Sehrou Guirassy struck from the penalty spot as 1. FC Köln beat Arsenal 1-0 in Thursday’s Europa League clash in Cologne.
Cologne 1 Arsenal 0
Guirassy buries penalty
Arsenal still top of Group H
Arsenal were unable to convert numerous chances on their visit to Germany, and it was struggling Köln – still without a win in the Bundesliga this season – who were able to pull off a 1-0 win after Sehrou Guirassy earned a penalty that he coolly slotted home.
Fortunately for the Gunners, they still ended up taking an unassailable lead in Group H after BATE and Red Star finished goalless.
— 1. FC Cologne (@fckoeln_en) November 23, 2017
There were a couple of chances early on at either end of the pitch, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles on target in the at the near post after Jack Wilshere had played him through. A few minutes later Jhon Cordoba also forced a save with a shot across goal that helped the struggling Bundesliga side start finding their feet in the game.
The first half an hour saw an open, end-to-end game. Francis Coquelin, who hasn’t scored in four years, came close with a well-hit drive from long range before, in the 30th minute, he hit the near post after Olivier Giroud had played him through.
The Gunners were able to see more of the ball than their opponents, and a period of prolonged possession ended in the 33rd minute with Danny Welbeck looking for the far post after cutting in onto his right foot from the left flank.
Not long afterwards Cologne captain Dominic Maroh injured himself blocking Welbeck’s ball across goal from reaching Giroud. The Slovenian could not continue, and was replaced by Konstantin Rausch.
The second half started with Wilshere working the ball around nicely just outside the Cologne box, opening space for the shot just to have the ball nicked off his toes before he could fire.
Cologne were awarded a penalty in the 61st minute after Sehrou Guirassy was too quick for Mathieu Debuchy, who chopped him down in the box and the ref instantly pointed to the spot. Guirassy took the penalty himself, beating David Ospina by sending it straight down the middle.
Giroud came close to pulling Arsenal level when Per Mertesacker’s header back across goal from a corner just evaded him. As the 90th minute approached there were more chances for Giroud, Nelson, and Nketiah, and Wilshere, but Cologne were able to hold on for an unexpected victory.