Lukas Podolksi returned to his former club and scored a brace, the first through a penalty, and then sweeping in a second from a cross by Kieran Gibbs. Thomas Vermaelen opened Arsenal’s account heading in a corner and Gervinho provided an exclamation point spurning his usual instincts to pass up a scoring opportunity and actually score himself.
All the new signings were on view and they turned in good performances. Oliver Giroud can consider himself unlucky not to score with Koln’s goalie denying him two clear chances. Santi Cazorla took over as the creative hub in the middle and Arsenal’s attack flowed through him. He looked very, very comfortable. One gets the feeling we might be singing his praises very often in his debut season.
RVP made a significant second half appearance wearing the captain’s armband. His contribution was secondary to a growing belief that he will stay on despite the rumours of a hotline chat between Sir Alex with Wenger over a possible deal. Arshavin and Gervinho’s presence on the pitch continued the overweighting of the left channel which resulted in three of Arsenal’s four goals. With Alex Oxlade Chamberlain shifting centrally, Arsenal now rely on Theo Walcott as a consistent threat to provide a counterbalance between the flanks.