Arsenal came from behind to beat Cologne in their delayed Europa League opener against a backdrop of crowd trouble at the Emirates Stadium.
Kick-off was delayed by an hour as ticketless away supporters attempted to enter the ground, with plenty of Cologne fans sat in among the home section when the tie finally got under way, with the Gunners eventually running out 3-1 victors.
Four arrests were made on suspicion of public order offences as extra police were deployed to the scene. On the pitch, Arsene Wenger’s much-changed side show determination to fight back from Jhon Cordoba’s early 40-yard strike to seal three points thanks to goals from Sead Kolasinac, Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin.
What they said
Arsenal boss Wenger: “At some stage I thought they would not play the game, because I can’t see the police taking any risk. We live in a society of 100 per cent security and I thought they would never take a gamble to play this game when I saw the images around the stadium. But I must say our supporters as well dealt well with the situation as well and there was no aggravation.”
Star man – Hector Bellerin
Not a night where singling out a single performance was an obvious decision but Bellerin played well throughout, at wing-back in the first half and a more traditional right-back role after the half-time shuffle. Always offers an out-ball and gets up and down the flank with ease, deserved his goal which wrapped up three points on what could have proven a difficult night for the Gunners.
In with the crowd
Quite how the situation which emerged at the Emirates Stadium which saw this contest delayed by an hour was able to unfold is uncertain. One thing that is clear is Arsenal having plenty of questions to answer and are likely to face a UEFA investigation into their operation of the match. Having decided the game would go ahead, it soon became clear that swathes of Cologne supporters had gained access to home sections of the stadium.
Kolasinac was only on the pitch for 223 seconds before he rifled home Arsenal’s equaliser. It was the full-back’s second goal for the club after he also scored as a substitute in the Community Shield victory against Chelsea.
Arsenal: David Ospina: 5/10, Rob Holding: 5, Per Mertesacker: 6, Nacho Monreal: 6, Hector Bellerin: 7, Alex Iwobi: 6, Mohamed Elneny: 7, Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 6, Theo Walcott: 5, Alexis Sanchez: 7, Olivier Giroud: 6. Subs: Sead Kolasinac (for Holding, 45): 7 Jack Wilshere (for Iwobi, 68): 7, Reiss Nelson (for Walcott, 83): 6.Cologne: Timo Horn: 6, Lukas Klunter: 5, Jorge Mere: 6, Dominique Heintz: 6, Konstantin Rausch: 6, Matthais Lehmann: 5, Simon Zoller: 6, Marco Hoger: 5, Jonas Hector: 6, Leonardo Bittencourt: 6, Jhon Cordoba: 7. Subs: Milos Jojic (for Hector, 34): 5, Marcel Risse (for Zoller, 64): 5, Yuya Osako (for Klunter, 75): 5.
Who’s up next?
Chelsea v Arsenal (Premier League, September 17)
Borussia Dortmund v Cologne (Bundesliga, September 17)
Aston Villa signs Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal
Premier League side Aston Villa, have completed the signing of Arsenal Goalkeeper Emiliano Martineli, for a fee of around 20 Million pounds.
The 28 year old Argentine shot stopper,won the FA Cup and The Community Shield with the gunners and has now penned a Four-year deal with Aston Villa.
Villa’s Manager, Dean Smith said: “We are really pleased with the signing of our new goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
“We know how highly Arsenal rated him and we watched his outstanding performances last season in a trophy-winning top side.
“We moved for Emi when we saw the opportunity, as it is rare to be able to buy a top class goalkeeper who hasn’t yet reached their peak age and who can therefore be a key player for our Club for the long term.”
Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang Signs A new Contract Extension at Arsenal
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has signed a new 3 year contract with the gunners, putting away any doubts that Arsenal were going to loose their top talisman come the end of the season as his previous 3 and a half contract comes to an end.
The 31 year old Gabon striker,announced his new contract extension by going live on Arsenal’s social media platforms.
Aubemayang said: ‘I signed the thing because I want to become an Arsenal legend, maybe leave a legacy.
‘It’s time to work a lot to become a legend but for sure I will give my best as always. This is my home. I am really happy to stay here. I will always give you my best. Signing for this special club was never in doubt.’
Aubameyang joined Arsenal in January 2018 and has a mindblowing 72 goals and 15 assists in just 111 games.
Chelsea Complete Signing of Timo Werner from RB Leipzig
Chelsea have confirmed in a club statement the signing of German foward Timo Werner from RB Leipzig.
The 24 year old striker is currently enjoying his most profitable season yet in his career, scoring 32 goals and providing 13 assists in 42 appearances across all competition for Leipzig.
Werner said: ‘I am delighted to be signing for Chelsea, it is a very proud moment for me to be joining this great club. I of course want to thank RB Leipzig, the club and the fans, for four fantastic years. You will forever be in my heart. I look forward to next season with my new team-mates, my new manager and of course the Chelsea fans. Together we have a very successful future ahead of us.’
Marina Granovskaia added: ‘We are very excited that Timo Werner has chosen to join Chelsea. He is a player who was coveted all over Europe and it is no surprise, he has that rare mix of being young and exciting and yet established and proven. We can’t wait to have Timo on board, but until then we wish him and RB Leipzig all the best for the rest of this season.’
Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta Positive Aubameyang will Extend his Contract with the Gunners
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta says he is “pretty positive” that Aubameyang will sign a new contract with the gunners.
The strikers current deal expires in June 2021. And he claimed that whether he signs or not will be the biggest decision of his life.
“He needs to feel valued, he needs to feel he belongs to us and that we want him,” said Arteta.
The 30 year old Gaboneese striker joined the gunners in January 2018 from Borussia Dortmund scroring 61 goals in 97 appearances.
Arteta added: “I think at the moment I am extremely happy with how he’s been performing and behaving.
“I have a really good relationship with him and we can discuss face to face a lot of things. So far as I’m aware I think he’s very happy at the club.”
Speaking to a French football programme Telefoot Aubameyang said that he “hasn’t had an offer recently” from the club.
“I did speak to the club quite a few months ago, and they know why nothing has happened yet,” he said.
“It’s a turning point in my career and I want to be honest with everyone.
“They have the keys. It is up to them to do their work and, after that, we will see how things go. It’ll certainly be a very difficult decision to make.”
Barcelona and Inter Milan are believed to be interested in the striker.
Premier leauge action resumes on Wednesday when Arsenal travel to Etihad to face Manchester City.
Bandari FC Goes Digital To Keep Players Fit Amid Covid-19 Lockdown
Bandari Fc head coach Ken Odhiambo has taken advantage of latest technology to keep his players fit amid the Covid-19 lockdown. By the use of a WhatsApp group Odhiambo keeps his players on toes by sending them daily r exercise routines.
Each player has to give a feedback on their progress said Shaban Kenga the captain.
“We are under the progamme which we were all provided by the coach through the group. It’s a daily routine [from Monday-Friday],”he said. “On my part I always keep my fitness levels by training in the house or by looking for appropriate field for outdoor exercises,” said Kenga.
Kenga went ahead to hail his club official for not affecting their salary disbursement.
“We really thank the management. We have not had a situation where our salaries are not being disbursed, we are paid just as usual and this really needs an applause. It’s a difficult period for many families and we hope this will end soon.” Said Kenga
The Football Kenya Federation (FKF), last month declared Gor Mahia the 2019/2020 champions after cancelling the season amid the Covid-19 pandemic.The decision by FKF is being contested at the Sports Tribunal Court as it still remains unclear on when the 2020/2021 season will begin.