Sanchez scores stunner as Arsenal wins delayed game

Alexis Sanchez scored a stunning goal as Arsenal came from behind to beat Cologne 3-1 in a Europa League clash on Thursday that was delayed for an hour due to crowd trouble.

Sanchez cut in from the left flank before curling a sublime effort into the far top corner.   -  Getty Images

Alexis Sanchez scored a stunning goal as Arsenal came from behind to beat Cologne 3-1 in a Europa League clash on Thursday that was delayed for an hour due to crowd trouble.

Kick-off in the Group H opener at the Emirates Stadium was put back until 9:05pm local time (2005 GMT) in the interests of "crowd safety" after problems caused by thousands of ticketless Cologne supporters arriving at the ground.

Police confirmed four arrests were made before kick-off while there were reports of scuffles inside the stadium.

However, when the match did get under way, those travelling fans who got in were treated to a stunning 40-yard strike by Jhon Cordoba that put Cologne ahead with Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina caught out of his area.

Arsenal improved in the second half and substitute Sead Kolasinac volleyed them level before a brilliant goal by Sanchez gave them a 67th-minute lead.

The Chilean cut in from the left flank before curling a sublime effort into the far top corner, and the three points were secure when Hector Bellerin made it 3-1 late on after Theo Walcott's effort had been saved by Timo Horn.

"The win, and coming back from losing, obviously gives you a boost. Now we'll train hard in the coming days to be ready for the weekend," Bellerin, whose side go to Chelsea on Sunday, told BT Sport.

Arsene Wenger's side is next in European action in a fortnight in Belarus against BATE Borisov, which drew 1-1 at Red Star Belgrade.

Other winners on Thursday included Villarreal, which beat Astana 3-1 in Spain in Group A, and Real Sociedad, which crushed Rosenborg 4-0 in Group L.

Mario Balotelli scored as Nice won 5-1 at Zulte-Waregem of Belgium in Group K, in which Lazio also won, 3-2 at Vitesse Arnhem.

Marseille beat Konyaspor 1-0 in Group I while Athletic Bilbao drew 0-0 at Hertha Berlin in Group J.

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