Koln FC 1 Arsenal 0

Manager Arsene Wenger said Arsenal “had got the job done” by advancing to the Europa League knockout stage as Group H winners despite losing at Cologne. A penalty by Sehrou Guirassy, after Mathieu Debuchy was harshly adjudged to have fouled the French striker, earned Cologne only their second win in 17 Bundesliga and Europa League games this season. The closest the Gunners came to scoring was when Francis Coquelin hit the post when the game was goalless in the first half. With one match remaining, Arsenal have 10 points from five games, four ahead of Cologne and Red Star Belgrade, who were held to a goalless draw by Bate Borisov.

A second successive Europa League win for Cologne means they could qualify for the knockout stage after losing their first three matches. Of the five defeats Wenger’s side have suffered this season, this was the least damaging after qualifying for the last-32 stage with two games to spare. Yet a much-changed Gunners line-up failed to build on the afterglow of victory over neighbours Tottenham on Saturday as they were beaten again in Germany. They were hammered 5-1 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League in February 2017 and November 2015, as well as losing 2-0 to Borussia Dortmund in September 2014.

Wenger changed the entire starting XI from the north London derby, forward Danny Welbeck returning from a groin injury after missing the past seven games. Arsenal’s side, which featured Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere, had only 16 Premier League starts between them this season, and it was a lacklustre performance against the Bundesliga’s bottom club. Coquelin twice went close to scoring his first goal for four years, the French midfielder fizzing a shot narrowly wide from 20 yards before another effort bounced off the foot of the Cologne post. Welbeck lasted 45 minutes before he was replaced at the start of the second half by Alex Iwobi.

One of the few positives for Arsenal was another eye-catching display by Reiss Nelson. The 17-year-old has impressed in the Europa League and Carabao Cup this season, and again caught the eye after replacing Calum Chambers midway through the second half. In one sublime move, Nelson danced his way around three defenders before forcing a save from Timo Horn, who also stopped a long distance effort by Wilshere in the closing stages.

Arsenal 2 Tottenham Hotspurs 0

Arsenal closed to within a point of Tottenham and maintained their arch-rivals’ miserable record at Emirates Stadium with a comfortable north London derby victory. The pressure was on Arsene Wenger and the Gunners as they trailed Spurs in the Premier League table – but they responded in style and were superior in all areas of the pitch to win with plenty to spare. Shkodran Mustafi headed a free-kick powerfully past Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris in the 36th minute after referee Mike Dean had contentiously penalised Davinson Sanchez for a challenge on Alexis Sanchez. The German defender also looked to have been offside.

Arsenal’s domination was underlined five minutes later when Sanchez finished emphatically at the near post, effectively securing the Gunners’ first league win over Spurs since 2014. Tottenham – who have only once in 12 league visits to the Emirates – suffered with Harry Kane, looking well short of match fitness after missing England’s friendlies against Germany and Brazil with a hamstring injury, rarely threatening, although Arsenal keeper Petr Cech saved athletically from Eric Dier’s late header.

Wenger has mysteriously often decided against using Ozil, Lacazette and Sanchez as a potent three-pronged attack this season. This was only the third time he has used the three players together and the combination’s potential and threat was obvious as Spurs were outplayed for most of this north London derby. It also begged the question why it was not used – with £52m Lacazette the most obvious victim of Wenger’s selection policy – in the 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool and the 3-1 loss at Manchester City earlier this season. The France striker is already a popular figure among Arsenal fans, as proved by the fierce jeering when he was replace by Francis Coquelin with 17 minutes left, while Sanchez and Ozil have long been providing the attacking class for the Gunners.

Manchester City 3 Arsenal 1

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised his side’s “amazing” run of form after they outclassed Arsenal to open up an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League. City have won nine consecutive league matches, a club record for a single season, have progressed to the knockout stage of the Champions League and are through to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup. Kevin de Bruyne’s driven finish and a Sergio Aguero penalty put City in command and, even though substitute Alexandre Lacazette pulled one back for Arsenal, Gabriel Jesus sealed victory for the home side from close range.

Arsenal were aggrieved at the penalty awarded for Nacho Monreal’s challenge on Raheem Sterling and both Jesus and David Silva appeared to be offside for the third goal, but the visitors did not deserve to take anything from the game. Still, the Gunners would have been beaten by more had it not been for the saves of goalkeeper Petr Cech and the wastefulness of the hosts. City go into the two-week international break with an extended advantage over second-placed Manchester United, who were beaten 1-0 at Chelsea. The eight-point gap between the top two is the largest after 11 games in the Premier League era.

Arsenal slip to sixth, 12 points behind City, and face a battle to regain a place in the Champions League. City have now won 15 consecutive matches in all competitions, including an EFL Cup victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on penalties. Their 11-game haul of 31 points and +31 goal difference is a Premier League record, built on some breathtaking attacking play. This win was no different, even if they were hampered by their lack of ruthlessness in front of goal.

Arsenal 0 Red Star Belgrade 0

Arsenal reached the knockout stages of the Europa League despite a goalless draw against Red Star Belgrade. Striker Olivier Giroud, who scored a late winner in the reverse fixture, was guilty of missing a number of chances, twice being thwarted by Red Star goalkeeper Milan Borjan and shooting wide from inside the area. The game’s best chance fell to midfielder Jack Wilshere, but his shot from close range was cleared off the line. Serbian side Red Star had opportunities themselves, but striker Richmond Boakye could not hit the target with efforts in each half. The Premier League side top Group H with 10 points from four games and Cologne’s 5-2 win over BATE Borisov in the group’s other game means they progress.

Wilshere has largely been fielded in the cup competitions this season and showed glimpses of his capabilities by bursting forward with the ball from midfield, but his performance was not one that will cause Southgate to reconsider his decision. The former Bournemouth loanee could have settled the game in the second half, but his dinked shot was kept out acrobatically by visiting defender Damien Le Tallec. Another player left out of the Three Lions squad, Theo Walcott, was given the captain’s armband for the night but he too failed to impress, being unable to exert his influence on the game. The 28-year-old has played nearly 400 games for the Gunners since signing as a teenager from Southampton in 2005, but now has to be content with playing in a second-string side.

Walcott headed wide from a Wilshere cross in the second half and miscued a shot from inside the six-yard box with only the goalkeeper to beat. Arsenal travel to face unbeaten Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday

Arsenal 2 Swansea City 1

Arsenal ended a tricky week off the pitch with a fourth successive win on it as Aaron Ramsey scored the decisive goal in manager Arsene Wenger’s 800th Premier League game. Shareholders attempted unsuccessfully to vote out chairman Sir Chips Keswick at the club’s annual general meeting on Thursday, in protest at the way the club is being run. And the gloom looked set to deepen when Sam Clucas slotted in a goal very much against the run of play from Tammy Abraham’s pass to give Swansea a half-time lead. It was the first touch Swansea had managed inside Arsenal’s penalty area, and came in the 22nd minute.

But two quick goals after the interval turned the game around, with Sead Kolasinac firing in an equaliser before cutting back from the left for Ramsey to steer in his 50th goal for the club via the foot of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. Despite the turbulence off the pitch, Arsenal have discovered some character on it – this was the third game in a row in which they have won after conceding the first goal. That ensured a cheerful end to the week for Wenger, who revealed during Thursday’s stormy AGM that his position would be reviewed at the end of the season, even though he signed a two-year contract in May. Those comments add an extra degree of uncertainty to Arsenal’s long-term future, with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez both widely expected to leave when their contracts expire at the end of the season.

Ozil, Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette played together as an attacking trio for only the second time – but their chief threat came from elsewhere. Kolasinac, playing in the left wing-back role, provided their attacking impetus, taking every chance to get forward as Arsenal laboured in the first half, before playing a central role in the turnaround. The Bosnia-Herzegovina international finished a terrific move for the equaliser, as Arsenal finally managed to pass their way around and through a well-organised Swansea side. Hector Bellerin, Granit Xhaka, Lacazette and Ozil were all involved, with the German’s shot bouncing off a defender and running loose for Kolasinac to thump in via a deflection. The wing-back’s positive run to the byeline then set up Ramsey for the second, and there were other inspired moments, notably a beautiful, dragged backheel that sent Sanchez away down the left for a cross-shot that was saved.

Arsenal 2 Norwich City 1

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger predicted a bright future for teenager Edward Nketiah after his two goals helped the Gunners edge past Championship side Norwich City in extra time to reach the Carabao Cup quarter-finals. Substitute Nketiah, 18, scored twice after Norwich had taken the lead when James Maddison’s pass released Josh Murphy, who dinked a shot past Gunners debutant goalkeeper Matt Macey. The Canaries, sixth in the second tier, had chances to make it 2-0, but Macey pushed away Nelson Oliveira’s curled effort with Murphy and Mario Vrancic also missing chances.

Those misses proved crucial as Nketiah grabbed a late equaliser from close range only 15 seconds after coming on to leave it level after 90 minutes. The England Under-19 international then headed in from Mohamed Elneny’s corner for the winner. The 18-year-old former Chelsea youth player is the first player born since Wenger started his reign as Arsenal boss in 1996 to score for the club. The England Under-19 international then headed in from Mohamed Elneny’s corner for the winner. The 18-year-old former Chelsea youth player is the first player born since Wenger started his reign as Arsenal boss in 1996 to score for the club.

The second goal for the hosts came in the 96th minute through a powerful Nketiah header from Elneny’s fine delivery. Nketiah had a chance for a hat-trick, but Angus Gunn produced a fine save. Even though Canaries wanted a late penalty after Debuchy clashed with James Husband, Arsenal held on. The draw for the quarter-finals will take place at 16:00 BST on Wednesday, 25 October.

Everton 2 Arsenal 5

Arsenal piled the pressure on Everton manager Ronald Koeman with an embarrassingly easy victory that pushed the Toffees into the Premier League relegation zone. Everton, with only two league wins this season, were given early hope when Wayne Rooney re-enacted his famous goal against Arsenal from 2002 as a 16-year-old with a brilliant 20-yard curling finish past Petr Cech. It was to prove a false dawn as only Everton keeper Jordan Pickford kept his side on terms before Nacho Monreal reacted to a rebound from his save to draw Arsenal level five minutes before the break.

Arsenal never looked back and it was no surprise when the outstanding pair of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil combined for the German to head past the besieged Pickford eight minutes after half-time. Everton collapsed in humiliating fashion, Idrissa Gueye making matters worse when a senseless tackle on Granit Xhaka earned him his second yellow card. Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey increased the agony for Koeman and Everton with goals in the final 16 minutes. Even when Everton substitute Oumar Niasse pulled one back in stoppage time, there was still time for Sanchez to end a slalom run with a fifth to bring the curtain down on a desperate day for Koeman, who is now surely fighting to save his job.

As Arsenal celebrated the easiest of victories at the final whistle, their fans tucked away in one corner of the ground may not have been pondering a thorny question facing manager Arsene Wenger. Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are both running down their Arsenal contracts and look certain to leave the club, perhaps as early as January, but both produced performances that underlined just how much they would be missed. Sanchez showed no signs of any discontent or hangover from his failed move to Manchester City. The Chile forward was inventive, endlessly aggressive, created one goal for Ozil with a perfect cross and finished of the win with a glorious slalom run and shot across Pickford. Ozil was at his graceful best, picking his way through midfield, selecting the finest from his wide range of passes and ghosting in for a fine header that gave Arsenal a crucial lead they never looked like relinquishing.

Watford 2 Arsenal 1

Arsene Wenger bemoaned a “scandalous decision” to award Watford a penalty as Arsenal squandered a lead to lose 2-1 in injury time at Vicarage Road. The Gunners led through Per Mertesacker’s header but the Hornets equalised when Troy Deeney converted from the spot after Hector Bellerin was adjudged to have fouled Richarlison. Substitute Deeney’s strike with 19 minutes left set the scene for a stirring Watford finish, with Tom Cleverley converting in the closing seconds to send Watford fourth. “I would say it was not a penalty,” said Arsenal manager Wenger. “It came at a moment in the game where it was absolutely important for Watford. No penalty, no goal.”

Silva’s side have now scored in the 90th minute or beyond in three consecutive games, as a second-half revival sealed their first home win of an impressive start to the campaign. Without the rested Alexis Sanchez the Gunners lacked the cutting edge to capitalise on a string of chances, with substitute Mesut Ozil – also benched after his World Cup qualifying exertions for Germany in the week – guilty of one glaring miss. While Wenger complained government loans for bad credit about the penalty, Arsenal fans might be more concerned with the evidence that their side remain so defensively vulnerable. Granted they had to ask injury-troubled elder statesman Mertesacker to replace his sidelined compatriot Shkodran Mustafi, but that was not solely to blame.

For 45 minutes at least the 33-year-old German was commanding on his first top-flight start since April 2016. But worryingly for Arsenal in this contest, they faced only three shots on target and conceded twice. Wenger had readied Jack Wilshire from the bench but brought on another defender, Rob Holding, to cling onto a point. It wasn’t enough. Not for the first time his defence switched off under pressure, leaving Cleverley unmarked to smash in the late heart-breaker. Injuries can’t be helped. Organisation and remaining calm under pressure are another thing.

Arsenal Additional Injury Woes

Arsenal are faced with an injury crisis ahead of their trip to Watford on Saturday, with seven players potentially sidelined for the clash at Vicarage Road. Arsene Wenger has a selection headache ahead of the weekend with seven of his first-team stars currently sidelined through injury. Centre-back Shkodran Mustafi suffered a torn ligament during Germany’s 5-1 win over Azerbaijan on Sunday, while Laurent Koscielny faces a race to be fit after an Achilles injury. Meanwhile, Mesut Ozil is also on the comeback trail after a knee problem, while Francis Coquelin remains out with a hamstring injury.

The quartet join a trio of other stars on the treatment table as the Arsenal squad is stretched to the limit ahead of their return to Premier League action. Shkodran Mustafi suffered a thigh sprain muscle problem while on international duty with Germany against Azerbaijan as the holders secured their place at the 2018 World Cup on the back of 10 straight qualifying wins in Group C. Nacho Monreal is expected to be available, but Laurent Koscielny has been nursing a troublesome Achilles which flared up before the international break, while Calum Chambers is recovering from a groin problem. Rob Holding, who played against Brighton alongside Koscielny, and veteran German Per Mertesacker are other options to come in for Mustafi.

Sead Kolasinac only managed 45 minutes for Bosnia though according to reports from the player’s home country, there is no suggestion in the press that Kolasinac is actually injured. Danny Welbeck was out following a groin injury while Ozil picked up an injury during training and has inflammation of the knee. Francis Coquelin should soon return after his hamstring strain but is not confirmed for Saturday. And well we have Santi Carzola’s long term injury.

Arsenal 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 0

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger celebrated the 21st anniversary of his arrival at the club with a routine victory over Brighton. Nacho Monreal put the Gunners ahead early on when he shot through a crowded penalty area after Brighton had failed to clear a free-kick. A well worked Brighton free-kick resulted in Solly March striking the post from 20 yards shortly afterwards. But Arsenal added a second goal after half-time when a slick passing move on the counter-attack was emphatically finished off by Alex Iwobi. The win ensures Wenger’s side are a point behind north London rivals Tottenham in the chasing pack behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Brighton became the 45th different club that Wenger has defeated in the Premier League – more than any other manager in the competition’s history. There was criticism for Wenger earlier in the season and he remains a divisive figure among Arsenal supporters, but their season now appears to be on an upward trajectory. After an impressive September, in which the Gunners went unbeaten with five victories and a draw in all competitions, they began the month of October with a dominant victory and performance. For the first time in Wenger’s Arsenal tenure he has had to juggle the different challenges posed by the Europa League but the erudite Frenchman appears to have got a handle on the requirements of playing on Thursday and Sunday. Indeed, against newly promoted Brighton the Gunners looked something akin to the flat-track bullies of old. While not at their brilliant best, it was a display with the swagger and fluid football which has become Wenger’s trademark.

This was epitomised by Arsenal’s stylish second goal 11 minutes after half-time, which was a thing of beauty; a swift interchange of passes involving Aaron Ramsey, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette left Brighton’s players in a spin before Iwobi fired home. The acid test for Arsenal will come against their rivals for the top four, but there at least appears to be growing momentum and belief about Wenger’s side. The Brighton players were out on the Emirates turf an hour and a half before kick-off taking pictures, giving the impression they were treating the game like a cup final. The reality when the game kicked off was that Arsenal simply possessed too much quality for the visitors and the margin of victory could easily have been greater. Arsenal have now won their last 11 games at the Emirates in all competitions, their second longest ever run at the ground (12 between May and November 2009).

Bate Borisov 2 Arsenal 4

Theo Walcott scored twice as a much-changed Arsenal beat Bate Borisov in the Europa League to make it two wins from two in Group H. Jack Wilshere was excellent and set up a Walcott chance which hit the post before assisting the forward’s close-range opener. Bate keeper Denis Scherbitski then inexplicably passed the ball straight to Walcott to slot home a second. Rob Holding scored his first Arsenal goal, turning home Per Mertesacker’s flick-on from Walcott’s corner to seemingly put the game past Bate after 25 minutes.

But Mirko Ivanic pulled one back for the Belarusians after one of their few real attacks in the first half with an excellent 10-yard header from Aleksey Rios’ cross. Arsenal restored their three-goal advantage after the break as Olivier Giroud scored his 100th Arsenal goal from the spot after a soft penalty award against Vitali Gayduchik, who did not appear to make much contact with Shkodran Mustafi. Bate did pull another back when Mikhail Gordeychuk slammed home from close range after David Ospina parried Ivanic’s header. And Arsenal – who had looked comfortable up to that point – were hanging on at times in the end. Aleksandr Volodko could have set up an anxious finale but he fired a shot wide from inside the box.

The Gunners are top of Group H on six points with Red Star Belgrade second on four points after they beat Cologne, who have lost both matches, 1-0 thanks to Richmond Boakye’s goal. Youngsters Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson at wing-back, and Joseph Willock in central midfield, all had solid performances – albeit against weak opposition. Nelson, 17 – who has already made four appearances this season – was particularly impressive. Teenagers Marcus McGuane and Edward Nketiah came on for their debuts in the final 10 minutes. Walcott – who has not started a Premier League game this season – could have scored three or four goals. His first major opportunity came when Wilshere slipped him through and he hit the post from 10 yards out.

Arsenal 2 West Brom 0

Alexandre Lacazette scored twice to earn a shaky Arsenal victory over West Brom, their third Premier League win in a row at Emirates Stadium. The France striker – who has scored in each of those home wins – headed into an open net in the 20th minute after West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster tipped Alexis Sanchez’s free-kick onto the crossbar. West Brom, on the night midfielder Gareth Barry broke the Premier League appearance record, felt they should have been awarded a penalty before the opener when Shkodran Mustafi brought down Jay Rodriguez with a sliding challenge. Instead of staying on the ground following the contact, Rodriguez chose to continue but his shot was tipped onto the post by a diving Petr Cech.

After the break, Arsenal were themselves rightly awarded a spot-kick when Allan Nyom barged over Aaron Ramsey close to the byeline. Lacazette stepped up and calmly slotted into the bottom right corner – his fourth goal since his club record £46.5m summer move from Lyon. The Baggies caused Arsenal problems in the first half in particular, with Nacho Monreal brilliantly clearing a Rodriguez header off the line in the 38th minute. Victory for the Gunners lifts them to seventh in the table, one point behind fourth-placed Tottenham and six behind leaders Manchester City while West Brom drop to 12th. West Brom boss Tony Pulis cut an exasperated figure on the touchline as his poor record at the Emirates continued. He has now lost all 10 of the matches he has managed at the ground.

Pulis monthly loans no credit check was furious when a penalty was not given for Mustafi’s tackle on Rodriguez and also disagreed with the decision to a give a free-kick in the build-up to Lacazette’s first goal, when the contact from Jonny Evans on Mohamed Elneny looked minimal. Former Arsenal defender and BBC Radio 5 live pundit Martin Keown agreed, saying the Baggies should “definitely” have had a penalty and calling the Evans foul “doubtful”. However, Pulis was expressionless when Madley did point to the spot in the second half and, in truth, could have few complaints. It was a foolish shoulder charge from Nyom on Ramsey after the Arsenal midfielder had shown too much pace to surge around the Cameroon defender and into the box. Arsenal also had a penalty appeal turned down in the first half when Grzegorz Krychowiak pulled the shirt of Sanchez at a corner.

West Brom have scored just four goals this season but could easily have added to that in the first half with Rodriguez a constant threat. As well as the Englishman’s header that was cleared off the line and the shot which followed the penalty decision, he came within inches of converting a cross from the right when sliding full-stretch towards goal. But, despite the improved attacking display, the Baggies are now five games without a victory and have won only one of 12 away league matches in 2017. Wenger has won all 11 of his home games against teams managed by Pulis, 10 in the Premier League and one FA Cup game at Highbury in 2005. Lacazette became the first Arsenal player to score in his first three home league appearances for the club since Brian Marwood in September 1988. Arsenal have scored in all 23 of their Premier League meetings with West Brom, the best such 100% record in the division.

Arsenal 1 Doncaster Rovers 0

Arsenal moved into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup as Theo Walcott’s first-half goal saw off League One Doncaster Rovers at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners, who made 11 changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday, hit the crossbar early on through Olivier Giroud’s overhead kick. But Walcott put the hosts ahead when he collected Alexis Sanchez’s cross-field pass and dinked a shot over Ian Lawlor. Doncaster’s Matty Blair headed against the bar late on, but Arsenal advanced.

Arsene Wenger’s side dominated throughout with 27 attempts, with Giroud heading over from Mohamed Elneny’s cross and Walcott having a shot pushed over by Lawlor. Doncaster, who are 19th in League One, came close to forcing extra time but Blair’s header from Liam Mandeville’s right-wing corner bounced off the bar. Although they made 11 changes, the Arsenal starting XI was still strong with Per Mertesacker, Jack Wilshere, Giroud, Sanchez and Walcott all beginning the match. Seventeen-year-old Reiss Nelson made his first start for the Gunners, before 18-year-olds Josh da Silva and Joe Willock made their first Arsenal appearances in the second half. Doncaster were the lowest ranked team left in the competition and manager Darren Ferguson, son of former Manchester United boss Alex, can be proud of his side’s dogged performance.

Arsenal have never won the League Cup during Arsene Wenger’s 21 years at the club, but have lost in the final on two occasions – in 2007 and 2011.

Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his side produced a “great response” to their thrashing at Liverpool as they earned a first point at Chelsea in six years. The Gunners had previously kept only one clean sheet in their past 18 league games at Stamford Bridge and, following the 4-0 loss at Anfield in their previous Premier League away game, this was a display which left Wenger satisfied. “It was a solid performance with team discipline,” Wenger told Match of the Day 2. “Everyone wanted to see how we responded to our last away league game and we did that in a positive way. We could have won but overall it was an intense, disciplined and battling game.

The draw was a fully deserved reward for an excellent display that could even have brought victory against the Premier League champions, who finished with 10 men following the late dismissal of David Luiz for a high tackle on Sead Kolasinac. I don’t like to comment about the referee,” said Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. “We have great respect for officials, but it is strange to finish a third game in a row against Arsenal with 10 men.” The point leaves Chelsea third in the table, three points behind Manchester City and Manchester United. “It was a good, open game with both teams trying to win,” added Conte. “Every game against Arsenal is always very tough. We knew very well what type of game we would face. Both teams are great teams – it’s a good draw.”

Pedro missed Chelsea’s best chance in the first half when he raced clear but was blocked by Arsenal keeper Petr Cech. Arsenal, however, had arguably the better opportunities as Danny Welbeck headed wide from in front of goal and Aaron Ramsey struck a post, Alexandre Lacazette firing the rebound over an open goal. The second period was a tighter affair, the Blues’ frustrations boiling over in the closing minutes when Luiz was shown red for his reckless challenge on Kolasinac.

Wenger insisted the debacle of the loss at Liverpool in August – a performance that provoked fierce criticism of both manager and players – was an “accident”. The words were greeted with cynicism by those who had been at the scene of identical Arsenal ‘accidents’ at Anfield three times in the past four years and wondered whether Wenger was again at odds with the reality of the Gunners’ plight. Arsenal’s display on Sunday, full of steel and discipline as well as attacking intent, gave the Frenchman’s theory plenty of weight as they stood toe-to-toe with the champions and were the better side for spells. The trick now is for Arsenal to provide further evidence that this excellent performance – at a ground which has been a stage of unrelenting misery is recent years – is the rule and the display at Anfield is the exception.

Wenger’s team selection was an improvement on the fiasco of Anfield, where Lacazette and Kolasinac were inexplicably left out when threat and physical presence were essential. Arsenal’s manager cut an agitated figure in his technical area for much of the game, spending time in dialogue with the officials nearby, but there was much for Wenger to be satisfied with as they more than matched Chelsea. Luiz was shown a straight red card for his challenge on Kolasinac near the touchline with only three minutes left. And yet the Brazil international may have feared dismissal earlier in the half when his flying overhead kick caught Laurent Koscielny near the face in the penalty area – before referee Michael Oliver issued a yellow card. The incident revived the debate sparked by Sadio Mane’s dismissal for Liverpool at Manchester City last Saturday, when his high boot injured keeper Ederson.

Arsenal 3 FC Cologne (Koln) 1

Alexis Sanchez scored a stunning goal as Arsenal came from behind to beat Cologne in a Europa League match delayed for an hour following crowd trouble. Chilean Sanchez, who nearly left the club to join Manchester City on transfer deadline day, picked the ball up outside the area and curled a shot past keeper Timo Horn. The game did not begin until 21:05 BST as thousands of visiting supporters arrived at the ground without tickets and then clashed with stewards inside the Emirates Stadium. When the match did get under way, Cologne took the lead in spectacular fashion as Jhon Cordoba lobbed fellow Colombian David Ospina from 40 yards.

Striker Olivier Giroud planted a header wide of goal from six yards for the much-changed home side, who were booed at the half-time whistle. But substitute Sead Kolasinac equalised with a thumping volley before Sanchez struck, and Hector Bellerin then added the third from close range, as midfielder Jack Wilshere made his first appearance for the club since August 2016. Forward Sanchez scored 30 goals in all competitions for Arsenal last season as they won the FA Cup. But in August, he almost joined former boss Pep Guardiola at Manchester City for £60m, but the Gunners pulled out of the deal after failing to find a replacement.

Sanchez made his second start of the season in an impressive showing, capping his performance with a sublime effort in the second half – his first goal of the season against the Bundesliga’s bottom side. He could have scored another two, but struck a free-kick straight at Horn and shanked wide from inside the area. Forgotten man Wilshere, who spent last season on loan at Bournemouth before suffering a broken leg, came on for Alex Iwobi on 68 minutes, and the England international’s clever dummy was instrumental in the lead-up to Bellerin’s goal. Cologne, like Arsenal, finished fifth in their domestic league last season, achieving European football for the first time in 25 years. The Bundesliga club’s return to European competition, though, was one tainted by controversy.

There were indications on Thursday afternoon that problems may occur, with more than 20,000 fans arriving from Germany, despite the visitors receiving an allocation of 2,900 tickets. Videos emerged on social media of the German side’s support briefly bringing parts of central London to a standstill as they threw bottles and let off flares while making their way to the ground. The kick-off was then put back, after which skirmishes between fans and stewards took place, while many had entered the ground into the home end, climbing barriers to get into the away section. A number of Arsenal fans inside texted BBC Football, with one supporter reporting that they felt “intimidated by the horrible, tense atmosphere”, another that they were “ashamed of Arsenal for not seeing the warning signs” and a third describing it as “the worst feeling at football in 40 years of watching”.

It remains to be seen whether Uefa charges are brought against one or both sides. Arsenal face London rivals and Premier League champions Chelsea on Sunday.

Arsenal 3 Bournemouth 0

Danny Welbeck scored twice as Arsenal returned to winning ways and condemned winless Bournemouth to a fourth successive defeat. The Gunners came into the game on the back of two costly defeats by Stoke and Liverpool, but made the perfect start when Welbeck headed them in front after six minutes. Record signing Alexandre Lacazette doubled the lead on 27 minutes, bending a shot past Asmir Begovic from the edge of the area. Welbeck than added a third just after half-time, scoring from a tight angle into Begovic’s far corner. Alexis Sanchez, who was close to joining Manchester City on transfer deadline day, started the day on the bench, but came on for Welbeck with 15 minutes remaining.

The Cherries failed to register an attempt in the first half and Jermain Defoe’s header against the post after half-time was the best it got for the visitors. Arsenal were reduced to 10 men for the final 10 minutes, when substitute Francis Coquelin was forced off with a hamstring injury but Bournemouth failed to take advantage. Eddie Howe’s side are only off the bottom of the Premier League on goal difference and have lost their opening four games in a season for only the third time. Arsene Wenger’s side were woeful in a 4-0 defeat at Anfield two weeks ago, which followed a 1-0 loss at Stoke. Then came the final week of the transfer window, which saw a failed bid for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar and left the club clinging on to Sanchez, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signed for Liverpool. The home fans needed a performance and were treated to a clinical one as the Gunners cruised against a poor Bournemouth side.

Wenger set up his team with a back three of Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal, who restricted the visitors to just two shots on target in the whole game. Wing-back Sead Kolasinac led the attacking efforts in the first half, getting forward at every opportunity and providing the cross for Welbeck’s opener. Almost half of Arsenal’s play came down the left side of the pitch in the first 45 minutes, while right wing-back Hector Bellerin was crucial to the second half, running down his wing on the counter-attack, tipping the balance in favour of the right. Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka and Ramsey all played like they had a point to prove, while Welbeck and Lacazette started to show signs of a handy partnership.

Such was the performance that Wenger did not need to introduce Sanchez until late in the game and when he did come on, the Chilean looked desperate to get on the scoresheet. “Sanchez will win the fans back, and win them back very quickly,” Wenger said. The loss of Coquelin on 81 minutes might have usually caused some anxious moments, but Arsenal saw out the game in a professional manner.

ARSEHOLE WANKER AND HIS SEX MASTER KRONKE

TRANSFER DEADLINE DAY INS AND OUTS:

INS: N/A

OUTS: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool, £35m), Lucas Perez (Deportivo La Coruna, loan), Donyell Malan (PSV Eindhoven, undisclosed), Kelechi Nwakali (VVV-Venlo, season-long loan), Joel Campbell (Real Betis, loan).

ALL INS AND OUTS:

INS: Sead Kolasinac (Schalke, free), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon, $90m)

OUTS: Yaya Sanogo, Stefan O’Connor, Kristopher da Graca, Kostas Pileas (all released), Kaylen Hinds (Wolfsburg, $3m), Marc Bola (Bristol Rovers, loan), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus, $16m), Dan Crowley (Willian II), Stephen Mavididi (Preston, loan), Emiliano Martinez (Getafe, loan), Gabriel Paulista (Valencia), Carl Jenkinson (Birmingham City, loan), Cohen Bramall (Birmingham City, loan), Ismael Bennacer (Empoli), Savvas Mourgos (Norwich City), Jan Toral (Hull City, $5m), Kieran Gibbs (West Brom, $13m), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Donyell Malen (PSV, undisclosed), Kelechi Nwakali (VVV-Venlo, loan), Lucas Pérez (Deportivo, loan), Joel Campbell (Real Betis, loan)

The biggest farce in all of football, the fucking shambles of a shitty mess of a club that is owned by that dickhead, moneybags apply for a small loan Stan Kronke and his sex bitch Arsene “ARSEHOLE WANKER” Wenger who sucks Kronke’s balls and swallows his cum all night long. No money my ass! Fuck you bastards.

I am not wasting my time staying up to watch late night matches anymore. I will watch other stuff instead, until things change at Arsenal. WENGER & HIS MASTER KRONKE FUCKING OUT!!!

AOC Rejects Chelsea For Liverpool

Liverpool have personal home loans agreed a fee of £35m for Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had a medical with the Anfield club on Wednesday evening, according to Sky sources. The 24-year-old is set to join Liverpool on a six-year deal after the two clubs came to an agreement on Wednesday, although Oxlade-Chamberlain is yet to agree personal terms with the Reds. Liverpool will pay a fee of £35m for Oxlade-Chamberlain – the same figure that was previously agreed with Chelsea for the versatile midfielder. Oxlade-Chamberlain, currently away on international duty with England, conducted a medical at St George’s Park ahead of his proposed move to Anfield.

The former Southampton youngster turned down a new improved deal at Arsenal earlier this month which would have seen him earn £180,000 a week. Arsenal agreed a deal with Chelsea for Oxlade-Chamberlain earlier this week but the midfielder rejected the chance to join the Blues in favour of a move to Anfield. News of the deal will come as a major blow to Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who urged Oxlade-Chamberlain to commit his future to Arsenal last week. “I think we invested a lot of time and confidence and money in players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that we bought at a very young age” said Wenger.

“For me, they have a responsibility for the future of this club because Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be one of the big English players in the coming years and I personally am highly determined to keep him here at the club in the hope that he will commit.” The 4-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday forced a change of heart at the Emirates and the decision was made to cash in on Oxlade-Chamberlain.Sky sources understand Oxlade-Chamberlain will earn a minimum of £120,000 a week at Anfield – a figure which could increase with win bonuses and loyalty payments. It means Wenger will face serious questions about his ability to manage a fractured Arsenal squad. And the final day of the transfer window could see the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Shkodran Mustafi, Lucas Perez and Joel Campbell all leave the Emirates.