Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Report: Arsenal 3-1 Cologne (inc goals)

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Iwobi, Alexis, Walcott, Giroud

Subs: Macey, Wilshere, Mustafi, The Jeff, Kolasinac, Akpom, Nelson

Arsenal got their Europa League campaign off to a winning start as three second half goals gave them a deserved 3-1 victory over Cologne on what was a strange night overall at the Emirates.

After crowd trouble and safety issues delayed the kick-off by an hour, the game finally got underway at 9.05 – the latest ever kick off time at the Emirates Stadium (a new record, yay!).

It made for a lively atmosphere inside the ground and the visitors had the first chance to put some pressure on with a free kick in a good position, but the attempt hit the wall.

They did make their second attempt count though, going ahead in the 10th minute. David Ospina came out to clear a ball going towards his area, didn’t make great contact, and it fell to Cordoba in midfield who hit it from 40 yards over the keeper before he could get back into his goal. 0-1.

Arsenal looked to respond with a Nacho Monreal header but his effort went straight at the keeper, but the Bundesliga side came closest to scoring next, only for their striker to make a mess of a chance when presented with a sight of goal.

A Bellerin cross saw Giroud get a header on target but without the requisite power to trouble Horn, before Alex Iwobi created a great chance for Walcott but the England international hacked it wide from 12 yards out under pressure from the defender.

Cologne were enjoying themselves though, and a fine through ball caught their attacker offside as he went for the ball and only the flag going up saved Ospina from conceding a penalty as dodgy keeping saw him take out an opponent in the box. The challege on Hector injured the German, and he was replaced in the 35th minute by Jojic.

Giroud headed wide from an Alexis cross, Giroud had a shot blocked, Walcott and Alexis gave the ball away, and the German side took the lead into the break.

Arsene Wenger made a half-time change, bringing on Sead Kolasinac for Holding, and shifting to a back four. The summer signing made an almost immediate impact, equalising in the 49th minute. Elneny played a lovely ball over the top for Walcott, who took it down and saw his cross blocked. The ball looped up into the air, and the Bosnian caught it sweetly on the volley firing it into the far corner. 1-1.

Iwobi volleyed over after a lovely cross from Alexis, Ospina made an actual save from a Cologne shot, and Maitland-Niles had a great chance to put us ahead after a lovely run through their defence. He had the chance to shoot, but decided to go around the keeper, enabling Horn to get a hand on it.

The second goal came shortly afterwards though, via the brilliance of Alexis. Iwobi played him down the left hand side, he came back inside, had defenders in front of him but whipped a superb shot into the top corner. Outstanding. 2-1.

Jack Wilshere came on for Iwobi, Ospina had to save at his near post from goalscorer Cordoba, and Alexis could have had another when played through by Wilshere but he curled his effort wide.

Ospina saved from Jojic, and then Arsenal extended the lead further. Alexis worked it down the left to Kolasinac. He crossed it, Wilshere stepped over it, Walcott had a chance but saw it saved, and Bellerin was there to pounce on the rebound and poke it home. 3-1.

Reiss Nelson was then handed his competitive debut for the club, coming on for Walcott in the 83rd minute. Alexis lobbed wide after lovely build up play involving Wilshere and Giroud, while at the other end Mertesacker blocked a goalbound effort from Bittencourt.

The second period was a good response to a poor first one, and getting a win under our belts before Sunday is no bad thing.

Let’s hope everyone gets home safe and sound and in good spirits.

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
La Défense

No Ramsey so we won.


Give it a rest


wrote at half time i have no words to this shit-pile i am being served.. ###For home fans selling their tickets…fcking disgrace you are to this club.. ###We were in worst case scenario 40k fans for 20k german thugs and still all i could hear was cologne chants..and so called arsenal fans sitting on their arses.. ### walcott sums up our club on so many levels..How gabriel and perez got sold and this sob is still playing for arsenal is the mystery to be solved.. ###everyone’s so comfortable in this club..i am an fellow indian arsenal supporter who has never… Read more »


Feel you mate. Delhite


Kidhar se hai Bhai Tu?


Pune se hu. COYG!


Aap ka 1 Pakistani Bhai bhi raat k 4 bajay aap k comments par raha hai


As an Arsenal fan for 60 years, all I can say is get used to it! We always do things the hard way or not at all.
I think you need to check history if you became a fan in 2012 and think we won nothing for 9 years before that. Praise though for not following the easy option like the countrymen you mention .
Go to bed now and save the rants for Sunday

SB Still

I had the same view about Walcott, did nothing much for the 80 odd mins he played for.

I was very disappointed when we didn’t qualify for the CL this season but today’s game showed we fit in better here.


Totally agree with you on Walcott?


To be fair, the people who sold their tickets probably sold to touts. They may not have realised the tickets would all go to Koln fans.

John Lukic

Ferme ta bouch La Défense. Try actually thinking before typing.

La Défense

Sit down.


Just like the cup finals he didn’t start it!


Thank you to the fans who boo’ed at half time.

… it really helped

Crash Fistfight

Just goes to show it makes no difference. Maybe Arsene should take note.


And that ladies and gentlemen is how you play and win as a team.
Some brilliant individual performance for display too ( Alexis Alexis).
Great to see Wilshire back.
Favourite moment? Some random bloke trying to muscle Kola off the ball any getting swatted away like a fly.




And getting*
To be fair, it’s 3:32 AM here, some typos are warranted


None of us here feel like it’s a win. It feels like a humiliation by our club, allowing away fans to take over every area of the stadium. Sure it’s our fault for allowing our tickets to be sold. Entire rows by us were devoid of Arsenal fans, occupied by the opponents. Disgraceful by Arsenal Football Club to permit it.


The Cologne fan I spoke to in the Clock End said they’d paid £200 for a £22 ticket so some intermediary has made a fortune. Still its impressive they brought 20,000 fans when their own stadium holds 15,000.


got your facts wrong dude, cologne stadium holds 49k something

Andy Mack

It’s their first time in Europe in recent years and they don’t want to go to the other 2 away matches, so they all wanted to come here.


I’ve been to their ground and it holds more like 50,000


You are misinformed mate. RheinEnergieStadion holds 50.000 people and sells out easy.


Their stadium holds 50,000 actually.

Going to be a difficult atmosphere for the away game, judging from today. But let’s hope we’ll have the group wrapped up by then!






Legend in the making



Dave M

Just quietly though. How are we ever going to rest Kolasinac, Bellerin and even Monreal? Some deep deep caga if they get hurt


If Tony Woodcock’s hair-do doesn’t get 10/10 in the bonus rating I’ll be staggered. Outstanding!

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Tony Woodcock… My subbuteo Arsenal hero and top scorer…


Walcott motm

John Lukic

He’s a little bit rusty….


No, my car is a little bit rusty. He’s a 1932 jalopy thats been sitting in a field for 80 years.


Great Start. Seal qualification early then we can play the kids.


So… Debuchy?


In Rosicky years Yes

John Lukic



Buzzing when Jack came on. Love the guy.

Stringer Bell

Hope he can build a partnership with xhaka in middle. Only hope we have me thinks.


What a story it would be if he made a comeback into the starting 11!

Heavy wind

All is well that ends well.


The only thing more hideous than that first half performance was the jacket that Wenger was wearing.


Think that distracted our players


Wayyy too much pink!
He’s not very lucky with those jackets

Crash Fistfight

But what about those shoes the Cologne manager was wearing?

John Lukic

I agree. Puma have stooped to an all time low with that abominationation. Made me completely forget about zips.

I Didn\'t See It

Did you see the other manager’s shoes?


Wilshere looked good. We should try playing him deep with Xhaka.

I call it Jhaka!


Why not Whaka



Big Dave

Dear 20,000 Germans,
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it and fuck off back to where you come from.


Germans tend to come from Germany.
(unless you mean the national team…haha)


Been to a couple of European games against German teams and always been impressed by their fans, they create a great atmosphere, support their teams brilliantly and are generally friendly towards home fans as well. Instead of slagging them off, we should learn from them.


That’s Holding’s confidence shattered again

Sheffield Gooner

It seems to be going wrong for the lad lately. Needs to keep it simple.


When does Calum get a chance?


when he is back from injury


What did he do last summer? Seems a shadow of Cup Final player.


I know what he did last summer

John Lukic

Hope you’re wrong with that statement Jack If we had started with a back 4 he might have had a better game (if selected at all). Different set of instructions for the role that would have forced him to stay back instead of bombing forward leaving holes the size of Yorkshire in the defence. Early fouling was good to relieve pressure but he was going a tad over the top and was close to going in the book for accumulation of offences. Poor lad. Long way to go yet for him, if he keeps his chin up in the face… Read more »


To be fair, he was hung out to dry by the midfield pairing and Hector. One of their players (Bittencourt?) is a bit of a divey type, so that didn’t help when the ref was loving it inside the first few minutes. That said, he didn’t cover himself in glory, but at least he was trying to do something. The same can’t be said of a lot of out other players in the first half.


I agree that you shouldn’t just bench a young player after a mistake but he was black hole pretty much all night long. Not ever tonight but the other starts that he’s had. He deserves to be benched. If he keeps making mental mistakes over and over again he needs to take a step back and observe for awhile

Aussie gooner

Ospina doing his best to imitate alumnia with the first goal


Selling Szczesny and keeping error prone Ospina is something we are going to regret. Got away with it tonight but against better teams we are in trouble. Anyway very pleased with our 2nd half


I’m sorry I know Szczesny has been gone a while and the fact he signed for Juve to be “Buffon’s replacement” has made people forget how prone he was to mistakes and how many times he got caught out running out of his box. Ospina fucked up on the first goal today but he’s far more composed then szczesny.


I remember corners that Chezzers just looked completely lost. But when coming out of the box, at least the dude came looking to demolish the opposing player. *wink*

Kwame Ampadu Down

Only a matter of time before someone mentioned Ospina’s ‘composure.’ It’s a total myth. Chesney had one terrible spell in 14-15. Other than that, his performances for Arsenal (let’s ignore his time in Italy) were far better than anything Ospina has shown for us. Ospina in 14-15 did ok…. but people were so keen to write Chesney off after the smoking incident that they had to build him up way beyond what he actually did. ‘Oh Chesney is a bit rash so let’s say Ospina brings a calm presence – all aboard the Cliche Express do gooders’ !!

lee dicks on

Exactly! What a mindless decision.


With the first goal, with his flopping about on the penalty scare, with his dodgy clearances and passing, with his general crapness.

The Calm

Dont know why people giving Ospina stick for trying to clear a ball under pressure and getting scored on while tracing back. smh!


Should have kicked into the stands. Bad keeper


Because the simple play here is to put the ball into touch at a right angle, rather than trying to be fancy and play out from the back and underhitting your pass. Ospina totally at fault for that goal.


As always we make it difficult to ourselves. What was supposed to be a rout turned into a tense match. Typical Arsenal

Peter Mc

Walcott’s time at Arsenal is long over. How long has he left? Wenger needs to be ruthless with him. No offer of a new contract. Sad but needed to happen 2/3 years ago. Only thing to take from tonight is the need to play players in their natural position and keep a better shape. A draw on Sunday is a good result and hopefully we can build from that.


I found it funny when people say that wenger need to be ruthless but it’s okay when it’s jack, a guy who has as much league apps for arsenal as walcott goals.


Theres a difference between TW and Jack. If you can’t see that then its hopeless. One has been sidelined with major injuries while the other has had ample opportunities to show us that he can be the player that he can’t be.


Look, we did it, we beat them and have a 2 goal cushion. Sanchez proved two things, his heart isn’t there but his passion for the game and work rate definitely is. I’m okay with that as he’s gone soon anyway and you never know – between the fans and good results we could win his heart back. Holding just isn’t ready, Maitland-Niles isn’t ready for Europe either. Nelson showed in 10mins that he has evolved to 1st team status successfully. Wilshere deserves an assist for that dummy and he had some great passes. The first half inspires NO confidence… Read more »


Maitland-Niles looked much better when he was played in his actual position, which is in midfield. When I saw the team sheet, I expected us to be playing a 4-3-3 based on personnel as we only had one LB in the side. That our midfield and left wing offered him no protection in the first half isn’t the lad’s fault.


How does the 1st half inspire no confidence? Did you see the fact that we started AMN at LWB? Iwobi at DM? TW as a starter? RH?


Alexis. Kept giving the ball away and never stopped trying. Gorgeous stunner from a special player. Good win, nothing less was acceptable regardless of the rotation. Onwards and upwards


Just realised it’s the first time as an Arsenal fan watching them play in Europa. Been a fan since 2002.


you glory hunter


Not really was never into football. What glory can you talk of in last decade?

Sir Henry Norris\'s Brown Envelope

Let’s hope the second half Arsenal are the one that turn up at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. The first half performance was poor, Chelsea will eat us alive if we do that again


I realised today why I find Walcott so frustrating. He is genuinely so so talented, does some really good stuff and the rest of the time he is so pants. Passes to nobody. Being offside for no reason.
But on the plus side super Jack, that dummy really warmed my heart. And Sanchez, bloody hell. Just… No words.


Nice win. Good cameo by Jack…the boss was right in saying he’s lacking a bit of sharpness. Good to see Alexis score.

occams hatchet

That side was so unbalanced before the half-time change. Again, played a right-sided player at LWB. Too many issues to list.

Unsurprisingly, better when we switched to a back 4 at halftime, played CMs at CM, and a LB at LB.

Ah, well. We won. Up the Arsenal!


Obviously its an issue not having depth. I would have to assume he was saving SK for Chelsea as much as he could. He should have used a back 4 in this game. In fact just switch to back 4 for the rest of the season. Rotate Nacho and SK lol


Bag the points, move on with a smile. Training tomorrow in preparation for Sunday enough of the probable team had time off earlier this week so it can be a full session.

We have a good record v Chelsea since Conte joined. 2W, 1D, 1L (including Shield).

Good to see our sharp passing and good movement in the second half.


nimble foot

I think they did OK for a combination playing together for the first time. The first half was a shocking horror for me. How we let them be comfortable even after falling behind. But credit where it’s due, they came back strong in the second half. Against better opposition we may have lost the game altogether by half time but you can only play what’s in front of you and today Wilshere and Giroud combination reminded me of sexy football Arsenal


Sancheeeeezzzz. My word, what a stunner. Was in the kitchen preparing dinner during the game, heard the excitement in the commentators voice and turned around just in time to see the strike. Absolute brilliance.

Godfrey Twatsloch

Easily the best goal of the game.


Is no one going to praise el neny for his performance today first and second half best player by a long way


You’ve got to be kidding he was absolute shite for the first half

Godfrey Twatsloch

Best I’ve seen him I think. He grafted and kept creating chances for Walcott to squander.

Emmanuel Chukwuma

Alexis has shown why Arsenal refused to sell him. That goal was pure magic. Kolasinac is a beast of a player, actually it was his introduction at half-time that changed the nuance of the game in Arsenal’s favour. For the first time in a while Wenger made a sensible and timely change by removing Rob Holding who played with a complete lack of self- confidence. I’ve said it before the lad should be sent out on loan. He is not yet matured enough to play for Arsenal at this level.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

But we didn’t refuse…had Lemar accepted he would be a City player by now…

Andy Mack

But that didn’t happen, so we refused to sell him…


I like Kolasniac.

Godfrey Twatsloch

I don’t like Kolasinac at all. I LOVE Kolasinac!

Andrei\'s meerkat farm

The amount of away fans all over the stadium was genuinely intimidating. Hope it doesn’t repeat in the other games in the Europa League. Other thoughts: we were terrible in the first half, glaring holes in centre mid and elneny bombing forward constantly! But we won so erm yeah!

Michael Bolton Wanderers

Sad to see another poor game from holding. Thank the God’s we didn’t sell mustafi, weird enough that we got rid of Gabriel without a replacement cb.


Not even going to say anything about Walcott..If you can’t see it for yourself you know nothing about football. I really like him and i have been wishing and praying he will prove me wrong since 2009….It’s yet to happen. Niles looked excellent once he was moved center mid where he did a much better Job than Iwobi and Elneny of not only winning the ball back but playing forward passes through the lines. Wish he could have capped his much better second half with a finish to that excellent move. Something about Wilshere (Who was lively once he got… Read more »

Rounak Gooner

I have been an Arsene Wenger fan all these years but from the last year he is becoming so predictable that weaker teams comes at our backyard and makes us look pretty average. Granted we did’nt play Ozil, Xhaka or Ramsey but still it was a very strong team out there tonight and yet we were made to look below average in the first half by a team who are at the bottom of Bundesliga. Should have started with Wilshire instead of Elneny and everytime the ball goes to Walcott it pretty normal to assume that he would give the… Read more »


OMG its a EL match. Yes the first half sucked lol JW just isn’t ready but hopefully he’ll get a run of games now until the next break or maybe the break after that and get minutes with the first team.

ME was good this evening. He was the only one hustling all over to help out and stop counters. I think the big problem in the middle was AI. He was not tracking back. He’s been disappointing since the first half of last season.

John Lukic

Poldi would’ve appreciated Kolasinac’s beauty of a belter. Wow! Dunno if Sanchez could even see the goal when he shot. Walcott was woeful. He’s waaaaay off the pace right now and hopefully sliding further down the pecking order. Did nothing of merit. Hope Nacho doesn’t have too much fatigue come Sunday. Solid once more. Didn’t Jack look much more at home with quality players around him. There was some tastiness to our football that has been long missing. Jacks return could be pivotal for Giroud and their combinations could be absolutely golden for us in this competition. Alexis is rustier… Read more »


I don’t think we’ll see Alexis start, but who knows, he might be out at LWB or CB… because Wenger.

Dr Whale

Walcott was rusty. His running behind the defense and his positioning plus off the ball run are the reason we get the first and last goal though. Lack of playing time is really killing his confidence and scoring instinct




FULLY switched ON that is what we need. Again, we were culpable first half thinking we would waltz through this contest. Granted we should be steamrolling through this level of opposition, nothing can be taken for granted. Several things to highlight. Midfield did slightly better than expected. I thought Elneny and Maitland Niles were decent BUT we lack the provisions of Granit. Such that Alexis had to drop deep to playmake in absence of Ramsey and Ozil as well. Secondly, the depth on the flanks (or lack thereof) is telling. We don’t have anyone at the level of Kolasinac or… Read more »


Wilshere’s first touch of the ball and he was driving forward into the opposition, showing little bit too much of the ball, and inviting tackles; opposition player dove in and I covered my face in dread getting ready for him to crumple into a heap clutching his ankles.

thankfully, it didn’t happen. but his attacking style of play just invites tackles and injuries.

helluva player though. such passion and skill and class.


The result today was irrelevant. We were expected to win, should have won, and did win, so I’m going to criticize the performance as a whole. FC Koln, with all due respect, are about the same level of competition as Burnley. We should be beating them, especially at home, regardless of how many squad players we select on the day. We looked a mess in the first half, and deserved to be behind by 2. If not for the correct offside call, Ospina would have put us to 10 men. He was awful today. I read a story about how… Read more »


RH was bad today, AMN looked uncomfortable until moved to the middle, AI was used a deep mid and was horrible IMO, of course TW should have been sold this summer for whatever we could have gotten if we continue to use the 343, he is useless in the 343 formation. He needs to find a club where he can play on the wing or 2 forward system. He just isn’t good enough here. RH, AMN, AI or TW would play on Sunday as a starters. There is no way to look at today’s performance get all riled up for… Read more »

Dr Whale

Chairman, how is Ospina at fault? He was the last man in a pressured who-get-the-ball-first and had to kick the ball out anyhow. He could not return to his position before the goal. Lets be realistic here. They are not computer games player. He did what he was supposed to do.


I can’t help but notice OX haven’t won a match for some time now.everything about kolasinac is just beastful..that was an absolute beast of a goal


A half time sub and tactical change?
Who was that manager and what has he done with Arsene Wenger?

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x