Europa League: Iwobi’s Arsenal survives huge scare from Gero’s Ostersunds


Arsenal lost 1-2 to minnows Ostersunds of Sweden in the reverse fixture of the UEFA Europa league match played at the Emirates Stadium in England on Thursday night.

After beating the visitors 3-0 from the first leg played last week in Sweden, coach Arsene Wenger made three changes to the side with Nigerian star Alex Iwobi retaining his starting spot while German midfielder Mezut Ozil, defenders Monreal and Mustafi all dropped to the bench as Rob Holding, Wilshere and Kolasinac were named in the starting lineup.

Ostersunds who started their Nigerian forward Alhaji Gero in the previous game, left him on the bench at the Emirates and the tactics proved to be spot on with the visitors bossing possession of the Gunners and going 2-0 up in the first half through Calum Chambers 22nd minute own goal from a Hosam Aiesh cross, before man of the match Ken Sema doubled the advantage a minute later.

With the tie hanging in the balance at 3-2 on aggregate at halftime in favour of Arsenal, Ostersunds needed one goal to tie the fixture, but Arsenal increased their lead on aggregate immediately after the second half commenced. Kolasanic smashed home a cross from Bellerin to put the gunners in control of the tie

Arsenal went on to lose 1-2 to Ostersunds but qualified 4-2 on aggregate and will discover their opponents in the round of 16 on Friday.

Iwobi was limped off in the 90+2 minutes of added time and was replaced by Ryan Nelson, while Alhaji Gero was an unused substitute for Ostersunds.

Up next for Arsenal is the final of the Carabao cup on Sunday against Manchester City at the Wembley Stadium.

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