Matt Turner

Matt Turner made his competitive debut for Arsenal in their road win in the Swiss capital while Henry Wingo and Ferencvaros overcame the odds to pull off a remarkable victory against their Turkish visitors.

FC Zürich 1 – 2 Arsenal

Matt Turner did what was needed in his Arsenal debut against FC Zürich, helping the team to a 2-1 road victory, in a solid, even if imperfect performance for the Gunners.

The American played his first competitive game since July, making a pair of saves, although had little to do as Arsenal held the ball for a dominant 70% of the time and outshot their hosts by a 18-10 margin.

His only regret would be the penalty that he failed to save to momentarily give Zürich hope heading into the half.

Marquinhos got the Gunners off the rocking start just before the 16-minute mark, running onto a low cross from Edward Nketiah and sending a ten-yard laser of a shot into the net for the 1-0 lead.

Arsenal were predictably the more aggressive and dominant of the two teams, but were dealt an unexpected blow just before the half when Edward Nketiah tripped up Fidan Aliti in the area setting up a spot kick for the hosts.

Mirlind Kryeziu took the resulting penalty, hitting a soft shot to the left side, as Turner dove helplessly in the opposite direction.

However, Nketiah would atone for his mistake two minutes past the hour, rising high in the left side of the six-yard area to head a cross from Marquinhos downwards, below the Zürich keeper’s grasp, and over the line for the winner.

Turner was forced into action to preserve the win in the 91st minute, but easily saved the late headed attempt by Zürich’s Ivan Santini.

With the win, Arsenal are atop Group A, as PSV and Bodø/Glimt tied in the other game. Turner will return to the Gunner bench for their home game against Everton on Sunday, but will likely get another 90 minutes on Thursday when they host the Dutch team in the second group game.

Ferencvaros 3 – 2 Trabzonspor

Henry Wingo took up his usual starting spot on the right side of the Ferencvaros defense, as they put on a valiant display to eek out a close victory against Turkish team Trabzonspor despite playing a man down for the majority of the game.

Wingo put in a solid performance over 90 minutes, taking a pair of shots, one which hit the woodwork, while completing 15 of his 21 passes, making five clearances, winning three of his eight duels, committing one foul, and picking up a yellow card.

The Hungarian champions were off to a flying start, as Tokmac Chol Nguen slipped behind the defense and volleyed Bálint Vécsei’s chip into the area into the Trabzonspor goal for the fifth-minute lead.

However, Eldar Civic was shown red by the referee roughly ten minutes later, when a VAR review revealed a brutal stop by the Ferencvaros left back on an opposing player.

Still, this didn’t initially slow the hosts as one would expect, as Adama Traoré put away the 2-0 just before the half-hour mark, barely beating the Trabzonspor keeper to a pass from Nguen, and sending it rolling over the goal-line.

The Turkish team, who did hold more than three-quarters of possession throughout the game, did chip away at the lead in the 39th minute. Anastasios Bakesetas took advantage of a poor touch near the midfield stripe, and stormed ahead before laying the ball off to Maximiliano Gomez for a chipped finish from the right side of the area.

Nguen restored the two-goal lead for the hosts just before the half, striking from the spot after a careless handball from Vitor Hugo.

While the visitors did eventually cut the lead back to one goal, Umut Bozok doing the honors by smacking the lob by Gomez past Dénes Dibusz, Ferencvaros did withstand the significant pressure to hang on for the victory.

Wingo and his teammates have a first-versus-second battle against Kisvarda on Sunday, then visit Monaco in the next group game on Thursday.

Omonia Nicosia 0 – 3 FC Sheriff Tiraspol

Mikkel Diskerud went the distance in Omonia Nicosia’s midfield, putting in a decent performance despite the team’s overall embarrassing home collapse to Moldovan champions FC Sheriff Tiraspol.

Diskerud managed one shot and set up another chance, while being a generally active participant from his position on the left side of the midfield. He had 56 total touches, completed 87% of his 45 passes, won seven of 12 duels, and drew one foul.

Nevertheless, the game was an overall stinker for the hosts, as they failed to make any real headway despite holding the majority of possession.

Ibrahim Akanbi already gave Sheriff the lead after 67 seconds when he powered between two defenders and put his six-yard shot away, then Iyayi Believe Atiemwen made it 2-0 ten minutes into the second half with a fine kick from the spot after a long VAR review confirmed a handball by a Omonia defender defending a cross into the area.

Mouhamed Diop then added the third and final score for the visitors with 14 minutes in regulation, striking Akanbi’s lay-off from short distance.

Diskerud and his teammates will try to get their European campaign back on course on Thursday when they visit Real Sociedad, but must first deal with a tough trip to Apollon Limassol in domestic action over the weekend.

Notes

Jordan Pefok is still recovering from an injury that kept him out of Union Berlin’s last league game, and didn’t suit up for the team’s 1-0 home loss against Belgians Union St. Gilloise. The American will hope to be back in action on Sunday for their trip to Cologne.

Richard Ledezma didn’t make it off of PSV Eindhoven’s bench during their 1-1 draw at home against Norwegians Bodø/Glimt. His next chance to play will be on Sunday when PSV welcomes RKC Waalwijk in Eredivisie action.

Romain Gall was nowhere to be found for Malmö FF on Thursday in their 2-0 loss at home to Portuguese team Braga.

Jonathan Gomez was in the traveling squad for Real Sociedad on Thursday, with the team coming away from their visit to Manchester United with a shocking 1-0 upset victory.

Kondrad de la Fuente was not included in the Olympiacos player list for the Europa League group stage, and likely watched their 2-1 loss at French team Nantes from his couch on Thursday night.

By David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

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