Arsenal have released an official statement after five arrests were made following crowd disturbances, in their Europa League tie against Cologne on Thursday night at the Emirates.
Chaotic scenes in north London forced a one-hour delay to the scheduled 8.05pm kick-off, after 17,000 fans of the German club descended on the home area of the ground without tickets.
With only around 3000 tickets allocated to the German club, Police were forced to set up a cordon outside the stadium to prevent German team supporters from entering without a ticket.
But despite this precaution many attempted to enter, whilst others purchased tickets for the Arsenal section from touts and were seen jumping barriers to try to reach the away section.
Earlier during the day a large crowd of Cologne fans had brought Soho and Oxford Street to a halt as they marched through the streets.
A statement read: “Following last night’s UEFA Europa League match with Cologne we would like to stress that fan safety was always our paramount concern and informed all decisions made.
“We worked in full consultation with police and UEFA officials on the night and in advance of the game and had taken extensive steps in advance to prevent tickets being sold to visiting supporters.
“This included a number of measures including ensuring no tickets were sold via general sale and that no red memberships purchased after the draw were able to be used to get tickets in the home end for this match. We also worked with our colleagues at Cologne to stop supporters travelling without match tickets.
“The 3,000 tickets issued to Cologne fans was in line with competition rules but it is clear many more visiting fans arrived, causing significant congestion and disturbance outside the stadium before kick-off. Many tickets were sold through touts and this is very disappointing.
“We have launched a full review into the circumstances surrounding the game and will ensure any lessons that can be learned are used in the future.” Follow our football predictions here.
After Cologne scored the opener in the 10th minute through Jhon Cordoba, the match itself ended well for Arsenal with a 3-1 victory following goals from Sead Kolasinac, Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin.