COLOGNE, Germany (AP) Struggling Cologne has parted ways with Peter Stoeger after failing to win any of its Bundesliga games this season.
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The club says Stoeger’s contract, which was due to run to June 2020, was terminated by mutual agreement and that under-19 coach Stefan Ruthenbeck will take over until the league’s winter break. Assistant coach Manfred Schmid is leaving as well.
Stoeger’s last game was Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Schalke, the side’s third point from 14 games. He appeared to say goodbye to his players, training staff and supporters afterward, going to fans in the stadium, taking his hat off and bowing to them before applauding.
Stoeger joined Cologne in 2013 when the side was still in the second division. The Austrian led it to promotion in his first season and oversaw steady progress in each of the subsequent seasons in the Bundesliga, culminating in fifth place and Europa League qualification last season.
However, injuries, bad luck and poor decisions have all had an effect this season, with the club also failing to make up for the summer departure of top-scorer Anthony Modeste. Modeste scored 25 goals in the Bundesliga last season.
Cologne has six goals in 14 games this season.
The Gunners didn’t take care of business on Thursday in Germany, but luckily they got some help from two of their other Group H counterparts.
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Cologne defeated Arsenal, 1-0, at the RheinEnergieStadion, but Red Star Belgrade and BATE Borisov ended in a scoreless draw to give Arsene Wenger‘s side the top spot in the group.
The difference on the day proved to be Sehrou Guirassy’s penalty kick, which came in the 62nd minute after he had been taken down by Matthieu Debuchy a moment prior.
Arsenal were forced back early on by the hosts, with Jhon Cordoba nearly breaking the deadlock inside the opening five minutes.
Meanwhile, the Gunners struggled to break down Cologne’s defense throughout the encounter, despite having an overwhelming amount of possession.
Arsenal will close out Group H play on Dec. 7 against BATE, while Cologne battles Red Star Belgrade for a shot at reaching the Round of 32.
LONDON (AP) UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against Arsenal and Cologne on Friday after crowd disorder marred their Europa League game.
Arsenal also said it will conduct a review into how large numbers of Cologne fans gained access to the home sections of Emirates Stadium for the Group H match on Thursday.
Kickoff was delayed for an hour because of the presence of thousands of ticketless Cologne fans around the ground, which made it hard for ticketholders to enter the stadium. It was clear during the match that many away supporters were sitting among Arsenal fans in the stadium, with some of them causing problems for stewards.
Cologne faces four charges from UEFA: Crowd disturbances, setting off fireworks, throwing objects, and acts of damage.
Arsenal was charged with having stairways blocked in the away section.
The case will be heard on Thursday.
Arsenal said it was “very disappointing” that touts sold tickets to Cologne supporters, beyond the 3,000 allocated to the German team in line with UEFA rules, after taking “extensive steps in advance” to stop that happening
An estimated 20,000 Cologne fans came to London ahead of the match. Police said five people were arrested for public disorder.
Arsenal won the game 3-1.
Arsenal overcame a first half deficit as it defeated FC Cologne in the UEFA Europa League’s first matchday of the season on a wild night inside and outside of the Emirates Stadium.
New Gunners signing Sead Kolašinac cancelled out Jhon Cordoba’s opener with a blast on the volley from the left side of the box three minutes into the second half. Alexis Sanchez put Arsenal up for good after a mazy run in and out of the box in the 67th minute and then Hector Bellerin put the game away in the 81st minute with a goal off a rebound to bring some more positive energy to Arsenal crowd.
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The game was delayed for an hour before the start due to crowd safety, with hoards of Cologne fans trying to push their way into the stadium. Only 2,900 tickets had been allocated to Cologne for fans in the away section, but Cologne fans also purchased tickets and were seen throughout the rest of the stadium.
Here’s a look at more Europa League scores from matchday one:
Arsenal’s Europa League kickoff against FC Cologne was delayed by an hour due to safety concerns with fans arriving at the Emirates Stadium.
An estimated 20,000 Cologne fans arrived in London for the team’s first European match in 25 years, even though only 2,900 tickets had been allocated to Cologne by Arsenal. Cologne fans marched through the streets of London Thursday afternoon and there were unverified reports and videos of Cologne fans knocking down barriers at the Emirates Stadium, trying to get into the match.
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As a result, Arsenal moved the 3:05 p.m. ET start of the match back an hour to address the reported issues outside the ground.