Arsenal Begin Europa League Campaign With 3-1 Victory Over Cologne Amidst Crowd Trouble.
Amidst off field chaos, Arsenal kickstarted their Europa League Campaign on a positive note with a 3-1 win over German football team Cologne.
Cologne Fans Cause Problems
Earlier on match day, close to 20,000 Cologne supporters flew down to London’s Emirates Stadium to cheer on their team. That created a lot of problems as they were only allotted around 3,000 seats. As a result there was chaos and panic outside the stadium with reports of anti-social behaviour as well. Security personnel including the city’s riot control team had to be summoned to the frontlines to take control of the situation before things got messy. Due to the crowd trouble outside, the game was delayed by an hour.
The Gunners decided to rest their key players as they have an upcoming fixture against Chelsea. The likes Mesut Ozil , Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey and Peter Cech were rested but the game marked a comeback for Alexis Sanchez who along with Theo Walcott formed the frontline attack for the Gunners. Goalkeeper David Ospina was also making his comeback for the first time since his horrific performance in the FA Cup final and was hoping to put in a better performance.
Ospina started badly as he ventured out of the penalty area early into the game and Cologne striker Jhon Cordoba capitalized drawing first blood at the 9th minute of the game. Arsenal were not able to score during the first half but came back strong in the second half.
Gunners Have A Good Outing
Substitute Dean Kolasinac scored the equaliser in the 49th minute and Alex Sanchez gave the Gunners the lead in the 67th minute. Cologne looked deflated once the Gunners had the lead and never did pose a serious threat after that. Hector Bellerin scored in the 81st minute to give Arsenal a 3-1 lead and Cologne looked a defeated side well before the final whistle was blown.
Arsenal fans were happy with their team’s performance considering the fact that their key players were rested. They now have their first points on the board and will be back to full strength when they take on Chelsea on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
Cologne players will be disappointed with their performance and will be hoping to come back strong in their next game. There are reports that the club could be penalized for failing to control their fans in London.