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Europa League: UEFA charge Arsenal, Cologne over crowd trouble

17 September 2017

With Alexis Sanchez scoring a controversial opener for Arsenal and Chelsea's Victor Moses sent off for diving, it was a bitter conclusion to an otherwise ideal first season in charge for Conte. "I don't know. But certainly they (Cologne) had more people here than tickets so that was certainly the cause", he said at the post-match news conference.

They finished outside the top four last season for the first time in two decades.

Arsenal have not won at Chelsea since October 2011 and have won two of 21 games against the established top six since the start of the 2013-14 season.

However, they couldn't record back-to-back wins, as they fell to a 1-0 defeat on the road at Stoke City.

Chelsea's 3-0 loss at Arsenal in September 2016 prompted a change to a 3-4-3 formation and a 13-game winning run which led to the Premier League title triumph in Conte's first season as head coach.

Robin van Persie's hat-trick in Arsenal 5-3 win against Chelsea will go down as one of the best performances the Gunners displayed against the Blues. Which hopefully has got across to the players for the game which will be without the arch nemesis of Arsenal for the last couple of years in Diego Costa. I would like to see Mertesacker in the middle with Koscielny and Mustafi either side and those three defenders have the ability between them to handle anything Chelsea can throw at us. "After that game, I understood our team".

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"For this reason, it is a massive game for us".

One bright spark from Thursday's game who could feature at Stamford Bridge though is Sead Kolasinac who only played the second half.

Conte will be without Danny Drinkwater after the England midfielder, a deadline-day signing from Leicester City, was ruled out for several weeks with a calf muscle injury.

"I think it's very hard to see (Drinkwater) before the global break".

Given his position, Bakayoko needs time to adjust to Chelsea's tactics, but Conte is happy with the man who appears to be the Blues' direct replacement for Nemanja Matic, now at Manchester United. "I don't think it's an advantage". It's a pity because he was starting to work and to improve his physical condition and also to adapt himself in our idea of football.

Europa League: UEFA charge Arsenal, Cologne over crowd trouble