Arsenal Secure Top Spot in Europe League Group H despite the loss of FC Cologne



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  Cologne's French striker Sehrou Guirbady and French Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy (L) compete for the ball during the UEFA Europa League 1 FC Cologne - Arsenal FC football match on November 23, 2017 in Cologne, Western Germany. / AFP PHOTO / Ina FASSBENDER (Photo credit must read INA FASSBENDER / AFP / Getty Images)

INA FASSBENDER / Getty Images

Arsenal came in first place in Group H of the UEFA Europa League 2017-18 despite losing 1- 0 to Cologne on Thursday night.

Sehrou Guirbady won a penalty for the German hosts around the time of play and went ahead to score the field goal, moving the Bundesliga team from the bottom of Group H and up to third place (Red Star Belgrade he owns the tie-breaker through his face-to-face victory)

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger lined up a more experienced lineup, and despite the defeat, the BATE Borisov and Red Star Belgrade draw in Belarus means he does not they can catch them at the top of Group H.

Knowing that a victory would seal the first place in Group H, Wenger opted for a more experienced line-up in the first team at the RheinEnergieStadion, with Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck in the front and Per Mertesacker in defense. [19659007] Former Hannover midfielder and Werder Bremen Mertesacker faced a familiar Bundesliga opponent, and former Arsenal alumnus Lukas Podolski – not Vissel Kobe in Japan – had vested interests in both teams:

Lukas -Podolski.com @ Podolski10

Can not wait for tonight. Poldi will be watching! E❤ #effzeh # gunners #Poldi ??? @fckoeln @Arsenal https://t.co/JkNqgmhUXM

2017-11-23 15:23:47

Cologne came into the game under much more pressure to obtain a result considering that they were located in the bottom of Group H, seven points behind the Arsenal leader, without mentioning the end of the Bundesliga.

The Billy Goats have managed to score just four times in 12 league outings and almost won the first game when Jhon Córdoba forced a great save by Arsenal closer David Ospina after only six minutes. That turned out to be one of the best opportunities of the first half.

Yuya Osako took over the central role of Cologne and unearthed a couple of opportunities in the first 30 minutes, while Welbeck was one of the busiest characters in attack by visitors.

Francis Coquelin was almost the unlikely source of a breakthrough when he started a woodworking effort, prompting Mark Mann-Bryans of the Press Association to guess why the game remained without annotations:

Mark Mann- Bryans [19659018] @ MarkyMBryans

Coquelin hits the post this time. It was the biggest goal threat in the park. Probably why this is still 0-0 .. # AFC

2017-11-23 18:32:33

Ainsley Maitland-Niles has received valuable experience in the Europa League this season and has impressed with his pace of work throughout the first half, but Arsenal rarely threatened to break the goal line of Timo Horn.

Visitors from north London have conceded goals to Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in recent European campaigns, and ITV Football illustrated their disappointing record of trips to Germany on recent trips:

ITV Football @ ] itvfootball

The last three games of Arsenal in Germany have ended in defeat, with a total of two goals scored and 12 conceded.

Still 0️⃣-0️⃣ in Cologne.

#AFC #UEL https://t.co/sYc5R8IX4p

2017-11-23 19:12:46

Alex Iwobi came in for Welbeck in the break, but after experiencing problems trying to break the Arsenal Through open play, Cologne found the opener by other means just after the hour mark.

Guirbady stumbled over Mathieu Debuchy, who appeared to be pbading through molbades while trying to rescue a late tackle, instead of stealing the Colony's outer leg in front and giving a kick to the side of the hearth.

The French showed good value to intensify and convert their penalty by the medium and on Ospina, but again, the quality of the attack witnessed on this device was questioned by Daily Mail & # 39; s Riath Al-Samarrai:

Riath Al-Samarrai @ riathalsam

1-0 Cologne. I have never seen a team attack so badly and score, although from a corral. It was a kind of relief to see Guirbady go for the goal.

2017-11-23 19:23:25

Arsenal's response after the goal was typical of a team that knew it had already progressed.

Jack Wilshere showed sparks of wit, but this was far from the beleaguered screen witnessed in the 2-0 victory over Tottenham on Saturday. The youngsters Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah showed some rhythm and enthusiasm when they entered the fray, but nothing that worries the hosts too much.

Manager of Cologne, Peter Stoger, imposed some tactical substitutions of his own in the second half to fill his midfield, and the strategy of throwing bodies behind the ball to preserve his second victory of the group paid off in the end.

The Germans will continue to fight on the last day of the group, but it is a case of work done for Arsenal despite a laborious exit on Thursday.

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