Cologne's dreams of UEFA Europa League progress are alive and well after Sehrou Guirassy's second-half penalty earned the Billy Goats a second successive win in Europe, with English Premier League side Arsenal the latest European team fall at the RheinEnergieStadion.
Peter Stöger's side are up to second place in Europa League Group H following a night of emotion and high drama that saw the hosts enjoy a strong start at a packed RheinEnergieStadion. Playing in a three-man attack, Jhon Cordoba set the tone with a rasping early drive that visiting goalkeeper David Ospina did well to save. At the other end, Timo Horn was being kept busy by Arsenal's lively attackers but the goalkeeper stood firm against the visitors' often flowing attack, Coquelin going closest to beating the custodian with a shot that hit the post.
Having collected just two points in the Bundesliga this season, Cologne needed a morale boost in Europe, and they were afforded the chance of just that when Guirassy was felled in the box. The French forward dusted himself off, placed the ball on the spot and confidently slammed home to send the home supporters into raptures. Cologne endured some nervous moments thereafter as they looked to defend their lead, but they held out to make it six points in the section ahead of a Matchday 6 trip to face Crvena Zvezda.
Watch: Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn relives his greatest save, against Bayern Munich!
Cologne: T. Horn - Sörensen, Maroh (Rausch 38'), Jorge Meré - Klünter, Özcan, Jojic, J. Horn - Cordoba (Olkowski 56'), Osako (Lehmann 73), Guirassy
Substitutes: Kessler, Olkowski, Lehmann, Nartey, Rausch, Risa
Coach: Peter Stöger
Arsenal: Ospina - Debuchy (Nketiah 84'), Mertesacker , Holding - Elneny , Coquelin - Maitland-Niles , Chambers (Chambers 67') - Wilshere , Welbeck (Iwobi 46') - Giroud
Substitutes: Macey, Sheaf, Willock, Akpom, Nelson, Nketiah
Coach: Arsene Wenger
- Cologne have been UEFA Cup semi-finalists three times, most recently in the 1989/90 season.
- Cologne were 1-0 up at half-time in the reverse fixture on Matchday 1, but eventually lost 3-1.
- This is the Billy Goats' first European campaign in 20 years.
- Cologne duo Marco Höger and Christian Clemens both played alongside Arsenal's Sead Kolasinac at Schalke.
- Peter Stöger's men have won two and lost one of their home fixtures in the Europa league this season.
- Arsenal have already qualified for the next round .