Arsenal kicked off their campaign on Europa League last night and unsurprisingly won their first group match against cologne at Emirate stadium. Alexis Sanchez inspired the Gunners to a victory after he added to Kolasinic equalizer in the second half. The Gunners went behind to a Jhon Cordoba’s goal in the first half and were trailing until Kolasinic equalized early in the second half, Sanchez added a second and Hector Bellerin completed the comeback.
With FK Crvena Zvezda and BATE Borisov being the other teams in their group, Wenger men are sure to scale through the group stage but the challenge comes after the group stage. Unlike Champions League, 16 teams will qualify from the group stage and Arsenal will have to play 5 more games if they are to win the Europa League just like Manchester United did last season.
Normal. Service. Resumed. ?
Just when his team needed him, Alexis Sanchez stepped up with a special Arsenal winner… ? pic.twitter.com/0K8MLWoMuq
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) September 15, 2017
In Champions League, Arsenal usually show sign of faltering when they are able to proceed to the quarter final, especially when they are been drawn against such team as big as Bayern Munich. And of course, at that stage, you would only expect to be drawn against a giant team. You must be up for the challenge if you want your team to proceed.
In Europa, alot of upsets happen. For instance, if Ajax didnt beat Lyon in the semi final last season, it would not have been easy for United to win the final. Teams like Roma were eliminated early enough. The Europa League is a competition full of surprises. Arsenal have to be able to stay focused, grounded if they are to make a mark this season. Like United, Mourinho had to sacrifice some Premier League matches, especially when he noticed that the top 4 finish is getting out of reach thus leading to the Europa League glory.
Arsenal could as well achieve same glory if and only if Wenger could have and maintain a good start in Premier League and focused on Europa League at the latter stage of the competition