Wenger admits mulling new date for Cologne match marred by fan trouble

Emirates

Emirates

Fighting broke out and video footage shows many supports trying to gain access into the stadium and throwing metal barriers, the game eventually started at 9:05pm, Thursday.

Arsenal fell behind early on to a long-range strike from Jhon Cordoba that punished a poor David Ospina clearance.

"It's hard to say", he said.

"I don't know what happened outside, I just wanted to make sure my family was okay", he said.

"We were ready to play at 8pm but we had to play an hour late". But our game was a bit too slow.

Wenger said: "I thought they would never take a gamble to play this game when I saw the images".

"It was all kind of speculation that we had to analyse". We wanted to play desperately.

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Like numerous players, Mertesacker's first concern was for his family, with some suggestion from team-mates that they should have stayed at home, but he was pleased to know they were ok and that the game could eventually proceed.

Arsene Wenger has insisted that it "would be completely unfair" if Arsenal were penalised by UEFA for their part in the fan trouble that marred their Europa League meeting with FC Koln.

Five people were arrested on suspicion of public order offences.

"They were very clever", he added. "I don't know if they went through Arsenal membership, on the internet. they did very well".

Cologne coach Peter Stoger refused to answer questions on the actions of his club's supporters: "I have no comment about the fans", he said.

"The overwhelming majority of our fans have represented the club, the city of Cologne, and German football happily and positively".

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