a decent cross towards the penalty spot.

22' Cologne stretch the hosts with another rapid counter-attack, but Arsenal get a reprieve when Cordoba mis-hits a attempted cross from the left.

23' A fine sliding tackle by Holding on half-way sends the ball towards Iwobi, who controls (possibly with the help of an arm) and then clips a nice pass through to Walcott, dashing into the right-hand side of the box.

25' Elneny spanks a long diagonal ball wide to Bellerin on the right.

28' Klunter joins in an attack down the left and then lets fly with a hopeful shot from 25 yards.

30' Rausch curls a lovely low cross from the left behind the Arsenal defence.

32' The ball bounces loose to Elneny some 20 yards from goal.

Cologne substitution: Hector hobbles off, seemingly having injured an ankle after a challenge with Ospina. Jojic replaces him.

35' FC Cologne make a substitution. Jonas Hector comes off and Milos Jojic replaces him

36' Walcott is shunted off the ball easily down the right wing, allowing Cologne to mount another raid.

38' A good burst by Iwobi, who wins the ball mid-way inside the Cologne half and darts forward before flipping the ball wide to Sanchez.

40' Cologne win a corner. But for a moment it looked like they might get more, as Bittencourt led another lightning counter.

42' Arsenal, low on ideas, pass the ball around in front of the massed Cologne team, posing no problem.

45' Monreal hoiks over a decent cross from the left by-line. But Rausch clears. They’ve defended very well so far.

45+1' Holding is berated by home supporters when, after being invited to carry the ball forward, he turns around and plays the ball back to Mertesacker. But he’s not been the only arsenal player short of ideas today. They’ve had a lot of possession but done little with it.

Half-time: Arsenal 0-1 Cologne

46' Wenger has made a substitution: Holding off, Kolasinac on. Holding struggled, to be fair, and the personnel change also means a formation change, as Arsenal switch from a back three to a flat back four, the Bosnian going to left-back.

47' To a soundtrack of cloudy crooning Germans and silently sulking Gooners, Arsenal cobble together an attack.

48' GOAL! Arsenal 1-1 Cologne (Kolasinac)

52' Kolasinac, endearing himself still further to Arsenal fans, exchanges pass with Sanchez down the left before cutting the ball back from the byline. Cologne manage to force the ball back out of the box but Sanchez retrieves it and scoops it back in.

55' Arsenal are working up a fine head of steam. Iwobi and Sanchez combine in a flowing move before the Chilean sweeps the ball wide to Bellerin.

58' A loose pass by Iwobi in midfield allows Cologne to throb forwad again.

60' This time it’s Bellerin who gives the ball away in midfield, and he doesn’t get back in time to prevent a Cologne shot. Bittencourt has a pop from 25 yards.

62' Maitland-Niles plays a dinky one-two to slice through the heart of the Cologne defence.

67' GOAL! Arsenal 2-1 Cologne (Sanchez)

69' Bellerin receives a pass and sh ... moves to turbo-speed, zooming forward at a cracking lick.

71' Cordoba turns past Mertesacker on half-way and then charges past Monreal and towards the box.

74' Freekick from 30 yards for Arsenal, who are bossing this now.

Cologne substitution: Osako on, Klutner on. That’s an attacker for a defender.

76' Wilshere - did I mention he came on for Iwobi in the 68th minute? - bisects the Cologne defence with a low ball through to Sanchez, who’s allowed to play on despite being about three yards offside. The keeper rushes out to close him down and he tries to curl it over him into the far corner. But he gets his connection all wrong and wafts the ball wide.

79' An arsenal corner is headed clear. Well, not quite: it’s headed to just outside the area, where Elneny meets the dropping ball with a fierce volley.

81' GOAL! Arsenal 3-1 Cologne (Bellerin)

84' Arsenal are cruising now. Wilshere, who had brought guile to central midfield, exchanges passes with Elneny before a flowing move founders at the edge of the Cologne box.

87' Wonderful by Arsenal! They swept from one end of the pitch to the other with artful slickness, Giround and Wilshere both contributing perfect heel-flicked passes before Maitland-Niles fed Sanchez on the left-hand side of the box.

Full-time: Arsenal 3-1 Cologne What threatened to be a night of embarrassment for Arsenal turned into a highly satisfying encounter. The change was triggered at half-time, when Wenger switched personnel and formation, and his players found some gumption and zest. They scored some lovely goals and ran out deserving winners.

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