Arsenal win delayed after crowd trouble as AC Milan start fast in Europa League romp
Crowd trouble mars Gunners win over German side
Arsenal won their first Europa League match in 17 years after a delayed start while AC Milan started fast in subduing hosts Austria Vienna 5-1 on Thursday.
Kick-off in Arsenal’s 3-1 win against Cologne was delayed for an hour after thousands of ticketless Cologne fans made it hard for ticket-holders to get into Emirates Stadium. About 20,000 Cologne fans came to London, after only 3,000 tickets were allocated to them. Police said four people were arrested for public order offences.
Also, Atalanta struck three times in the first half to hand struggling Everton a 3-0 defeat, Spanish league joint-leaders Real Sociedad crushed Rosenborg 4-0, and Lyon drew with Apollon of Cyprus 1-1.
Cologne sit winless on the bottom of the Bundesliga, but their fans, walled off by security guards in the stadium, were celebrating after only nine minutes when Jhon Cordoba lobbed goalkeeper David Ospina from 40 yards out.
It took Arsenal 40 minutes to reply, through substitute Sead Kolasinac. Alexis Sanchez hit the match-winner, and started the move for the last goal, a rebound effort finished by Hector Bellerin.
“We went to four at the back at half-time and the second half was better,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “Kolasinac makes quick decisions, he’s strong in the tackle and quick going forward. He’s settled in quickly and we’re very pleased to have him.”
Earlier, new AC Milan forward Andre Silva scored a hat trick in their win. Milan made certain of the result within 20 minutes.
Midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring after seven minutes then set up two for Silva in the 10th and 20th minutes.
“We played quickly, particularly in the first 20 minutes, finishing the game off clinically,” Milan coach Vincenzo Montella said. “This was a big win for us.”
Alexandar Borkovic’s header reduced the deficit early in the second half, Silva completed his hat trick, and Suso finished the rout just a minute after coming off the bench.
“Andre Silva ... needed this,” Montella said.
After three years away, AC Milan returned to European competition as perhaps the favourites – at least until December when eight teams jump in as a result of placing third in a Champions League group.
Also, AEK won at Rijeka 2-1 in another group D game.
Following consecutive losses to Chelsea and Tottenham in the English Premier League, Everton went on to struggle in Bergamo. Wayne Rooney failed to impress and his teammates made no difference.
After a 26-year absence from Europe, Atalanta cruised, with all the goals in the first half.
Hoffenheim’s confidence after beating Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga on Saturday was pricked by Braga, who rallied from a goal down to beat their German hosts 2-1.
Sandro Wagner headed in a Pavel Kaderabek cross for Hoffenheim to take the lead in group C.
Joao Carlos equalised, and another Ricardo Esgaio cross set up the match-winner for Dyego Sousa after the break.
Real Sociedad scored twice within a minute early in the first half on the way to a 4-0 victory over Rosenborg in their Europa League group stage debut. Diego Llorente netted the opener nine minutes into the game, and the closer in the second half.
In another high-scoring encounter, Alassane Plea scored the first two goals to lead Nice past Zulte Waregem 5-1 in group K.
Another Italian club, Lazio, came from a 2-1 down to win 3-2 at Dutch side Vitesse in their group K opener. Murgia scored the winner 15 minutes from time after Ciro Immobile equalised eight minutes earlier.
Marseille beat Turkey’s Konyaspor 1-0 in group I courtesy of a header by Adil Rami from Dimitri Payet’s corner kick.