Well, that brought us back down to earth. After Saturday’s heroics our ‘Europa League side’ couldn’t quite reproduce the same type of performance.
Yes Cologne’s winning goal was quite controversial, but our tame performance didn’t quite warrant all three points. Either way, with BATE Borisov and Red Star Belgrade serving up a goalless draw we still managed to secure a place at the top of the group.
Here’s how the players got on in Germany last night.
David Ospina – 6.6
Making his return to the first team since matchday one of the Europa League, Ospina didn’t do too much. He managed to keep us in the game early with a good save but was never the favourite to save Cologne’s penalty.
Mathieu Debuchy – 6.2
Playing at right centre back Debuchy was having a solid game until he clumsily gave Cologne forward Sehrou Guirassy the option to go down before sticking away the resulting penalty.
Per Mertesacker – 7.0
Returning to where he made his league debut, Mertesacker didn’t seem too out of his comfort zone. Winning nine headers and hardly being put under any pressure he had a good display.
Rob Holding – 6.5
As you’d expect he didn’t have much to do against this Cologne side but did what he had to do.
Calum Chambers – 6.8
A surprise inclusion at right wing back, Chambers looked to have given it a good go but wasn’t quite as comfortable as other options down that flank.
Mohamed Elneny – 6.5
A quite pedestrian performance from Elneny, didn’t offer too much going forward but did just about enough in the engine room.
Francis Coquelin – 7.1
Surprisingly, Coquelin was the player who looked most likely to score for us last night. The first half saw him fire a long range effort just past the post which would’ve been some goal before he could only direct a shot from inside the box onto the post later in the half.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 7.4
A real bright spark despite still playing out of position at left wing back. Like in the first meeting between the sides he had a chance to score but unfortunately couldn’t take it.
Danny Welbeck – 6.8
Another return saw Dat Guy Welbz make his first appearance since Watford away. In his 45 minutes on the pitch he did well and managed to get a shot on goal.
Jack Wilshere – 7.7
Continuing to play in that more advanced role, Wilshere showed his great value yet again. Easily ghosting past players and almost creating a goal or two, he was very close to being our game-changer.
Olivier Giroud – 6.5
Not the best of night for Giroud, but that probably comes with his lack of involvement. Didn’t seem to have his normal rhythm in the game.
Alex Iwobi – 6.9
Came on at half time for Welbeck and made a nuisance of himself at times but just couldn’t quite make the difference.
Eddie Nketiah – N/A
Came on for a few minutes and didn’t really get on the ball.
Reiss Nelson – N/A
Also wasn’t on long enough to access but in his more natural advanced role he showed anther flash of brilliance by dribbling by a few defenders before having his shot saved.