Live Commentary: Arsenal 0-2 Schalke - as it happened

Live Commentary: Arsenal 0-2 Schalke - as it happened
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Sports Mole brings you live text commentary of Arsenal's Champions League clash with Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04.

Arsenal welcomed Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04 to the Emirates Stadium tonight protecting an unbeaten home record in the Champions League since moving from Highbury.

The last time they had tasted defeat on their own turf was to Inter Milan in 2003, but came up against tough opposition as they sought to maintain their 100% start to their European campaign.

Schalke are riding high in third position in the Bundesliga, while also being buoyed by their weekend derby win over Borussia Dortmund.

Despite starting brightly, the Gunners were evantually outplayed by Die Knappen, who wrapped up a deserved victory courtesy of second-half strikes by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay.

They now go top of Group B on seven points, while Arsenal slip into second, a point worse off.

You can read how the game played out below.


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6.37pmGood evening! Welcome to Sports Mole for our coverage of Arsenal's match with Schalke in the group stages of the Champions League.

6.42pmThese two teams are arguably the best in Group B, while Olympiakos and Montpellier go head to head at the Stade de la Mosson.

6.44pmLet's give you some team news for tonight...

ARSENAL:Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertersacker, Vermaelen, Santos; Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla, Coquelin; Podolski, Gervinho

6.47pmOlivier Giroud starts on the bench for the Gunners tonight, as Francis Coquelin comes into the midfield.

6.59pmLewis Holtby is expected to feature in Schalke's lineup tonight. He has an English father, who was in the military and raised him as an Everton fan. The 22-year-old made quite a name for himself with his performances for Mainz before going on to impress for Schalke. 'Lucky Lewis' was named captain of Germany's Under-21 side and also has two caps for the senior team. His star certainly seems to be rising.

SCHALKE:Unnerstall; Uchida, Howedes, Matip, Fuchs; Neustadter, Horger; Afellay, Holtby, Farfan; Huntelaar

7.05pmNo surprises for the Bundesliga outfit. Ibrahim Affelay, Lewis Holtby and Jefferson Farfan will be looking to support Klaas-Jan Huntelaar at every opportunity. If they're up for tonight, it could prove to be a tough shift for Jenkinson and Santos down the flanks.

7.08pmArsenal subs: Shea, Koscielny, Giroud, Djourou, Arshavin, Chamakh

7.14pmSports Mole also brings you coverage of Manchester City's Champions League odyssey, which takes them to Amsterdam tonight. It's a must-win game for Roberto Mancini's men.

7.15pmThere's also coverage of the other game in City's group between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid. You can follow that by clicking here.

7.25pmThe omens don't really look good for Schalke tonight. German teams have failed to score against English opposition on four of the last five occasions. However, a win over their rivals Borussia Dortmund at the weekend will have done plenty to boost their confidence.

7.27pmThey have only lost four of their last 25 European matches, winning 14 of them. Arsenal are obliged to go for the win as they are at home, plus they'll be wanting to avoid the possibility of a tough draw in the last 32... if they go on to qualify, of course.

7.41pmThe players are about to come onto the Emirates pitch. Cue the Champions League music.

7.45pmSchalke win the toss... which means very little in football, unfortunately for them. Arsenal will kick the game off in their usual strip, while Schalke line up all in blue.

KICKOFFThe game is underway

2 minsArsene Wenger is watching this game from the stands. He's serving the last game of his touchline ban.

5 minsBoth teams have started reasonably sharply. There's plenty of zip to the passing, even if it is inaccurate.

8 minsArteta wins a freekick inside the Schalke half. Arsenal refuse to take the long option and instead play it short. Schalke get plenty of men behind the ball though and crowd Arsenal out.

9 minsSantos and Cazorla combine down the left and the Brazilian sees his cross come back at him off Matip and rebound for a goal kick.

10 minsCHANCE! Podolski delivers a dangerous low cross for Gervinho, but the Ivorian cannot turn the ball on target from the near post.

11 minsCazorla nearly frees Gervinho but his pass is cut out by the Schalke defence. The Spaniard is looking sharp tonight.

14 minsPENALTY CLAIM! Farfan pokes the ball through to Afellay and there's a bit of a mix-up between Mannone and Jenkinson. The Dutch winger went over from Mannone's challenge but the referee was not interested and booked him for diving. It looked like a half-decent appeal for me, even if he did do the Hollywood roll.

16 minsSchalke are having a good spell of possession in Arsenal's half now. They're looking much more comfortable on the ball.

17 minsThe travelling fans are certainly making some noise.

18 minsCLOSE! Podolski flashes the ball across the goal but it's cut too far back for Ramsey to reach.

20 minsSchalke win a free kick to the right of Arsenal's area. Holtby will deliver... but it's cleared by Podolski.

23 minsCazorla plays the ball through to Gervinho, who has acres of space to run into but just doesn't have the turn of pace to go clear and is closed down.

25 minsSchalke had pressed upfield after breaking up an Arsenal attack and were in turn caught out themselves. The ball by Cazorla was classy.

26 minsSHOT! Cazorla has a pop but it deflects out for a corner. It's taken short but Unnerstall claims the ball safely when it's eventually thrown into the box.

26 minsSHOT! Cazorla has a pop but it deflects out for a corner. It's taken short but Unnerstall claims it safely when it's eventually thrown into the box.

29 minsNervy moment there for Mannone when he received an unwanted pass back. Two Schalke players rushed to close him down but he managed to clear his lines.

30 minsCHANCE! Uchida gets in down the left and cuts back for Farfan, who does brilliantly to turn inside his marker and get a shot away... but Mertersacker throws his body in the line of fire. Superb last-ditch defending!

33 minsBrilliant defensive work, this time by Cazorla. He used his nimble footwork to evade his pursuers and lay the ball off inside his own final third.

34 minsAfellay plays a beautiful ball through to Farfan down the left. The Peruvian was afforded oceans of space by Santos, but could not pick out a Schalke shirt with his cross.

40 minsIt's been a very evenly-matched contest so far. Both teams have had good spells of position and it looks like either could be a worthy winner.

41 minsJenkinson is slipped in down the right by Gervinho, but overhits his cross into the box.

42 minsCHANCE! Santos once again loses sight of Uchida, who kills Holtby's long-range pass stone dead before teeing up Huntelaar. However, the Dutchman fired wide when the goal was at his mercy. He'll be disappointed - it was a sitter.

44 minsThat's twice Uchida has been allowed to gallop unchecked into Arsenal's penalty area.

HALF TIMEArsenal 0-0 Schalke

8.32pmSchalke have had a good penalty appeal turned down and missed a sitter. Arsenal should be be the happier of the two teams.

8.34pmYou can read Sports Mole's Half-Time Report by clicking here.

8.38pmManchester City have been pegged back by Ajax at half time. Samir Nasri opened the scoring for the Citizens but Siem de Jong's equaliser sends those two teams in level at the break. You can read the story so far by clicking here.

8.46pmThe teams are back out on the pitch ready to resume the game.

SECOND HALFSchalke kick the second half off. Both teams are unchanged.

47 minsCHANCE! Coquelin battles inside the box and does well to knock the ball through for himself and square it for Ramsey, but the Schalke defence are alert to the danger and smother the opening.

49 minsCHANCE! Farfan gets beyond Santos and cuts it back for Howedes, but it's a typical defender's finish as he skies the ball into the nosebleed section.

50 minsIt wasn't the best defending by Santos again. He was caught with his body square on and Farfan was able to skip over his challenge.

52 minsCazorla is nearly inch perfect with a through ball to Gervinho but it's cut out.

56 minsFuchs delivers a dangerous corner and Howedes heads it down into the ground, but over the top of Mannone's goal.

61 minsA bit of defensive uncertainty in the Gunners' backline, but nothing for Schalke to really capitalise on. The German team can consider themselves slightly unlucky not to be leading, but you have to put the ball in the back of the net and they've not even hit the target with two very decent openings.

63 minsCLOSE! Schalke are threatening now and Huntelaar nearly gets his boot to a dangerous cross but it's just out of reach.

64 minsArsenal break down the left with Gervinho, who carries the ball into the box and delivers a cross... but nobody's there to get on the end of it.

69 minsThere will have been a lot of eyes on Holtby tonight and he's given a decent showing so far, but it's Uchida who has impressed me the most, both defensively and offensively. He's got a deft touch and looks like an extremely intelligent player.

70 minsPENALTY CLAIM! And in more or less the same area as Afellay's in the first half! Only this time it's Gervinho who takes a tumble over the boot of Jermaine Jones. The referee is wise to the Ivorian's trickery however, and books him for diving. Good decision.

73 minsOlivier Giroud is stripped and ready to come on.

ARSENAL SUBSTITUTION:Giroud comes on to replace Gervinho

75 minsA mixture of ironic cheers and polite applaus ripple around the Emirates. It's not been his night, but he's kept plugging away to be fair.

75 minsGOAL! HUNTELAAR PUTS SCHALKE IN FRONT!

77 minsA spot of head tennis results in Huntelaar being put clean through on Mannone and this time he buries the ball in the net. Deserved!

80 minsThe Arsenal defence stood static as the ball pinged about over their head. It was a great headed through ball by Afellay and Huntelaar just put his right foot through it.

81 minsJenkinson puts a ball into the box and Giroud nearly gets on the end of it but first.

DOUBLE ARSENAL SUBSTITUTION:Serge Gnabry comes on to replace Carl Jenkinson, while Lukas Podolski makes way for Andrey Arshavin.

83 minsGnabry shows some decent skill to create an opportunity to put the ball in the box, but he can;t find Giroud.

85 minsGOAL! AFELLAY SURELY WRAPS UP THE POINTS FOR SCHALKE!

87 minsSchalke broke into the Arsenal half with Huntelaar, who played the ball out to Farfan on the right. He whipped the ball across the face of Mannone's goal, presenting Afellay with a tap in at the far post. The Bundesliga team are home and dry now, and deservedly so.

SCHALKE SUBSTITUTION:Ciprian Marica comes on to replace Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

88 minsThe stands are emptying now and those who have remained look sullen.

90 minsThere's going to be three minutes od added-on time.

FULL TIMEArsenal 0-2 Schalke - Huntelaar and Afellay end Arsenal's unbeaten run at the Emirates in Champions League competition.

Arsene Wenger
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