Arsenal began their Europa League campaign under the management of Arsene Wenger and got off to a winning start as they came from behind to beat Bundesliga side FC Koln 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
Most people will remember this game for the chaotic scenes outside the stadium, but there are still plenty of lessons to be learned from this match in regards to the football. FC Koln manager Peter Stöger will have been pleased with his side’s performance considering it was their first game in Europe for a significant amount of time.
5Arsenal remain focused despite off-the-field distractions
Wenger’s side are often criticised for their lack of focus, desire and character in matches, but this is something that they could not be criticised for in this game. The match was delayed by an hour due to the off-the-field issues regarding FC Koln fans, but the Gunners did not let this affect them, and they went on to secure a vital three points to kick-off their Europa League campaign in positive fashion.
The most encouraging thing for Wenger will be that his side actually came back from 1-0 down to secure the win. Jhon Cordoba gave the away side the lead in spectacular fashion by lobbing David Ospina from 40 yards out. Arsenal have often crumbled in this sort of situation and gone on to lose the game, but they showed their character by coming back to win in a convincing fashion which can only be a positive sign.