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UEFA Champions League
24 October 2012
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: J. Eriksson
• Attendance: 60049
K. Huntelaar 76'
I. Afellay 86'
The Germans move to the top of Group B. Arsenal, now in second place, were seemingly coasting through to the next stage, but now the group is wide open.
Arsenal fans expected a reaction from their team following their poor display at Norwich at the weekend. They certainly didn't get one. The Gunners had to wait until the 93rd minute for their first effort on target. Schalke though, thoroughly deserved the three points having exposed Arsenal defensive frailties, mainly Andre Santos, countless times during the match.
FULL-TIME: Arsenal 0-2 Schalke
90' + 3'
Gnabry has a first shot on target for the Gunners and it comes in the third minute of stoppage time. The Germans tries to curl an effort round the keeper but directs it too close to the keeper.
90' + 2'
A clash of heads between Vermaelen and Neustadter results in a short break in play, only prolonging Arsenal's misery.
90' + 1'
It's keep ball now for the Germans, this is rather embarrassing for the Arsenal fans.
But it's Schalke who are on the attack following a clearance from Matip. Afellay carries the ball down the pitch, right towards the area where the away fans are situated.
Gnabry has been particularly bright since coming on. More fine work from the young German down the right for Arsenal earns them a corner.
Now chew on this stat. Four shots, none on target. Have you ever seen such poor numbers for an Arsenal side under Arsene Wenger at home?
Assist J. Farfán
Goal Ibrahim Afellay
A second for the hosts comes from Ibrahim Afellay. The cross, invariably comes from Farfan down the right, who again gets the better of Andre Santos. The Peruvian picks out the right ball this time and the unmarked Afellay simply passes into an empty net. Arsenal fans head for the exit.
GOAL!!! Arsenal 0-2 Schalke (Afellay)
Wow. Almost a dream introduction. A lovely bit of skill from Gnabry to be beat his man and then a fine cross which Mertesacker almost turns into the net.
Jenkinson crosses for Giroud, who tries to equalise with his first involvement but is denied by great defending from the visitors. Santos then slides in a great ball for Ramsey, but the Welshman's cross is poor.
Andre Arshavin and young German Serge Gnabry are getting read to come on for the Gunners.
Giroud has come on for Gervinho meanwhile as Arsenal look to salvage a point.
Assist Ibrahim Afellay
Goal Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
It was coming. Klass-Jan Huntelaar strikes for Schalke and Arsenal's long unbeaten run is in real danger. Arsenal's back line is a mess as Vermaelen and Mertesacker step forward but Santos retreats leaving Huntelaar onside and in space to fire past Mannone.
GOAL!!! Arsenal 0-1 Schalke (Huntelaar)
What a chance! Farfan is in behind the Arsenal defence, I've lost count how many times I've said that, this time the Schalke forward directs his low cross to close to Mannone, with Huntelaar in a great position.
Yellow Card Gervinho
Yellow Card Aaron Ramsey
Chance! More controversy! Gervinho is away down the left once again, but substitute Jones has the legs to catch up with the winger. Gervinho fends the German off but then goes down in the box, only to be booked for simulation. Good decision from the referee.
Arsenal attack down the left again through Gervinho, but the Ivorian is all out of ideas and eventually just prods the ball towards Podolski and allows Schalke to recover.
Gervinho does well to win the ball back off Farfan, before collecting the ball out on the left and delivering a super cross in the box. Unfortunately none of his team-mates could make their way into the box in time.
Close! Farfan delivers a dangerous ball across the box and Huntelaar is a whisker away from making contact.
Cazorla's back-heel doesn't come off and groans can be heard at the Emirates. No shots on target yet for the Gunners and we are in the final half-hour.
Approaching the hour mark and Schalke are again looking like the more potent attacking threat. Cazorla is caught in possession as he tries to do it all himself in midfield.
Fuchs delivers the cross but Howedes' header is hit into the ground and bounces over Mannone's crossbar.
Arsenal are pegged bag into their own half now. Fuchs has a go from range and earns a corner off Mertersacker.
Santos plays a peculiar pass across his keeper and both centre-backs to Jenkinson on the other side of the pitch, leaving most people inside the stadium rather bemused.
Gervinho is close to getting on the end of a through ball from Cazorla, it was a good spot from the Spaniard but Gervinho wasn't quite on the same wavelength.
What a miss! Farfan gets the better of Santos yet again and his cross falls to Howedes in the box, but the defender gets his finish all wrong and ends up blazing the chance well over the crossbar.
Now Schalke are on the front foot. First a cross from Farfan is met by Mertesacker, before Jenkinson is forced to concede a corner against Huntelaar.
Yellow Card Mikel Amatrian Arteta
Chance! Santos' cross finds Coquelin at the far post but his cut back fails to find Aaron Ramsey inside the box. The move began after some brilliant footwork from Santi Cazorla.
One change for the visitors after the break, Jermaine Jones comes on for Hoger in midfield.
Schalke take the kick-off and get things underway in the second period.
Goal.com's Greg Stobart reports from the Emirates Stadium: "Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be cursing his touchline ban right now, because there was an awful lot wrong with the Gunners’ first-half performance. They are fortunate to be level at the break, with Schalke creating all of the chances, including an excellent opportunity for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar just before the break. Arsenal are yet to find any attacking rhythm and Andre Santos has been wretched at left-back, constantly exposed by Jefferson Farfan’s pace and movement. Arsenal need to make changes and the fans around the press box are crying out for the introduction of Olivier Giroud."
HALF-TIME: Arsenal 0-0 Schalke
No injury time to be added on here.
Oh dear. It's Santos again under pressure. Huntelaar this time gets past the left-back but the offside flag saves the Gunners this time.
What a chance! Santos all at sea once again, Uchida sneaks in behind the Brazilian and plays a cross into Huntelaar, who lets Arsenal off the hook with an uncharacteristically poor finish.
Yellow Card Marco Höger
Schalke can be very happy with their first-half performance so far, they have defended well and looked a genuine threat on the counter-attack. The Gunners meanwhile, started well, but seemed to have lost confidence as the half has gone on.
How long before we see Olivier Giroud? Arsenal are really lacking a focal point in attack.
Arsene Wenger looks a very frustrated figure up in the executive boxes, how he would love to have a word with his team at half time.
Farfan is in behind the Arsenal defence once more and Mertesacker has to intervene again. It's fair to say Andre Santos is having a bit of a nightmare so far for the Gunners.
Big chance! Uchida did ever so well down the right before cutting the ball back to Jefferson Farfan, who checked on his left foot and looked sure to score before Per Mertesacker flung his large frame at the ball to block and keep the scores level.
The away fans are making all the noise inside the ground, the home fans are getting frustrated with their side's lethargic performance so far.
Cazorla turns in midfield and takes a shot from range which deflects behind for a corner. It's taken short, but the little Spaniard floats his cross straight into the arms of Unnerstall.
The Germans continue to press high, but for the time being at least, Arsenal seem to have regained control of the match.
Chance! Lovely pass from Cazorla finds Gervinho in acres of space, but the Ivorian goes one way then the other before tumbling over after a challenge from Howedes.
Cazorla wins possession on the halfway line and Arsenal are in business on the break but a poor cutback from Gervinho results in the move breaking down.
A free-kick earned by the Germans on the far touchline is headed away by Podolski as Arsenal survive another attack.
Arsenal look fragile down their left side with Andre Santos being targeted by the Schalke players as the weakness in the Gunners' back line.
A short spell of possession for Schalke is greeted by noise from their supporters. The visitors look like they have come out to play and we have a game on our hands!
Yellow Card Thomas Vermaelen
Yellow Card Ibrahim Afellay
Big moment! Afellay is shown a yellow card for diving inside the area, after Jenkinson overran the ball leaving Mannone to deal with the Dutchman. Arsenal can count themselves lucky as Afellay had nicked the ball away from the Italian keeper, but perhaps overdid his dive.
Cazorla is involved again as Arsenal begin to look a threat going forward, but the Gunners fail to pick out Gervinho who has been making some good runs early on.
Chance! Cazorla starts it off by feeding Podolski down the left flank and the German plays a low early cross in to Gervinho, but the Ivorian can't quite provide the finish under pressure from Matip.
Andre Santos ventures forward from left-back but fails to deliver a cross with Podolski and Gervinho waiting to pounce.
The Germans are keeping plenty of bodies behind the ball and look content with posing a threat on the counter. This could prove to be a frustrating evening at the Emirates.
Schalke come forward from the back and Afellay finds himself with Huntelaar and Farfan either side waiting for the pass, but Arteta snaps at the wingers' heels and wins the ball back.
First chance comes for the Gunners as Gervinho gets in behind the Schalke defence with a well-timed run, but the makeshift forward hesitates before crossing and the ball goes off him for a goal kick.
Blimey! An absolute roar from the travelling German supporters rings out at the Emirates as the match kicks off.
Arsenal take the kick-off and we are underway!
We are set, the teams are emerging from the tunnel and empty seats are being filled inside the Emirates. Wenger, still serving from a touchline ban, looks on from the executive seats and we are moments away from kick-off.
So Olivier Giroud loses his place in the starting line-up with Gervinho shifting into the central striking position. Francis Coquelin also plays as one of Wenger's two deep midfielders alongside Mikel Arteta, Ramsey moves further up the pitch into an attacking midfield role.
Schalke: Unnerstall; Uchida, Matip, Höwedes, Fuchs; Neustädter, Höger; Farfan, Holtby, Afellay; Huntelaar. Subs: Hildebrand, Marica, Jones, Barnetta, Moritz, Draxler, Kolasinac.
Arsenal: Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Santos; Ramsey, Coquelin, Arteta; Cazorla, Podolski, Gervinho Subs: Shea, Koscielny, Giroud, Djourou, Arshavin, Chamakh, Gnabry.
Meanwhile German outfit Schalke have only won one of their last eight European games against English opposition, although that one victory was a 3-2 win over Arsenal in 2003.
The Gunners go into this match unbeaten in their last 45 Champions League matches against non-English opposition at the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger's men can take a giant stride towards the knockout stages tonight, with a win taking them to nine points. While a victory for the visitors would take them to the top of Group B with seven.
Good evening ladies and gents! Welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play coverage of the Champions League Group B encounter between Arsenal and Schalke from the Emirates Stadium LIVE!
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