Brazil soccer star Neymar

World-class soccer player Neymar leads the Brazil team at the Olympics.

PSG head coach Unai Emery is hopeful that star striker Neymar will recover from illness in time for Le Classique.
Neymar sick again, but Emery hopeful he'll face Marseille
PSG head coach Unai Emery is hopeful that star striker Neymar will recover from illness in time for Le Classique.
PSG head coach Unai Emery is hopeful that star striker Neymar will recover from illness in time for Le Classique.
Neymar sick again, but Emery hopeful he'll face Marseille
PSG head coach Unai Emery is hopeful that star striker Neymar will recover from illness in time for Le Classique.
PSG head coach Unai Emery is hopeful that star striker Neymar will recover from illness in time for Le Classique.
Neymar sick again, but Emery hopeful he'll face Marseille
PSG head coach Unai Emery is hopeful that star striker Neymar will recover from illness in time for Le Classique.
Amid all the hikers, rock-climbers and sightseers, Snowdonia has been the setting this winter for an entirely different activity. John Farnworth, the multiple freestyle football word-record holder, has followed in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary by using Mount Snowdon – the highest point in England and Wales - as a training location for his own assault this week on Mount Everest. The difference, however, is that Farnworth believes that it is possible to at least reach Base Camp of the world’s highest mountain – and hopefully much further – whilst juggling a football. And, yes, that means not letting the ball touch the ground at any active stage of a scheduled 10-day trek. It might sound outlandish, but Farnworth did previously also complete the London Marathon in 2011 whilst keeping a football in the air for the entire 26.2 mile route. After more than 12 hours without making a mistake, and being fuelled simply on water and wine gums, it was understandable that the last section should ultimately become a test of nerve rather than skill or simply physical endurance. “It would have been awful for something to go wrong after coming so far and I was really tense at the end,” says Farnworth. “But what I remember most is that there was a drunk guy suddenly approaching me as we came to the last bit. He was running directly at me and my brother had to just rugby tackle him to the floor. We should not get that up Mount Everest but the terrain will be much harder and the altitude at more than 5,000 metres is another slight unknown. "We are planning for seven days to cover the route and three rest days.” Preparation for the challenge began six months ago and, as well as those visits to Snowdon, has included exercise sessions in an altitude chamber in London that replicates the thin air up Everest. Farnworth has also turned vegan in an attempt to improve his endurance and be better physically prepared for the conditions that await. As well as his nine world records – most recently for controlling a ball that was dropped from a height of 110 feet – Farnworth is a regular on CBBC and has performed for audiences ranging from Britain’s Got Talent to the Nou Camp and Barcelona’s training ground, where he met Neymar. Farnworth could not speak Portuguese and Neymar understands little English but he sensed an immediate connection. “Neymar’s a magician - and he watches freestyle for ideas,” says Farnworth. “The ball is a shared language and you could tell that he just loves football. If you pass him the ball, he starts doing tricks. "It was interesting to see how playful he was because you don’t get that so much with English players.” For all his incredible close skill, Farnworth’s own football career reached a peak with playing for the Preston North End youth team and then Garforth Town in non-league, where he had the opportunity to play alongside Lee Sharpe. Garforth were then managed by Simon Clifford, the former Southampton coach and founder of Brazilian School Schools, and it was around the age of 20 that Farnworth decided to focus more on football freestyle. He can recall always doing kick-ups on the side-lines at school matches and, since 2006, has devoted himself totally to becoming the best freestyler in the world. Farnworth believes he can make it past base camp on Everest Credit: GEOFF PUGH “There are many other components to becoming a great footballer beyond mastery of the ball,” says Farnworth. “There is the awareness of what is going on around you and also the tactical side. The fitness is also very different – you use different muscles – but some of the greatest players like Neymar and Ronaldo have a freestyle background. “Once I decided what I wanted to, it was basically just a question of working at it. I trained every day for eight hours and, within six months, I was at a level where I could surprise myself. I enjoyed learning the different skills and challenging myself in that way.” There is another reason for the Everest expedition, which begins on Saturday, beyond simply the chance to set another rather unique record. Farnworth wants to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society in memory of his grandfather, also John, was an inspiration in his career. John previously played for Accrington Stanley but, after suffering a brain haemorrhage and several strokes, had suffered with vascular dementia before dying last April. “He had such humility and was always cheerful despite what he was going through,” says Farnworth. “He also instilled a worth ethic in me to say that, if you are willing to put the time in, you can achieve things that might not have seemed possible. Freestyle football is no different in that than any other facet of life.” Donate here: https://ec.yimg.com/ec?url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.justgiving.com%2ffund&t=1519524413&sig=H1rbLtflrR4zvhghq8g9eg--~D raising/everestfootball
Meet John Farnworth, the man attempting to juggle a football up Everest
Amid all the hikers, rock-climbers and sightseers, Snowdonia has been the setting this winter for an entirely different activity. John Farnworth, the multiple freestyle football word-record holder, has followed in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary by using Mount Snowdon – the highest point in England and Wales - as a training location for his own assault this week on Mount Everest. The difference, however, is that Farnworth believes that it is possible to at least reach Base Camp of the world’s highest mountain – and hopefully much further – whilst juggling a football. And, yes, that means not letting the ball touch the ground at any active stage of a scheduled 10-day trek. It might sound outlandish, but Farnworth did previously also complete the London Marathon in 2011 whilst keeping a football in the air for the entire 26.2 mile route. After more than 12 hours without making a mistake, and being fuelled simply on water and wine gums, it was understandable that the last section should ultimately become a test of nerve rather than skill or simply physical endurance. “It would have been awful for something to go wrong after coming so far and I was really tense at the end,” says Farnworth. “But what I remember most is that there was a drunk guy suddenly approaching me as we came to the last bit. He was running directly at me and my brother had to just rugby tackle him to the floor. We should not get that up Mount Everest but the terrain will be much harder and the altitude at more than 5,000 metres is another slight unknown. "We are planning for seven days to cover the route and three rest days.” Preparation for the challenge began six months ago and, as well as those visits to Snowdon, has included exercise sessions in an altitude chamber in London that replicates the thin air up Everest. Farnworth has also turned vegan in an attempt to improve his endurance and be better physically prepared for the conditions that await. As well as his nine world records – most recently for controlling a ball that was dropped from a height of 110 feet – Farnworth is a regular on CBBC and has performed for audiences ranging from Britain’s Got Talent to the Nou Camp and Barcelona’s training ground, where he met Neymar. Farnworth could not speak Portuguese and Neymar understands little English but he sensed an immediate connection. “Neymar’s a magician - and he watches freestyle for ideas,” says Farnworth. “The ball is a shared language and you could tell that he just loves football. If you pass him the ball, he starts doing tricks. "It was interesting to see how playful he was because you don’t get that so much with English players.” For all his incredible close skill, Farnworth’s own football career reached a peak with playing for the Preston North End youth team and then Garforth Town in non-league, where he had the opportunity to play alongside Lee Sharpe. Garforth were then managed by Simon Clifford, the former Southampton coach and founder of Brazilian School Schools, and it was around the age of 20 that Farnworth decided to focus more on football freestyle. He can recall always doing kick-ups on the side-lines at school matches and, since 2006, has devoted himself totally to becoming the best freestyler in the world. Farnworth believes he can make it past base camp on Everest Credit: GEOFF PUGH “There are many other components to becoming a great footballer beyond mastery of the ball,” says Farnworth. “There is the awareness of what is going on around you and also the tactical side. The fitness is also very different – you use different muscles – but some of the greatest players like Neymar and Ronaldo have a freestyle background. “Once I decided what I wanted to, it was basically just a question of working at it. I trained every day for eight hours and, within six months, I was at a level where I could surprise myself. I enjoyed learning the different skills and challenging myself in that way.” There is another reason for the Everest expedition, which begins on Saturday, beyond simply the chance to set another rather unique record. Farnworth wants to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society in memory of his grandfather, also John, was an inspiration in his career. John previously played for Accrington Stanley but, after suffering a brain haemorrhage and several strokes, had suffered with vascular dementia before dying last April. “He had such humility and was always cheerful despite what he was going through,” says Farnworth. “He also instilled a worth ethic in me to say that, if you are willing to put the time in, you can achieve things that might not have seemed possible. Freestyle football is no different in that than any other facet of life.” Donate here: http://www.justgiving.com/fund raising/everestfootball
Amid all the hikers, rock-climbers and sightseers, Snowdonia has been the setting this winter for an entirely different activity. John Farnworth, the multiple freestyle football word-record holder, has followed in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary by using Mount Snowdon – the highest point in England and Wales - as a training location for his own assault this week on Mount Everest. The difference, however, is that Farnworth believes that it is possible to at least reach Base Camp of the world’s highest mountain – and hopefully much further – whilst juggling a football. And, yes, that means not letting the ball touch the ground at any active stage of a scheduled 10-day trek. It might sound outlandish, but Farnworth did previously also complete the London Marathon in 2011 whilst keeping a football in the air for the entire 26.2 mile route. After more than 12 hours without making a mistake, and being fuelled simply on water and wine gums, it was understandable that the last section should ultimately become a test of nerve rather than skill or simply physical endurance. “It would have been awful for something to go wrong after coming so far and I was really tense at the end,” says Farnworth. “But what I remember most is that there was a drunk guy suddenly approaching me as we came to the last bit. He was running directly at me and my brother had to just rugby tackle him to the floor. We should not get that up Mount Everest but the terrain will be much harder and the altitude at more than 5,000 metres is another slight unknown. "We are planning for seven days to cover the route and three rest days.” Preparation for the challenge began six months ago and, as well as those visits to Snowdon, has included exercise sessions in an altitude chamber in London that replicates the thin air up Everest. Farnworth has also turned vegan in an attempt to improve his endurance and be better physically prepared for the conditions that await. As well as his nine world records – most recently for controlling a ball that was dropped from a height of 110 feet – Farnworth is a regular on CBBC and has performed for audiences ranging from Britain’s Got Talent to the Nou Camp and Barcelona’s training ground, where he met Neymar. Farnworth could not speak Portuguese and Neymar understands little English but he sensed an immediate connection. “Neymar’s a magician - and he watches freestyle for ideas,” says Farnworth. “The ball is a shared language and you could tell that he just loves football. If you pass him the ball, he starts doing tricks. "It was interesting to see how playful he was because you don’t get that so much with English players.” For all his incredible close skill, Farnworth’s own football career reached a peak with playing for the Preston North End youth team and then Garforth Town in non-league, where he had the opportunity to play alongside Lee Sharpe. Garforth were then managed by Simon Clifford, the former Southampton coach and founder of Brazilian School Schools, and it was around the age of 20 that Farnworth decided to focus more on football freestyle. He can recall always doing kick-ups on the side-lines at school matches and, since 2006, has devoted himself totally to becoming the best freestyler in the world. Farnworth believes he can make it past base camp on Everest Credit: GEOFF PUGH “There are many other components to becoming a great footballer beyond mastery of the ball,” says Farnworth. “There is the awareness of what is going on around you and also the tactical side. The fitness is also very different – you use different muscles – but some of the greatest players like Neymar and Ronaldo have a freestyle background. “Once I decided what I wanted to, it was basically just a question of working at it. I trained every day for eight hours and, within six months, I was at a level where I could surprise myself. I enjoyed learning the different skills and challenging myself in that way.” There is another reason for the Everest expedition, which begins on Saturday, beyond simply the chance to set another rather unique record. Farnworth wants to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society in memory of his grandfather, also John, was an inspiration in his career. John previously played for Accrington Stanley but, after suffering a brain haemorrhage and several strokes, had suffered with vascular dementia before dying last April. “He had such humility and was always cheerful despite what he was going through,” says Farnworth. “He also instilled a worth ethic in me to say that, if you are willing to put the time in, you can achieve things that might not have seemed possible. Freestyle football is no different in that than any other facet of life.” Donate here: https://ec.yimg.com/ec?url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.justgiving.com%2ffund&t=1519524413&sig=H1rbLtflrR4zvhghq8g9eg--~D raising/everestfootball
Meet John Farnworth, the man attempting to juggle a football up Everest
Amid all the hikers, rock-climbers and sightseers, Snowdonia has been the setting this winter for an entirely different activity. John Farnworth, the multiple freestyle football word-record holder, has followed in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary by using Mount Snowdon – the highest point in England and Wales - as a training location for his own assault this week on Mount Everest. The difference, however, is that Farnworth believes that it is possible to at least reach Base Camp of the world’s highest mountain – and hopefully much further – whilst juggling a football. And, yes, that means not letting the ball touch the ground at any active stage of a scheduled 10-day trek. It might sound outlandish, but Farnworth did previously also complete the London Marathon in 2011 whilst keeping a football in the air for the entire 26.2 mile route. After more than 12 hours without making a mistake, and being fuelled simply on water and wine gums, it was understandable that the last section should ultimately become a test of nerve rather than skill or simply physical endurance. “It would have been awful for something to go wrong after coming so far and I was really tense at the end,” says Farnworth. “But what I remember most is that there was a drunk guy suddenly approaching me as we came to the last bit. He was running directly at me and my brother had to just rugby tackle him to the floor. We should not get that up Mount Everest but the terrain will be much harder and the altitude at more than 5,000 metres is another slight unknown. "We are planning for seven days to cover the route and three rest days.” Preparation for the challenge began six months ago and, as well as those visits to Snowdon, has included exercise sessions in an altitude chamber in London that replicates the thin air up Everest. Farnworth has also turned vegan in an attempt to improve his endurance and be better physically prepared for the conditions that await. As well as his nine world records – most recently for controlling a ball that was dropped from a height of 110 feet – Farnworth is a regular on CBBC and has performed for audiences ranging from Britain’s Got Talent to the Nou Camp and Barcelona’s training ground, where he met Neymar. Farnworth could not speak Portuguese and Neymar understands little English but he sensed an immediate connection. “Neymar’s a magician - and he watches freestyle for ideas,” says Farnworth. “The ball is a shared language and you could tell that he just loves football. If you pass him the ball, he starts doing tricks. "It was interesting to see how playful he was because you don’t get that so much with English players.” For all his incredible close skill, Farnworth’s own football career reached a peak with playing for the Preston North End youth team and then Garforth Town in non-league, where he had the opportunity to play alongside Lee Sharpe. Garforth were then managed by Simon Clifford, the former Southampton coach and founder of Brazilian School Schools, and it was around the age of 20 that Farnworth decided to focus more on football freestyle. He can recall always doing kick-ups on the side-lines at school matches and, since 2006, has devoted himself totally to becoming the best freestyler in the world. Farnworth believes he can make it past base camp on Everest Credit: GEOFF PUGH “There are many other components to becoming a great footballer beyond mastery of the ball,” says Farnworth. “There is the awareness of what is going on around you and also the tactical side. The fitness is also very different – you use different muscles – but some of the greatest players like Neymar and Ronaldo have a freestyle background. “Once I decided what I wanted to, it was basically just a question of working at it. I trained every day for eight hours and, within six months, I was at a level where I could surprise myself. I enjoyed learning the different skills and challenging myself in that way.” There is another reason for the Everest expedition, which begins on Saturday, beyond simply the chance to set another rather unique record. Farnworth wants to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society in memory of his grandfather, also John, was an inspiration in his career. John previously played for Accrington Stanley but, after suffering a brain haemorrhage and several strokes, had suffered with vascular dementia before dying last April. “He had such humility and was always cheerful despite what he was going through,” says Farnworth. “He also instilled a worth ethic in me to say that, if you are willing to put the time in, you can achieve things that might not have seemed possible. Freestyle football is no different in that than any other facet of life.” Donate here: http://www.justgiving.com/fund raising/everestfootball
The Brazilian has claimed that he is owed a €30m bonus payment from the Catalan giants, but the governing body has stepped away from the case
FIFA closes Neymar's Barcelona bonus case
The Brazilian has claimed that he is owed a €30m bonus payment from the Catalan giants, but the governing body has stepped away from the case
Neymar did not train with his Paris Saint-Germain team-mates on Friday due to illness, with Le Classique just two days away.
Unwell Neymar facing race to make Le Classique
Neymar did not train with his Paris Saint-Germain team-mates on Friday due to illness, with Le Classique just two days away.
Neymar was ill and missed training ahead of Paris Saint Germain's Ligue 1 match with Marseille, but coach Unai Emery said he hoped he would be able to play on Sunday (AFP Photo/CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT )
Neymar was ill and missed training ahead of Paris Saint Germain's Ligue 1 match with Marseille, but coach Unai Emery said he hoped he would be able to play on Sunday
Neymar was ill and missed training ahead of Paris Saint Germain's Ligue 1 match with Marseille, but coach Unai Emery said he hoped he would be able to play on Sunday (AFP Photo/CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT )
Neymar believes Barcelona owe him a €30m renewal bonus despite his move to PSG but FIFA will not take any action on the matter.
FIFA closes Neymar's Barcelona bonus case
Neymar believes Barcelona owe him a €30m renewal bonus despite his move to PSG but FIFA will not take any action on the matter.
Pele believes Neymar is already the most "technically" gifted player in the world and says he is ready to lead Brazil at the World Cup.
Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar are the only superstars, says Pele
Pele believes Neymar is already the most "technically" gifted player in the world and says he is ready to lead Brazil at the World Cup.
Guti, now a youth coach at the Santiago Bernabeu, thinks the Brazil star would be wise to move back to La Liga with former club Barca's arch-rivals
Guti urges Neymar to leave PSG for Real Madrid
Guti, now a youth coach at the Santiago Bernabeu, thinks the Brazil star would be wise to move back to La Liga with former club Barca's arch-rivals
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds FK 2 (agg 4-2): Arsene Wenger's side into Europa League last 16 despite dismal defeat
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds FK 2 (agg 4-2): Arsene Wenger's side into Europa League last 16 despite dismal defeat
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds FK 2 (agg 4-2): Arsene Wenger's side into Europa League last 16 despite dismal defeat
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds FK 2 (agg 4-2): Arsene Wenger's side into Europa League last 16 despite dismal defeat
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds FK 2 (agg 4-2): Arsene Wenger's side into Europa League last 16 despite dismal defeat
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds FK 2 (agg 4-2): Arsene Wenger's side into Europa League last 16 despite dismal defeat
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds FK 2 (agg 4-2): Arsene Wenger's side into Europa League last 16 despite dismal defeat
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds FK 2 (agg 4-2): Arsene Wenger's side into Europa League last 16 despite dismal defeat
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds FK 2 (agg 4-2): Arsene Wenger's side into Europa League last 16 despite dismal defeat
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds FK 2 (agg 4-2): Arsene Wenger's side into Europa League last 16 despite dismal defeat
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds FK 2 (agg 4-2): Arsene Wenger's side into Europa League last 16 despite dismal defeat
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds FK 2 (agg 4-2): Arsene Wenger's side into Europa League last 16 despite dismal defeat
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds FK 2 (agg 4-2): Arsene Wenger's side into Europa League last 16 despite dismal defeat
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds FK 2 (agg 4-2): Arsene Wenger's side into Europa League last 16 despite dismal defeat
Humiliation was narrowly averted but, as an audition for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City, Arsenal’s fringe players delivered the footballing equivalent of forgetting all their lines and then falling off the stage in a big heap. Yes, they did ultimately ensure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League by an aggregate 4-2 scoreline but, having gone 2-0 down against a club who have been in existence for less time than Arsene Wenger has been Arsenal manager, the wobble was still spectacular. In isolation, a 2-1 defeat on the night was also among the worst results in Arsenal’s entire history. Ostersunds, after all, are making their debut in European competition and had only played this fixture amid limited training due to freezing conditions back home and a break since December in the Swedish league. Jack Wilshere immediately acknowledged that Arsenal “were nowhere near it and not good enough” but the players were not spared in Wenger’s damning assessment of the first-half. “We were in trouble and in danger,” said Wenger. “We were complacent, not focused, open when we lost the ball and no ideas when we had the ball. That’s why we were in trouble. People subconsciously think they have to just turn up to win but it doesn’t work like that.” Ken Sema (R) celebrates his brilliant goal that made it 2-0 to the visitors Credit: AFP It all raises significant questions ahead of Sunday’s final. Alex Iwobi, who hobbled off with cramp, Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny all started here and are realistically in competition for two remaining starting spaces but did nothing to advance their case. "We are through - that is probably the only positive," said Wilshere. “We maybe underestimated them a little bit.” If the sight of numerous empty seats suggested that Arsenal’s fans were also either supremely confident or just disinterested in the prospect of facing Ostersunds, the 4,500 supporters in the away section underlined the enormity of this fixture for their opponents. It meant that 10 per cent of the population of Ostersund was at The Emirates for what was comfortably the most glamorous match in their history. It created an unusual atmosphere. The surroundings might have been familiar to the Arsenal players but most of the noise was for their visitors. The feeling of an away fixture was perhaps also compounded by Arsenal’s willingness to play in all blue in the knowledge that Ostersunds FK’s only two kits – red or white – would have clashed with their own home strip. Saman Ghoddos (2nd R) attempts to make it 3-0 with a free-kick Credit: AFP Arsenal’s initial mindset also could barely have been more welcoming. The players seemed trapped between those who regarded victory as a formality and those who were genuinely nervous. Complacency appeared to most afflict the experienced players furthest forward but Arsenal’s malaise was then compounded by two centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers who seem bereft of confidence. Add in Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac’s desire to push forward from full-back and Arsenal could scarcely have made themselves more vulnerable. Ostersunds sensed their opportunity and were soon creating the best chances. Captain Brwa Nouri was a persistent threat breaking from midfield and, after a move that also involved Jamie Hopcutt – an English midfielder who had played previously for Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League – Arsenal were cut wide open. They did not heed the warning signs. Holding then wandered forward into a midfield area when Arsenal lost the ball, allowing Hosam Aiesh to sprint into space between Chambers and Kolasinac before shooting past Ospina. More dreadful defending soon followed, with Ken Sema then turning Chambers with embarrassing ease before also finishing calmly. Wenger had included two senior defenders in Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal among his substitutes and, whether directly instructed or not, they immediately rose to their feet and began warming up. Only 23 minutes had been played. Sead Kolasinac settled Arsenal's nerves with a goal early in the second half Credit: Getty Images Wenger had clearly decided that his team lacked midfield presence and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who with Elneny had provided such scarce defensive protection, was replaced by Granit Xhaka at half-time. Arsenal did immediately improve and, after Bellerin’s cross was only partially cleared by Ronald Mukiibi, Kolasinac finished emphatically to restore a two-goal aggregate cushion. Wilshere also then released Welbeck but his attempt at a chipped finish was comfortably gathered by Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita. Arsenal had regained some semblance of rhythm and composure but there were still further lapses. After a towering Hopcutt header, Mukiibi missed an opportunity to further narrow the deficit and, while Elneny and especially Welbeck wasted chances to end the tie, Arsenal never once looked comfortable. They will take their place in tomorrow’s draw but the real story from this tie was surely the new chapter in the recent fairytale of Ostersunds and their inspirational English manager Graham Potter. “We tried to play well, tried to win and hoped for the miracle,” said Potter. “We got two out of three.” 9:57PM Full-time Widgren takes a booking for pulling back Bellerin in the last few seconds, before Ivan Kruzilak blows the final whistle. Wenger looks dismayed and Boos ring around the Emirates. Arsenal are through 4-2 on aggregate but the night belongs to Graham Potter and Ostersunds, who have pulled off a staggering 2-1 win. Manchester City will be quaking in their boots ahead of Sunday's League Cup final. 9:54PM 90+2 min Iwobi is replaced by Nelson for the final minute of the match. 9:53PM 90 min It's just not Welbeck's night. He does well to work the yard for the shot but his lashed effort is straight at Keita. Three minutes of time to be added on, as Iwobi gets treatment for a spot of cramp. 9:51PM 89 min Mkhitaryan, whose been really poor tonight, gets a booking for bringing down Ghoddos. Credit: Action Images 9:49PM 87 min The game is really opening up now, and Willock has a shot blocked from close range before Papagiannopoulous denies Kolasinac with a well-timed slide tackle. Iwobi then leans back and puts a shot from the edge of the box well over. 9:47PM 86 min Kolasinac gets to the byline once again, but again his cross is easily gathered by Keita. Welbeck then fails to control Bellerin's low centre. 9:46PM 84 min Ostersunds so close to getting one of the two goals they need, but Islamovic stabs Ghoddos's excellent low cross just wide. 9:44PM 83 min Two Ostersunds goals will knock Arsenal out remember so this isn't over just yet. That said, the visitors - whose domestic season does not start until April - are understandably starting to look a little leggy. 9:43PM 81 min Chambers heads Xhaka's corner over at the near post. Ostersunds respond with another change - Arhin on for the impressive Hopcutt. Some Arsenal fans are making for the exits already. Fair enough really, their team has been dreadful. 9:41PM 79 min Edwards gets a booking for kicking the ball away after Islamovic had chopped down Holding. Credit: Getty Images 9:39PM 78 min Willock's first contribution is to slip over not once, but twice. The youngster has looked like Bambi on ice since coming on. Tekie then sees a shot from distance deflected wide. 9:37PM 76 min Arsenal respond with their second change - Willock on for Wilshere, who's done little to suggest he should start the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday. Ospina is handed the captain's armband. Arsenal vs Östersunds FK shots on goal 9:35PM 73 min Good move by Arsenal. Xhaka find Kolasinac's run with a dinked pass to the back post, but the Bosnian's volleyed cross is collected by Keita. Ostersunds then make their second change - Mukiibi replaced by Islamovic. 9:33PM 71 min The Englishman Hopcutt, who has been busy tonight, has a pop from range that's deflected wide. Nouri is then denied by a lunging Chambers tackle. Ostersunds enjoying a bit of pressure, but Arsenal eventually smuggle the ball away. 9:31PM 68 min How has Welbeck not equalised? Iwobi digs out a cross that sets Welbeck up for an easy header about six yards out, but the striker nods the ball straight into Keita's midriff. Welbeck has looked devoid of confidence during these two legs. 9:27PM 65 min Holding and Chambers have been desperately poor tonight, but really you look at Arsenal's starting XI tonight and there's a case for saying that every senior player has regressed significantly over the last few years. Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Credit: Getty Images 9:25PM 63 min Elneny is allowed to drive forward through the middle of the pitch, and he gets off a decent shot from the edge ofthe box that Keita beats away. 9:23PM 61 min Howls of frustration from the Arsenal supporters as Mkhitaryan and then Wilshere give the ball away. Like so many Emirates matches over the last few years, this has a real 'end of days' feel to it. 9:19PM 58 min They may have got that goal but this is still so, so bad from Arsenal. Kolasinac and Ospina both make a mess of fairly simple passes to feed into a disbelieving atmosphere at the Emirates. Credit: AFP 9:17PM 55 min Arsenal all over the place at the back, with Xhaka particularly culpable, and Elneny eventually scuffs a clearance out for a corner. Mukiibi is then inches away from helping himself to a tap in from the resulting corner. It's brave goalkeeping from Ospina to dive at the defender's feet and make the save. 9:14PM 52 min Aiesh, who put Ostersunds ahead, is limping off to be replaced by Tekie. 9:12PM 50 min Welbeck wastes a decent chance after bring played in by Wilshere, opting to try and chip Keita from a tight angle. It's a limp effort and the Ostersunds keeper is able to make an easy save. 9:09PM 47 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (Kolasinac 47') It's a disaster for Mukiibi, who fails to cut out Bellerin's cross to the back post. Kolasinac is sniffing around for a chance and makes the most of the error by ramming home a volley with his less-favoured right foot. Excellent finish, and Arsenal are back in business. Arsenal 1 - 2 Östersunds FK (Sead Kolasinac, 47 min) 9:08PM 46 min We're back under way at the Emirates. Xhaka is on at half-time to replace Maitalnd-Niles. No changes for Ostersunds, with Pettersson patched up and able to continue. And oof, here's a damning stat - Mkhitaryan's pass completion rate was 53.6 per cent in the first half 9:01PM 'Embarrassing' If Arsenal do get through this tonight then the draw is really opening up. Napoli have been eliminated by RB Leipzig tonight and Dortmund are 45 minutes away from going out on away goals. But it remains a big if. Martin Keown says he is 'embarrassed' by Arsenal's performance this evening. What is going on at the Emirates?! Östersunds are two up inside 25 minutes against Arsenal. Ladies and Gentleman, we have a game on our hands! �� BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/7Dp3R7sM9i— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2018 8:58PM What next? Arsenal started sluggishly and just never got going. Ostersunds had created a couple of decent openings before they scored, but still Arsenal wouldn't heed the warning. Now they're really up against it if they want to advance to the last 16. Come Sunday, Arsenal's season could be all but over. 8:52PM Half-time Wenger looks extremely agitated as the first half draws to a close. Resounding boos ring out around the Emirates. Wow, who saw that coming when we kicked off tonight? Depressingly for Arsenal fans, probably a fair few people. Credit: Action Images 8:50PM 45 min Two minutes of added on time to be played. 8:49PM 44 min Ghoddus hits the resulting free-kick straight at Ospina. Ostersunds still playing with 10 men. 8:48PM 43 min Maitland-Niles booked for hauling down Nouri about 30 yards out as the Ostersunds captain sprinted towards goal. 8:48PM 42 min Big chance wasted for Arsenal. Wilshere blazes a half-volley over from the penalty spot after Keita had flapped at Mkhitaryan's free-kick. The Ostersunds keeper Keita does not look comfortable dealing with crosses. 8:46PM 41 min It's all so intricate for Arsenal and at the moment their pretty passing patterns are coming to nowt. Wilshere is the latest to express his frustration after Bellerin overhits a pass. Credit: Getty Images 8:45PM 40 min Pettersson is off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound, so Ostersunds are temporarily down to 10. 8:42PM 38 min Wilshere does brilliantly to glide past a couple of challenges and slip in Bellerin. Pettersson quickly snuffs out the danger though as he gets across and blocks Bellerin's low centre. 8:40PM 36 min According to our man at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is already fearing the worst: Mustafi and Monreal have genuinely just started warming up for Arsenal...— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 22, 2018 8:40PM 35 min That's the closest Arsenal have come, as Welbeck heads Mkhitaryan's free-kick straight into the arms of a relieved Keita. 8:38PM 34 min Ostersunds surge forward on the break again, but Ghoddus stumbles as he latches onto Aiesh's pass in the Arsenal box. I still don't think they will but Arsenal could actually go out tonight. Credit: AFP 8:37PM 32 min Arsenal are so flat, while Ostersunds are full of energy and with Sema and Aiesh have a real threat on both flanks whenever they attack. 8:35PM 30 min Edwards has a go from range that fizzes wide of Ospina's near post. 8:31PM 27 min This is absolutely crazy. The Arsenal supporters are in stunned silence. 8:29PM 23 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 2 (Sema 23')Well would you Adam and Eve it? Pretty much from kick-off Ostersunds work the ball to Sema, who turns Chambers on the edge of the box before lashing a brilliant shot left-footed into the far corner beyond Ospina. What a goal! Game now definitely on! Arsenal 0 - 2 Östersunds FK (Ken Sema, 23 min) 8:28PM 22 min GOAL!!! Arsenal 0 Ostersunds 1 (Aiesh 22')And it's no more than the visitors deserve! Holding fails to cut out the pass to Aiesh, who advances on goal and finds the far corner with aid of a deflection from Chambers. That may end up being given as an own goal. Game on (sort of). Arsenal 0 - 1 Östersunds FK (Calum Chambers, 22 min) 8:26PM 21 min Bellerin and Mkhitaryan link up well down the right, before the former tees up Wilshere for a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that's deflected wide. Holding's then penalised for a foul from the resulting corner. 8:23PM 19 min Sema again gets the better of Bellerin, and this time the winger fires in a low shot from a tight angle that Ospina gathers at the second attempt. Plenty of encouragement for Ostersunds in the opening 20 minutes. 8:22PM 16 min Bellerin puts in a dangerous whipped cross that Papagiannopoulous does well to clear from just under his own crossbar. The resulting corner sees Arsenal play it short and eventually pass the ball all the way back to Ospina. Cue howls of frustration from BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage. The patient approach works well though and Kolasinac eventually charges into the box only to stumble under Papagiannopoulous' challenge. No penalty is the referee's verdict, which is the right call. 8:18PM 13 min Iwobi jinks away from a couple of Ostersunds challenges before sending a wayward shot high and wide from just inside the area. Credit: AP 8:15PM 10 min Pretty low key atmosphere at the Emirates where there are swathes of empty seats. Ostersunds are having the better of things, and Nouri is inches away from latching onto Ghoddos's pass. Had Nouri controlled that, he would have had a very presentable chance. Lovely move from the visitors, who look far more relaxed than they did last week. 8:11PM 6 min Arsenal win their first corner of the night, but Kolasinac can't his head on the ball at the back stick. 8:10PM 5 min Ostersunds again go close as Hopcutt's shot about 10 yards out from Sema's pull-back is blocked by Chambers. 8:09PM 4 min Kolasinac, making a rare start tonight, flies forward down the left before eventually running out of space and crumpling to the ground in a failed attempt to win a free-kick. Good link-up play from Welbeck in the build-up. 8:06PM 2 min Early chance for Ostersunds after Holding gives the ball away to the Englishman Hopcutt about 25 yards out. Bellerin gets back though to make the tackle as Hopcutt bursts into the Arsenal box. 8:05PM Kick-off We're under way at the Emirates. 8:03PM Teams are out Arsenal lead 3-0 from the first leg. A reminder of the lineups for this evening: Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah Ostersunds FK XI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic Credit: Getty Images 7:54PM The future? Keown is purring about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who anchors the Arsenal midfield tonight. Keown describes the youngster as a 'Rolls-Royce' of a footballer. Keown did also compare Reiss Nelson to Neymar earlier in the season though... 7:50PM Six appeal Graham Potter is looking to become just the sixth Englishman to win a match at the Emirates Stadium. The five to have done so are: Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and most recently Garry Monk three years ago. 7:41PM Tangled up in blue For only the second time ever in a competitive match at Emirates, Arsenal will wear their away kit this evening due to both of Ostersunds' kits clashing with the hosts' red shirt. Prior to last season's home match against Basel, the most recent occasion that Arsenal had been forced to wear a changed strip for a 'home' match was at Wembley in 1998 for a Champions League tie against Lens. On that occasion, Arsenal wore a blue 'third' kit. Credit: Getty Images 7:25PM Eight years of hurt If Arsenal get through tonight, it will be the first European tie they've won since 2010 when a certain Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick against Porto in a 5-0 victory. Since then, it's been setback after setback and eight consecutive defeats in the Champions League knockouts. A win tonight and Arsenal's reward could be a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. 7:12PM We meet again So it's just two changes for Ostersunds, with Aiesh and the Yorkshireman Hopcutt, who impressed from the bench last week, coming in for Sema and Alhalj Gero. Neither of the sides has actually played since their meeting last week, with Ostersunds still in their domestic pre-season and Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Welcome to Emirates Stadium, @ofk_1996 �� pic.twitter.com/RsdHPfGqJr— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 7:01PM And the Ostersunds team is in Ostersunds FKXI: Keita, Mukiibi, Pettersson, Papagiannopoulous, Widgren, Aiesh, Edwards, Nouri, Sema, Ghoddus, Hopcutt Subs: Andersson, Mensiro, Bergovist, Arhin, Tekie, Gerd, Islamovic 6:56PM Cech mate Cech not in the Arsenal squad as Wenger continues his policy of selecting his second-choice keeper Ospina for cup games. Now that Arsenal's league season is effectively over and the cups are where the action is, Cech might be asking the manager if he can reverse his policy. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil misses out with illness as expected but otherwise it's a pretty strong Arsenal side. Mertesacker is fit but not even on the bench and may have played his last game for the club. 6:52PM The Arsenal team is in Arsenal XI:Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah �� Here's how we line up for tonight's @EuropaLeague clash with @ofk_1996#AFCvOSTpic.twitter.com/HcFRvXWvVi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 22, 2018 6:48PM Wilshere and Bellerin expected to start According to reports on social media anyway. Bellerin starting may seem strange but then with Chambers expected to start at centre-back, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Mathieu Debuchy recently departed, Wenger isn't exactly overloaded with options there. Wilshere starting suggests Ramsey may return and take his attacking midfield berth on Sunday in the League Cup final. 5:49PM Preamble Evening all, welcome to our live blog of tonight's Europa League last 32 second-leg between Arsenal and Ostersunds. The Swedish minnows had been hoping to catch Arsenal cold in the sub-zero 'winter city' last week, but they froze in the first half and quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Mesut Ozil then added a third in the second half to give Arsenal a surely unassailable 3-0 first-leg lead. As a result, we're expecting Arsene Wenger to play a weakened side this evening, especially as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City is just three days away. Wenger of course though said all the right things in his pre-match press conference about how he and his players would not be taking Ostersunds lightly. “Ostersunds had a timid start and we took advantage of it, but after they showed that they are a good side,” Wenger said. “For us it is absolutely vital to play well to have a chance to win the game. Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal an early lead in Sweden last week Credit: Action Images “We play at home and we want to win the game. If you look at the results of Ostersunds in the Europa League, it’s quite impressive, home and away. The game for us demands respect. It would be absolutely stupid for us to think we go out there and have a stroll. We could have had a bad surprise.” For Ostersunds' English manager Graham Potter meanwhile, tonight offers another opportunity for him to enhance his already burgeoning reputation. According to reports last night, West Brom are closely monitoring Potter's progress with a view to offering him the manager's job if and when they part company with Alan Pardew. Avoiding defeat on the night would be a fantastic result for Potter and his team, but I'm expecting a narrow Arsenal win. Expected teams: Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock; Iwobi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan Ostersunds FK (4-3-3): Keita; Mensah, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren; Tekie, Nouri, Bergqvist; Sema, Ghoddos, Gero