Published: Sat, September 16, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Cologne fans force delay of Arsenal clash

Cologne fans force delay of Arsenal clash

Four people were arrested on suspicion of public order offences before Arsenal's Europa League opener against Budesliga side Cologne at London's Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

Fellow Serie A sides Atalanta and Lazio also won, while Portugal's Vitoria Guimaraes began their match against Salzburg with not a single European player on the team.

Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere is in contention to start his first game of the season, with Wenger pleased with his progress in the training sessions so far.

Meanwhile, Cologne coach Peter Stoger refused to even discuss the situation at his postmatch news conference.

"The 3,000 tickets issued to Cologne fans was in line with competition rules but it is clear many more visiting fans arrived, causing significant congestion and disturbance outside the stadium before kick-off".

Jhon Cordoba's early 40-yard strike sent the travelling contingent of fans wild but after the break Arsenal hit back thanks to the introduction of substitute Sead Kolasinac and a change of shape.

"I came out and many times and said I think the best way is through the Premier League".

Despite the fact that Cologne played exclusively in the domestic arena, the best goal difference eventually allowed Cologne to beat competitors in the fight for the 5th place and he automatically directly got into the group round of the League of Europe.

"It is a good opportunity to show we can cope", Wenger said. "But Sanchez is Sanchez, he is an exceptional football player", Wenger said.

Rob Holding, who had a poor first-half, was replaced by Kolasinac as Wenger chose to ditch his 3-4-2-1 formation and go with a 4-2-3-1 which saw Nacho Monreal move in alongside Per Mertesacker in the centre of defence.

"No", he said. "The disappointment for not finishing in the top four was there, of course, but unfortunately we were one point short". You have to be ready, these things happen - not often, but you have to be ready.

And Bellerin continued: "We already had confidence from (Saturday's win over Bournemouth) and this win, and coming back from losing, gives us a boost".

Like this: