Another Europa League game and another pretty dull performance from Arsenal’s fringe players.

Arsenal got away with their lacklustre display against Red Star Belgrade earlier in the month. The game ended 0-0 and we automatically qualified for the next round.

However, a similar display away to bottom of the group Cologne didn’t go unpunished. Despite having the vast majority of the possession, a soft penalty was all that separated the teams after the final whistle, preventing the Gunners from going top of the group.

A bit embarrassing since Arsenal definitely had their chances to go ahead earlier in the match.

The first proper save of the game fell to David Ospina in the sixth minute after FC Cologne’s Cordoba had a shot. The German team were looking eager on the break during the opening exchanges and had almost caught the visitors out once or twice already.

This wouldn’t last for long.

Arsene Wenger’s side were incredibly hard to break down, which is why Cologne were reduced to trying to break, as well as the odd long ball. Even then, the team at the bottom of the group appears to give up within the first 10 minutes, not that Arsenal captitalised on it or anything.

As has been a recurring theme for the Gunners in the Europa League this season, the match then slowed right down with FC Cologne unable to get forward and Arsenal lacking any real conviction in the final third.

In the 15th minute, the Gunners’ impotent showing in front of the net so far was summed up when Francis Coquelin smacked the ball towards Cologne’s goal. It went wide.

The next big chance of the game fell to Jack Wilshere in the 21st minute of the game when Ainsley Maitland-Niles curled a decent ball into the box, which landed on the midfielder’s head. However, it too was saved.

In the 30th minute, Coq has another shot on goal, this time hitting the near post. He should have done better but he is a defensive midfielder and considering he was our biggest goal threat at this stage, you can’t really fault him.

Shortly after, Danny Welbeck went wide.

The pressure was mounting for Cologne. Olivier Giroud’s movement combined with Maitland-Niles’ runs, Wilshere’s enthusiasm and Coq’s rogue shots were becoming difficult to deal with.

However, despite Arsenal’s lacklustre attempts to score, they’d not actually seriously threatened yet. Whether that was down to poor luck or lack of composure, it’s hard to tell, but considering the generally dull game on show, I’m guessing the latter.

FC Cologne, meanwhile, were just poor in general and couldn’t get forward.

Towards the end of the first half, the home and away fans had to find their own source of entertainment as Arsenal went in at the break with 69.4% possession.

The second half kicked off with the news that Danny Welbeck, who’s only just returned from two groin injuries, was coming off for Alex Iwobi.

Arsenal continued to link up well and dominate possession without actually doing very much, while FC Cologne struggled to get in the game and lacked serious conviction with what chances they did have.

Finally, there was a bit of excitement when Cologne were given a penalty when Mathieu Debuchy brought Guirassy down in the box. The player took it himself and scored.

Finally, Reiss Nelson replaced Calum Chambers at wing-back.

There was only one man that could save us: 18-year-old Eddie Nketiah.

Nelson and Wilshere both went close during the final exchanges but it wasn’t enough to overturn the penalty.

A poor display from most of the team and Arsenal’s first loss away in the Europa League this season.