However, an uninspiring game saw the Gunners concede a soft second-half penalty. Mattieu Debuchy was ruled to have brought down Sehrou Guirassy. The Frenchman stepped up to fire home and sent the home crowd into jubilation.
The defeat was academic in the end for Arsenal. With one match remaining, Wenger’s side have 10 points from five games, four ahead of Cologne and Red Star Belgrade, who were held to a goalless draw by Bate Borisov.
The final match is a home tie to BATE Borisov, who now sit bottom of the group but still have an outside chance of progressing to the next round.
Take a look at THREE things we learned from the defeat in Germany…
END OF ELNENY EXPERIMENT?
Arsenal’s fantasy of playing Mohamed Elneny as a centre-back is most definitely over.
The Egypt international, in truth, looked well below his best and was particularly woeful with his delivery from corners.
Does he have a long-term future at the club?
NELSON IMPRESSES IN CAMEO
He may have only been on the pitch for the final 23 minutes, but Reiss Nelson demonstrated once again what he is all about with a lively cameo in Cologne.
The midfielder, who has been converted to a makeshift wing-back in the Europa League came was hugely influential in the final third.
A mazy run saw him beat three players before getting a shot away, only to be saved by the Cologne ‘keeper.
GUNNERS AVOID BIG GUNS
Arsenal were beaten in Cologne, but the result proved academic as BATE Borisov and Red Star Belgrade played out a 0-0 draw to ensure the Gunners took top spot in Group H.
It means Arsenal will not face one of the Champions League drop outs or a high seeded team in the next round.