Ar­se­nal late show

Man­ager ac­cuses his sloppy Tof­fees of lack­ing pas­sion and fight

The Press and Journal (Aberdeenshire) - - FRONT PAGE -

Ar­se­nal hit back from be­hind to beat Cologne in their de­layed Europa League opener against a back­drop of crowd trou­ble at the Emi­rates Sta­dium last night.

Man­ager Arsene Wenger said he was plan­ning a date for a re­ar­ranged Europa League fix­ture against Cologne as crowd trou­ble threat­ened last night’s game at the Emi­rates Sta­dium. The Gun­ners ran out 3-1 win­ners in the Group H opener, which kicked off an hour late af­ter away sup­port­ers caused havoc out­side the sta­dium.

As many as 20,000 Cologne sup­port­ers are be­lieved to have made the jour­ney from Ger­many de­spite only 3,000 tick­ets be­ing made avail­able.

That meant many at­tempted to en­ter with­out tick­ets or with tick­ets for the Ar­se­nal sec­tions, where it soon be­came clear ahead of kick-off that plenty had suc­ceeded.

Ar­se­nal fell be­hind early on to a long-range strike from Jhon Cor­doba that pun­ished a poor David Ospina clear­ance. But the hosts ral­lied af­ter the in­ter­val as sub­sti­tute Sead Ko­lasinac lev­elled with a vol­ley be­fore Alexis Sanchez and Hec­tor Bel­lerin wrapped up the re­sult.

Wenger said he was ex­pect­ing the con­test to be post­poned but said he was un­sure if the con­fu­sion was to blame for his side’s poor start.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to say,” he said. “It was sim­i­lar for Cologne but we had some prob­lems to get off, to start, yes. I don’t know, was it men­tal? But our game was a bit too slow. We live in a so­ci­ety of 100% se­cu­rity and I thought they would never take a gam­ble to play this game when I saw the im­ages around the sta­dium.”

Four ar­rests were madeby the Metropoli­tan Po­lice.

Wenger said Cologne sup­port­ers had been “very clever” to en­ter the sta­dium un­de­tected, with both sides now likely to face Uefa charges.

Ever­ton man­ager Ron­ald Koe­man apol­o­gised to the club’s sup­port­ers af­ter the dis­mal 3-0 Europa League de­feat by Ata­lanta and stressed he was re­spon­si­ble for what had hap­pened.

Five days af­ter the 3-0 home loss to Tot­ten­ham, the Tof­fees’ Group E opener in Reg­gio Emilia saw them pro­duce a sec­ond suc­ces­sive dire dis­play, with their sub-stan­dard ef­fort thor­oughly pun­ished by a dy­namic Ata­lanta side which scored three times in the first half.

Koe­man had em­pha­sised in the build-up the need for Ever­ton to “re­act” in Italy af­ter lack­ing “the right ag­gres­sion” against Spurs, as well as his con­fi­dence they would do so.

What they sub­se­quently de­liv­ered prompted plenty of boos from Ever­ton sup­port­ers, who had trav­elled to the Mapei Sta­dium, and when asked in his post­match press con­fer­ence if he shared the sup­port­ers’ anger, the Dutch­man said: “Yes, of course. I’m re­ally sorry for the sup­port­ers.”

Koe­man also posted a mes­sage on In­sta­gram, in which he said: “A re­ally poor first half in all as­pects, with­out the right at­ti­tude and I am re­spon­si­ble.”

Ata­lanta scored three times in the first half through An­drea Masiello,

“It’s now time that Ever­ton showed this is re­ally the wake-up call”

cap­tain Ale­jan­dro Gomez and Bryan Cris­tante.

Koe­man ad­mit­ted in the press con­fer­ence he had been left ques­tion­ing his abil­ity to pre­pare his play­ers.

“It’s a big les­son to­day,” he said. “I thought it was hap­pen­ing af­ter the third goal against Tot­ten­ham, but OK – I need to ask my­self the ques­tion, what I did wrong.

“Be­cause what I saw on the pitch was a big dif­fer­ence be­tween Ata­lanta and Ever­ton in be­lief and con­fi­dence, and also in ag­gres­sion and pas­sion.

“You can be poor on the ball, like we were in the first half, make many mis­takes.

“They showed to us re­ally the pas­sion you need to have.

“So that’s a ques­tion to my­self, what I did wrong.”

Ever­ton made a se­ries of sign­ings over the sum­mer and Koe­man added: “I don’t see a team on the pitch. I see 11 in­di­vid­ual play­ers.”

When asked about the ex­pec­ta­tions there have been about Ever­ton’s sea­son, Koe­man, whose side faces Man­ches­ter United away on Sun­day, said: “Maybe my per­sonal ex­pec­ta­tions are a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent than most of the peo­ple. I think most of the play­ers are not at the level we ex­pect.

“It’s now time that we showed this is re­ally the wake-up call. If not, then the prob­lem is even big­ger.”

EURO WOE: Wayne Rooney on the ball for Ever­ton last night

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