Arsenal suffers first loss but still tops group with a game to spare in Europa League
Cologne's Sehrou Guirassy scores the opening goal from the penalty spot past Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina. AP

Arsenal clinched top spot in Group H with a game to spare despite a 1-0 loss at Cologne on Thursday (Friday, Manila time), the London club's first defeat of their campaign in the Europa League.

Arsenal already had a place in the knockout stage.

Arsenal gave another dominant display in the Europa League despite manager Arsene Wenger resting the entire starting 11 that beat Tottenham 2-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.

Sehrou Guirassy scored a penalty in the 63rd minute in Cologne, against the run of play.

With recalled Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud up front, Arsenal held the upper hand but failed to turn their possession into victory.

Francis Coquelin hit the post in the first half in Arsenal's best chance.

Before the game, players and fans observed a minute silence that later turned into a standing ovation for the late Hans Schaefer, a former Cologne winger who won 1954 World Cup with West Germany. Schaefer died at age 90 earlier in November.

After BATE Borisov played to a 0-0 draw against Red Star Belgrade, Arsenal tops Group H with 10 points. Red Star and Cologne trail by four points, Borisov is another point behind.

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