Arsenal scrape into last 16 after scare

Arsenal were given a scare by Ostersunds after losing 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium, but they progressed to the Europa League last 16 with a 4-2 win on aggregate.

Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2
Aiesh shot goes in off Chambers
Sema makes it 2-0 soon after
Kolasinac hits back in second half
Keita makes a string of fine saves

Match Summary

The Swedish outfit raced into a two-goal lead courtesy of quick-fire strikes from Hosam Aiesh and Ken Sema midway through the first half. But Sead Kolasinac halved the deficit at the start of the second half to ease Gunners nerves and they held on to keep their European challenge alive.

Full Report

The visitors took the fight to Arsene Wenger’s side from the off, as Sema got free of Hector Bellerin on the left and cut the ball back for Jamie Hopcutt, whose shot was blocked by Calum Chambers.

After Alex Iwobi failed to test Aly Keita with a wayward strike from the edge of the box on the left on 14 minutes, David Ospina was required to save Sema’s angled shot from the left four minutes later after he went past Bellerin once more.

Ostersunds then stunned the home fans by taking the lead on 22 minutes. After being released down the right channel by Saman Ghoddos, Aiesh got off a shot from a narrow angle that took a touch off Chambers on its way into the back of the net.

Ghoddos also had a hand in their second goal 69 seconds later as he sent Sema through on goal with a ball over the top and the Swede lashed a shot into the bottom-right corner of the net from eight yards out.

Curtis Edwards then threatened with an effort from 20 yards out that flew past the right post on the half-hour mark, while the final chance of the half came to the hosts two minutes before half-time. However, Jack Wilshere skied his shot from inside the area after a free-kick was only half-cleared into his path.

But Arsenal hit back seconds after the restart to dampen Ostersunds spirits. Bellerin’s cross from the right wasn’t properly dealt with and Kolasinac capitalised to fire home from inside the box.

Keita prevented the Gunners from equalising on 50 minutes as he kept out Danny Welbeck’s angled chip from the left, while at the other end Ospina was alert to the danger when he saved at the feet of Ronald Mukiibi after a short corner had been flicked on by Hopcutt.

Keita was called into action again on 63 minutes as he parried away Mohamed Elneny’s firm strike from 19 yards out, before making a more routine save from Welbeck’s header five minutes later while also keeping out Kolasinac from an angle on the left in the 72nd minute.

Chambers looked to make amends for his own-goal when he made contact with a corner 10 minutes from time, but failed to keep his header down. Keita at least ensured victory for his team with a sharp save to deny Welbeck at the death after he broke free inside the area.