Calum Chambers struggles out of position, Arsenal fall at Cologne

Arsenal lost their unbeaten record in Europe thanks to a controversial penalty in a 1-0 defeat away at Cologne, but finished top of their group anyway due to results elsewhere.

Arsenal had already secured their place in the last-32 of the Europa League but still would have been frustrated to see Sehrou Guirassy win a penalty under minimal contact from Mathieu Debuchy and then score himself.

Coming after the North London derby win over Tottenham at the weekend, this display was a considerable let-down. But Arsenal's second string still topped the group despite defeat.


Yes, they lost, but Arsenal have finished in top spot without troubling their senior players and that must rank as a big achievement. There was little else to shout about though.


That's two poor performances in a row in Europe after the 0-0 draw at home to Red Star, even if both were entirely inconsequential. If Danny Welbeck's half-time removal was due to a bad injury then that will be a big setback.

Manager rating out of 10

6 -- Picking Calum Chambers at wing-back looked a bizarre move and so it proved. Arsene Wenger introduced Reiss Nelson too late but every team selection in this competition is a calculated gamble and overall Wenger can be satisfied to have topped the group. In the bigger picture, this defeat means very little at all.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK David Ospina, 6 -- Made a smart save on six minutes and could do nothing about a well-hit penalty. Looked fairly composed.

DF Mathieu Debuchy, 6 --The penalty was hugely soft, even if there was some contact from the Frenchman. A solid display otherwise.

DF Per Mertesacker, 8 -- Dominated in the air, winning nine aerial challenges. Also played the ball around with ease. A fine display from the skipper.

DF Rob Holding, 7 -- Looked rather less assured than Mertesacker but saw more of the ball, completing a remarkable 99 passes.

MF Calum Chambers, 5 -- His evident lack of pace makes him a weak option at wing-back and it was no surprise when he was withdrawn for Nelson with Arsenal a goal down.

MF Francis Coquelin, 7 -- Came so close to scoring his first Arsenal goal in 156 appearances when he cracked one off the post on 30 minutes. Coquelin had already lashed a long-ranger just wide too.

MF Mohamed Elneny, 6 -- Has featured in the back three in Europe but returned to a more familiar position in midfield. Offered little of note.

MF Ainsley Maitland-Niles, 6 -- The youngster showed some nice touches and was a useful outlet in attack when surging down the left flank.

FW Jack Wilshere, 7 -- He was involved in some intricate build-up play in the first half which ultimately came to nothing, before becoming a goal threat in the second with a long-range effort batted away and a header going over in the space of 60 seconds. A constant threat.

FW Olivier Giroud, 6 -- Had a huge chance to get Arsenal level on 76 minutes when beating the offside trap but was denied by the keeper. Could have offered a bit more.

FW Danny Welbeck, 6 -- The forward was making his return from injury and was one of Arsenal's brighter players in the first half, sending one effort just wide of the post on 33 minutes. But his return was cut short when he came off at half-time.


MF Alex Iwobi (for Welbeck, 45), 6 -- Looked full of confidence but couldn't make the difference.

MF Reiss Nelson (for Chambers, 67), 7 -- Made an instant impact with his pace and almost brought Arsenal level with a stunning dribble and shot on 89 minutes.

FW Eddie Nketiah (for Debuchy, 84), NR -- Looked lively and almost got on the end of a Wilshere cross in the closing seconds.