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Wenger's cologne better than Koln....Arsenal 3-1 FC Koln - Europa League - 14th September 2017

So…

Our first foray into the dreaded Europa League….

Or is it as dreaded as we believe? We’ve been in 19 consecutive Champions League seasons, with only one final, one semi-final, and a few quarter-finals to show for it. Did we really deserve to get back in it this season?

Who knows? Though the Europa League this time may be more our level, and we are one of the tournament favourites. Earlier in the evening, Everton had a bad defeat to Atalanta, so we were left flying the English/Premier League flags in it.

Koln had brought a near army to our ground for this, and all of them would have been up for it. And their abominable conduct needs addressing by UEFA. Though Wenger did field a weakened team, but still with plenty of seasoned players inclusive of current and past internationals.

Tonight was a reasonable performance though, so the team managed to get a win in this unfamiliar (but potentially more fruitful?) environment.

First half

This was poor on several accounts. The passing was weak and the team lacked energy and fight. As for why? God knows. It's typical of Arsenal at the moment. What the hell Ospina thinking for that clearance?

Second half

This was much improved. Goals from Alexis and were enough to get the win. Wenger changed the formation and with four at the back Arsenal looked sharper and more focused.

Impressions

A game of two halves in many ways. Wenger boosted things up tactically and it worked. It made light work of Cologne in the end. Moreover Alexis had a weird performance. He was not up for it in parts but scored a great goal in the end.

Ospina and the defence looked shakiy in parts though Ashley Maitland-Niles is a decent prospect.

There is one big point though. Cologne fans, learn some class. Hamburg, Bayern, Schalke, Dortmund (all bigger clubs than you incidentally....) all have largely acted with class in our ground. Maybe this is why you don't win much in your own country..... Every last one of you is a DUMBKOPF.

Can we win this competition? Why not? It may be out best hope and Wenger deserves a European trophy in his Arsenal tenure.

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