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June 26, 2017

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Late goals by Dutch players take Schalke over Arsenal 2-0

LONDON -- Netherlands internationals Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay scored late goals as Schalke outclassed Arsenal to win 2-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday, lifting the team above the English side to the top of Group B.

Sluggish in possession and impotent going forward, Arsenal was condemned to a first group-stage loss at home in more than nine years thanks to Huntelaar's low finish in the 76th minute and Afellay's far-post tap-in four minutes from time.

Arsenal's last home loss in the group stage of the competition came against Inter Milan in September 2003.

The loss ended Arsenal's perfect start to the competition and leaves Wenger with some worrying problems, with his team being outplayed in every department and only having one shot on target. The loss came on the back of a demoralizing Premier League defeat to Norwich on Saturday, bursting the early-season optimism at Emirates Stadium.

Schalke is on seven points — one ahead of Arsenal, which should still progress to the knockout stage despite this setback. The teams meet each other again in two weeks' time.

Fresh from winning at German champion Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday, the 2011 semifinalists took the game to Arsenal in front of their raucous, scarf-waving support.

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