Full-time: FC Cologne 1-0 Arsenal

  • Arsenal confirmed as Europa League Group H winners despite falling to a slender defeat at the RheinEnergieStadion courtesy of the goalless draw between BATE Borisov and Red Star Belgrade
  • Sehrou Guirassy nets the only goal of the game from the penalty spot on 62 minutes after going down under minimal contact from Mathieu Debuchy
  • Francis Coquelin spurns the Gunners' best chance in the first half after crashing a shot against the post
  • Result means Cologne, bottom of the Bundesliga, remain in contention for a knockout berth ahead of their trip to Belgrade next month
  • Victory was just the hosts' second in 17 games so far this season
  • Much-changed Arsenal, on a high after their north London derby success, have now lost each of their last four away games against German opposition
  • Danny Welbeck's first appearance for more than five weeks ends after only 45 minutes
  • Dominic Maroh, Jhon Cordoba and Jannes Horn all add to Cologne's injury woes
Arsene Wenger: Santi Cazorla's injury 'is the worst I've ever seen' Hayters

That is all for this particular blog, thanks for following along.

You can join IBTimes UK sport editor Nick Howson for live coverage of Everton's penultimate Group E contest against Serie A side Atalanta at Goodison Park here. That one is just kicking off.

Goodbye for now.


It's a massive win in the context of a desperately disappointing season for Cologne, who remain in contention for a runner-up spot after going level on points with Red Star ahead of next month's trip to Belgrade.

However, the knocks sustained by Maroh, Cordoba and Jannes Horn will be a concern before the Bundesliga visit of Hertha Berlin.


Arsenal's unbeaten run in the Europa League comes to an end, but that stalemate in Barysaw means they are confirmed as Group H winners with one more home match against BATE Borisov to come on 7 December.

Wenger has been lamenting what he calls a sequence of "unbelievable" refereeing decisions of late and no doubt he will have something to say about that penalty award.

It's something of a comedown after the highs of last weekend's north London derby win, but really the result matters little in the grand scheme of things. Burnley away is next up for the Gunners on Sunday.



FC Cologne 1-0 Arsenal


Wilshere fizzes a powerful shot narrowly over the crossbar. Nervous Cologne fans pleading for the final whistle a good minute-and-a-half early.

This would be a huge result for the struggling hosts.


Full-time in Belarus, where BATE Borisov have drawn 0-0 with Red Star Belgrade. Arsenal will be confirmed as group winners even if they fail to score in the closing minutes in Cologne.


Almost an equaliser from Arsenal as Timo Horn parries Nelson's drive. Wilshere and Nketiah also go close.

Four minutes of added time for the Gunners to rescue a point.


Guirassy adds a yellow card to his goal after going in recklessly on Mertesacker.


It's certainly looking that way as we head into the final knockings...



Wenger rolls the dice one final time, sending on 18-year-old forward Eddie Nketiah in place of Debuchy.

Can he repeat his Norwich Carabao Cup heroics?


Nelson is slightly blocked off by Sorensen as he looks to connect with a cross, but his own penalty appeals are muted at best.


Olkowski finds himself in acres of space and appeals for another penalty after claiming that his underhit cross was blocked by the hand of Mertesacker. On this occasion, the referee is not interested.


Guirassy celebrates what could be the only goal of the game in Cologne...

Sehrou Guirassy


Arsenal are pushing for an equaliser here but just cannot find a way through this resilient Cologne defence.

10 minutes plus stoppage time remaining.


Giroud peels off the back of Mere and looks to be clean through before a heavy touch allows Jannes Horn to make a superb last-ditch challenge.

The defender collides painfully with namesake Timo and appears to have come off worse. He receives medical attention before limping gingerly off the pitch as Wilshere prepares to deliver another corner.


A final substitution from Cologne, who withdraw striker Osako in favour of experienced midfielder Lehmann.

A moment of concern for Wenger as Wilshere stays down in pain after being caught by Mere. He looks OK to continue.

Jack Wilshere


It's important to note that Arsenal would still win Group H tonight as it stands, with BATE Borisov and Red Star Belgrade still goalless in Belarus.


Nelson shows an excellent turn of pace to dispossess goalscorer Guirassy after Debuchy was beaten.

Cologne have grown in confidence since taking the lead against the run of play.


Wenger's second change sees the ineffective Chambers make way for Nelson, who had apparently been a little unwell before the game.


Wilshere trying his best to get Arsenal back on level terms. He shifts the ball onto his left foot before drawing a strong save from Timo Horn.

The former Bournemouth loanee then heads onto the roof of the net.


That looked an incredibly soft penalty decision, it must be said. And should Debuchy have not been shown a second yellow?

Timo Horn called into action as he punches clear Mertesacker's header.


Ospina dives to his right as Guirassy strikes straight down the middle. First blood to the hosts with just over an hour played.

Sehrou Guirassy


Goal: FC Cologne 1-0 Arsenal (Sehrou Guirassy)


Referee Bezborodov points to the spot after Guirassy goes over under minimal contact from Debuchy.

He dusts himself off to take the spot-kick...