UEFA Europa League 2017/18: Arsenal 3-1 FC Koln: 5 talking points
After a one hour delay filled with pandemonium and crowd trouble, Arsenal kicked off their UEFA Europa League campaign against FC Cologne. In the lapsed one hour there were debates between UEFA and officials over whether the match would go ahead, but at 9:05 pm local time, it did and what followed was interesting, to say the least.
A wonder strike from Jhon Córdoba put the 18th placed Bundesliga side shockingly ahead in the 9th minute. The first half ended like that and the whistle was greeted with boos from the home fans.
A switch of formation in the second half, allowed new recruit - Sead Kolašinac to level things with an emphatic volley in the 49th minute. Arsenal eventually took the lead in the 67th minute, through a beautiful strike from Alexis Sánchez.
A close-range poke from Hector Bellerín in the 81st minute, settled the game and secured all 3 points for the Gunners.
Here are the 5 main talking points from the game:
#5 David Ospina shows why he’s Arsenal's no.2
In the 10th minute, we witnessed, both, a moment of stupidity and brilliance. Stupidity from David Ospina and brilliance from Jhon Córdoba. The Colombian keeper initially did well to anticipate a long through ball but it was his clearance that let him down.
Instead of hoofing the ball into the stands like any normal keeper, the Colombian opted to gift the ball back to FC Köln in his OWN half. What followed was a wonder strike from Jhon Córdoba, who on the half turn was able to lob Ospina from close to 40 yards out. He left the Emirates faithful stunned and sent the legions of Cologne fans into ecstasy.
After such a calamitous mistake, Ospina resembled a bag of nerves for the rest of the game. Every cross that came, the Colombian fluffed at it, sending panic across the defence. Fans who complained about Petr Cech in the past will be forced to hold their tongue henceforth, by the thought of Ospina replacing him.