Report: Cologne 1-0 Arsenal

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Arsenal: Ospina, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Holding, Chambers, Coquelin, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Wilshere, Welbeck, Giroud

Subs: Macey, Iwobi, Akpom, Nelson, Nketiah, Sheaf, Willock

Arsenal topped their Europa League group despite surprisingly going down 1-0 to Cologne tonight. As ever there were plenty of changes from Arsene Wenger, with Danny Welbeck and Calum Chambers returning from injury to take a place in the team.

2′I quite like our white shorts with this shirt.

The Gunners had the first chance of the game, Maitland-Niles seeing a shot from a tight angle pushed away by the keeper, followed shortly afterwards by a chance for Cordoba whose cross/shot was palmed behind by Ospina.

9′heh, Coquelin – what was that?!

Coquelin was next to have a pop, firing a good shot just wide in the 14th minute but his first goal for the club continued to evade him. Arsenal had most of the possession but found it hard to find space behind the deep-lying Cologne defence.

A Maitland-Niles cross from the right saw Wilshere head straight at the keeper, Ospina came out quickly to pick up a through-ball, and again Maitland-Niles created an opportunity but Chambers couldn’t get enough on the volley from the edge of the box.

Coquelin then got even closer to his much-wanted goal, cracking a shot off the post from a tight angle on the half-hour mark.

30′Strange things are afoot.

Welbeck cut inside and curled a shot wide of the far post, and there was a blow for the home side when they lost captain Maroh to a hamstring strain ten minutes before half-time.

39′Would it be ironic to kill a bat with a bat?

Cologne had a break but made a total mess of it, Horn punched an Elneny free kick to safety, and the Egyptian failed to break the deadlock when he fired over the bar instead of kicking it into the net for an actual goal which would have made a quite boring game indeed a bit less boring.

The teams went in level at the break.

45′Surely the second half will be more entertaining than this. Shut up you fool, those are what they call ‘famous last words’.

Arsene Wenger made a half-time change, bringing on Alex Iwobi for Welbeck. Wilshere almost found a way through with a trademark one-two-round-yer-shoe on the edge of the box, before Debuchy picked up a yellow card for a foul on some chap who fell over.

54′Coquelin, what the hell was that?!

Iwobi had a shot blocked as Arsenal tried to crank up the pressure, but the crank was not working as well as it should and Guirassy could have put Cologne ahead when it opened up for him in our box but his shot was really tame.

Come the 60th minute though, the home side were awarded a penalty when Guirassy dived under a challenge from Debuchy and the referee pointed to the spot. The Frenchman put it straight down the middle as Ospina dived to his right and the German side were ahead. 1-0.

63′This game needs more Eddie.

It was down to Arsenal to respond and Mertesacker forced Horn into a save from an Elneny corner. Wilshere hit the target from outside the box but again the keeper was equal to it, and the England international had another chance, heading over from close range when Chambers crossed from the right.

It was the wing-back’s last involvement as he was replaced by Reiss Nelson in the 67th minute. A positive run from Iwobi almost created a chance for Wilshere but desperate defending got the ball away, and when Giroud beat the offside trap he couldn’t get the ball under control quickly enough and was snuffed out by the defence.

77′This game definitely needs a bit more Eddie.

Cologne sat deep, Arsenal tried to tippy-tappy their way around them, and finally the game got some Eddie when the young striker was brought on for Debuchy with seven minutes to go.

The home fans were in good voice, singing songs about things I didn’t understand because they were in German but I imagine topics could include being in front, potentially winning the game, and a lost love from a summer that seems even longer in the past than it actually is.

88′At least we can’t have extra time.

Some individual magic from Nelson saw the 17 year old poke a shot at the keeper, and his follow up cross was almost bundled into the net but it drifted agonisingly wide.

The result from the other game came through, a draw meant that regardless of what happened in injury time the Gunners were going to be group winners. Wilshere cracked  a shot from distance which the keeper tipped over, and that was the last chance.

A defeat to a team that has only won three times in eighteen games this season, but there you go. Arsenal win the group, and face BATE Borisov in the final fixture.

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70 Comments on "Report: Cologne 1-0 Arsenal"

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Maniac

Awful final pass and non-existant end product. Good thing we woke up in stoppage time… Embarassing.

goongot

Someway to kill spurs-optimism around the club though

SizC

Spot on ‘goongot’. Cech, Kos, Mustafi, Nacho,Sead, Hector, Ramsey, Xhaka, Alexis, Ozil, Laca….. just weren’t in this game like they were on Saturday.

The most suprising thing for me, was our inability to deliver a corner beyond the first man.

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

Calm down, its the reserves and some kids. I would not care for this competition if it didn’t have a UCL spot riding on it, and if there was more confidence on finishing in the top 4 in the EPL.

That being said, things are what they are and even after the great display against Sp*rs top 4 will be tough. If Arsenal bear Burnley away then that will (oddly enough), give me more confidence about Arsenal being on track for top 4 this season that after putting Sp*rs in their place

The point is that as much as I would love to not care about this 2nd tier European comp., I have to as it could be Arsenal’s best shot of getting into UCL.

However it was still the reserves and no need to lose our heads over this defeat. Arsenal are already through. and as group winners at that. However stronger players will have to be played going forward in this competition.

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

PS – Wilshire is showing some silky form whenever he plays. The control over his passing is the best it has ever been.

Third Plebeian

Loving the sarcasm. Wilshere was dross.

Kwame Ampadu Down

I get what you’re saying Too Drunk To Be Offside but there were virtually no kids in that 11, AMN aside. Cologne are awful (check out the Bundesliga table if you don’t believe me) & that 11 should be capable of beating them easily. We were really, really poor. Awful. Yes, it was the reserves & It’s no big deal given we won the group anyway but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a lot more from those who played.

caligunner

I either blame Coq being in the lineup or Walcott missing from it lol

Third Plebeian

Can’t believe I wasted my time watching this game. If our second string get beaten by the worst team in the Bundesliga, God forbid any of them get into the first team. And yet, this is an inevitability. Useless.

goongot

Elneny and coquelin is some next level shit !!!

Greg

Elneny and his set pieces ffs why didn’t Hagee get taken off them

Kwame Ampadu Down

Elneny is a ‘world class passer’ or so someone said on here a while back & he got an overwhelming number of thumbs up ! Hilarious.

caligunner

With next round secured why wasn’t Elneny paired up with Willock? In a game like this having Coq out there is ugly AF

Ozenal

Some really wasteful passing from set pieces and from the center of midfield. Jack moved the ball well and created when others were too afraid to change the pace of play.

Nelson and Mailand Niles the standout players for me.

yen

First time in twenty years Cologne won over a team from England… and yet we still secured top spot in the table! Good, looking forward to see squad full of youngsters against BATE at home.

Anyway, I looked up my comment about last EL game, because I feel like it can be directly applied today as well. Here’s a part of it:

“As much as I enjoy that we get to see a completely different squad with lots of youngsters in it, I feel like now that they had a couple of games together, there could be at least some development in terms of mutual understanding and basically what kind of football they want to play together.

Or, well, tactics.

Once we approach the box, we seem that we don’t really know what to do next. Do we whip a cross in? Should we try a one two?”

Another game and I hardly see any improvement. And one question remains: why the hell does this squad has to play 3-5-2?! Just because our “A-squad” plays that way doesn’t make it compulsory. Or does it?

Ozenal

Agree, they don’t learn that when a defence packs the centre, you can’t play little one twos. It’s actually a pattern in the first team too. Too much reliance on individuals, rather than trying to take out a player via quick passing a few moves earlier, which would then allow you to do those one-two’s.

Crash Fistfight

Agree entirely with the penultimate sentence. Completely dominating the game against a team that looked like they couldn’t score in a brothel (without a stupid challenge giving them a penalty) and we still persisted with 3-4-3!

Also, what were those substitutions about? Seemed bizarre to me.

afcuk98

Cologne wasn’t even in the European Cup for 25 so were should they’ve beaten an English side 20 years ago?! ?

Kingsley

I suppose the main reason for playing the same formation for both squads is familiarity with the positions, so if someone gets injured form the main squad, someone else can slot in form the B team and they are already with the system.

Terrible game to watch though. I do worry about what we’ll look like without Ozil and Alexis. We need to bring in some quality replacements, as I don;t think anybody is ready for promotion (to being a regular starter) from the front three we saw today.

Crash Fistfight

I don’t disagree that that’s the reasoning behind not changing formation. My issue with it is that the players shouldn’t need to play the same formation, game after game, to be able to play it. They should be able to switch between the two, wherever the situation dictates.

It is part of the main problem with the team under Arsene Wenger: they are inflexible. They don’t change the way they play according to the circumstances in a game (other than not coming out when they’ve got a decent lead), they don’t play differently depending on the personnel on the field (no crosses when Giroud plays because they’re used to passing on the floor with Lacazette, etc.) and they don’t play in a different formation once the manager has got one he likes.

Nasri Van Fabregas

Don’t really care too much about the result, overall, a great experience for the young gunners, and we’re through anyways. However, this game reeked of the usual Arsenal underperforming against a lower table side who sit back and defend stoutly. Huge amounts of possession, fleeting moments of quality only to be ruined by our inability to be clinical, then a momentary lapse of concentration on the counter-attack, penalty, and finally topped off with a desperate attempt to get a goal back to no avail. And of course, the last 20 mins of the game, when we’re a goal down, is when the “real” Arsenal comes out. Anyways, it was an okay game, glad to see Reiss and Eddie get some minutes. Jack’s performance was a bit worrying, and Coquelin disappointing as well.

goongot

I can’t see giroud starting EPL anytime soon.

Trez

He shouldn’t.

MrTanmay

I think he worked quite hard today but everyone else was hell bent on feeding off his 1-2s. We didn’t give him any service from the flanks…

Savage

All our delivery was poor tonight – crosses and corners

yen

Giroud is as good as the support he gets on the pitch. Watch France play and you’ll see what an amazing player he is. I actually hope he gets more Premier League minutes under his belt as he surely deserves them for his service.

Man Manny

…in an Arsenal shirt at least.

dBCD

Before tonight i had never thought “I wish Theo was around to take corners.” What does Elneny think he’s supposed to be doing?

Amazing support from the Cologne fans though.

Also when did contact in the box automatically become a foul? The guy just fell over.

A Person

Elneny and Coquelin are AWFUL , we should sell them in January and get a proper CM.

Ozenal

Niles will replace them!

Mate Kiddleton

Well, they’re backups for a reason…

caligunner

I’m glad I wasn’t the only one thinking that. Why did AW have to start both when next round has already been secured. Willock should have been in there or DaSilva at LWB and AMN paired with Elneny if you need to have at least one of them in there today. What was the point of Coq against a club like this with Elneny already in?

Yes at this point AMN is better then Coq. Almost as good as Elneny and thats only because of experience.

santori

Should have started Iwobi, his movement makes things happen more.

Iwobi forward of Jack and either Elneny or Coquelin. Then keep Welbeck on or bring on Nelson.

Elnerny and Coquelin does not make sense. One is an average player at best with poor delivery and the other is erratic at present doing somethings good then making simple panic passes.

Original Paul

That looked like a second string team tonight but we go through as group winners. Onwards and upwards!

I AM ARSENAL

I know the team is thrown together with a mixture of returnees, not yet fit and youngsters but…There was some truly shocking performances…Wilshere, Niles and Nelson when he came on at least tried to do something. Elneny and Coquelin are………….Coquelin especially is just nothing since Cazorla has been out. Starved Jack of the ball with their failure to complete simple forward passes.

Dylan

‪Set pieces and not being able to lash on a bit of pressure when needed in the last 20 is very frustrating…however not the worst that Cologne bunch so well done I suppose ?‬ And we finish top.

MrTanmay

felt like a decent defensive display from us… shame to see the penalty decide it.
also unsure why wilsh tried hard to be one dimensional..

Raaja

Anyone in this team pushing for first team place? Apart from wilshere and Giroud every player is Average… I fear when we rotate the squad all we can see is mediocrity..

Ozenal

Niles was solid.

santori

AMN was the bright spot.

Iwobi should have been on from the start. Nelson also very easy on the eyes.

ramgooner

Topped the group anyways because the other game ended in a draw. I wonder if all the European elites want to drop down to Europa league because we are there. I mean Dortmund, Athletico, Napoli, Juventus? Fuck me.
What really hurts me is all the English teams are top of their group in CL.

santori

We better be aware that Burnley won’t be easy if we take them lightly.

They will also stay compact and hit on the break. If the first team is wasteful, it takes a stupid decision from the ref and we drop 3 points just like against Koln.

Goonertilidie

Very frustrating to lose to a dive, but at least we’re group winners.

I’m getting seriously fed up of all of the awful penalty decisions, not just for us, but in football generally. The sport is turning into a WWE-esque farce.

What about THAT run from Lord Horatio Nelson. Mans got skills!!!

Trez

I’ve said on here time and time again that Giroud’s hold up play is overrated. Our passing game was great at times but it’s disappointing to lose.
I just pray to God Wenger starts playing Reiss as an attacking player.

Arewa

Giroud’s hold up play is a farce

Grumbleduke

Please please please don’t play coquelin ever ever again.

Frankie

That was humiliating… only the two youngsters can leave the field with there heads held high….. I never wanna see Coquelin kick a ball in the first team again as he spends most of the match kicking it out of play of giving it away….

Giroud spends most of the time on his arse and moaning…..

Don’t get me started on the rest…

We get best by the bottom team in Germany… complete joke.

I’m so angry I don’t care that we top the group I care we lost to a Piss poor team… And couldn’t rise to the occasion…

goongot

Also to add for all the hate xhaka -Ramsey I see no way either of wilshere, elneny or coq can displace them on current form.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Is there a word used more ridiculously & out of context these days than ‘hate?

caligunner

Coq is only good for the last 5 min of a match with a goal lead and trying to kill the game. nothing more.

Catbiscuits

Remember in early 2015 when blogs was worried that Coquelin wouldn’t sign the contract on offer because Bayern were sniffing around?

It was a thing, honest!

yen

Makes you realize how big of a baller Santi Cazorla is. I’m piss poor at football but even I would probably look like a beast next to him. Even if I just stood there and did nothing.

pkiwi

When Coquelin came back the narrative for his success was that he had adapted to playing within his limitations – he did well doing what he did. Now he seems tactically all over the shop trying out being rampaging box to box, crossing, tricky in the box passes etc. And he looks awful.

Kwame Ampadu Down

What pkiwi said. A hundred times over. Utter madness how Coq is playing & reflects awfully on Arsene that he is letting it happen.

yen

I still rate him for his defensive qualities and believe he could do well – even for us – in a 3 man midfield, just like we’ve seen last weekend against Sp*rs when he came on. Intercept/tackle + short pass. That’s it.

Winterburn Wanderers

Just put a team out with four defenders and three defensive midfielders in it didn’t we?

Crash Fistfight

It has gone under the radar somewhat because he has barely played in the league, but Giroud is in terrible form. Bar the wonder goal away to Red Star, he’s done the square root of fuck all in the EL.

Man Manny

That was insipid stuff.
A solitary goal in 270 minutes of football says it all for this team. How static was our Puskas award winner!
Elneny and Coquelin would struggle for playing time in a good league 1 side.
Meanwhile take a bow Reiss Nelson – he, along with M-Niles and Holding were the only bright spots in an otherwise dark night.

tattystump

ARSCH
und
Langeweile

Bould Statement

Last two Europa games have been hard to watch, which is a shame as I really enjoyed our first few.

Chippy87

Ah, it doesn’t matter…

Because we beat Tottenham!

Stephen Fowler

Get rid of the Man City blue. Have we won in it yet?

Rectum Spectrum

Ozil anonymous again. tut.

Alex

No, it’s wouldn’t be ironic. You’re as bad as Alanis Morissette

Dave

Momentum?

Kartik Iyer

We didn’t play well but it wasnt a complete breakdown …. Also their penalty was soft…what this second string needs is to try some new tactics becoz right now they don’t seem to have one…the defence I felt was quite good today.. they need at least someone capable of feeding good corners and crosses to Giroud and Mertesacker…in short not a good result but meh who cares, we topped the group

santori

It was a bit academic.

A chance to assess what we have in store in terms of second options.

On face of it, AMN was a bright spot. Iwobi’s movement was good and he protected the ball well. Chambers was a bbit more anonymous but grew into the game. Reiss Nelson very easy on the eye.

Giroud had a poor game. Jack isn’t the answer some think he is albeit he is still a very good player. Welbeck’s touch is erratic, sometimes good sometimes not.

Elneny is still an average player. Coquelin did somethings good but some very panicky touches and stray passes too.

Maybe a blessing in disguise otherwise the gaffer may fall under his own dellusions that he has plenty of top quality as is and not dip into the January window.

lula

This was a mercilessly boring game. The thing about playing Maitland-Niles in that position is that our final ball will be crap because that’s not his position. That said there is not much excuse for Jack, Elneny, Coquelin, Giroud and others.

The next game means nothing so let’s play more youth players.