In the end a draw was enough to see Arsenal qualify for the next stage but it was hardly a classic.
Arsenal made a decent if not dazzling start and even though Arsene Wenger had made the usual mass of changes it looked as though the 11 players would be too good for the visitors. Even the young stand in keeper Matt Macey making his European debut showed early on that he would not be a weak link.
The gunners were in control and in Wilshere, Walcott and Giroud it felt as though it was a matter of time before we opened the scoring, but despite the domination and a few chances it did not happen and the visitors started to get back into it, while Arsenal became worryingly worse.
So much so that it was a huge relief to get into halftime on level terms. That was thanks to a great fingertip save onto the bar at point blank range by Macey and a shocking miss by the Red Star strike Boakye. Much better needed after the break!
I suppose we were better after the break, especially for the first 10 minutes and in flashes after that, but it never really caught fire although the clearance of the line to deny Jack Wilshere a goal was pretty special. Luckily enough Cologne beat BATE so the Gunners are into the next round and should have no problem topping the group either.