LONDON, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Arsenal slumped to their first defeat of the season in the Champions league on Wednesday when the London club was outclassed by Schalke 04 2-0 at Emirates Stadium.
The Dutch international Klaas Jan-Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay wrapped up the two goals in the last 15 minutes, boosting the German side to top Group B with seven points after three rounds.
Arsenal, who had collected two straight victories in the group, failed to link well and create open chances in front of a well-disciplined opponent, leaving the more than 50,000 home fans in the stands sigh and disappointed in a chilly windy night.
With six points, the Gunners stood second in the group and remained confident of qualification for the last-16 berth. Olympiakos, who beat Montpellier 2-1, followed Arsenal in three points. The French side was in bottom with just one point.
It was the first home defeat in Champions League group stage for Arsenal since they lost to Inter Milan in 2003.
For Schalke 04, it was their first away victory in England at European stage after five attempts.
With a 4-2-3-1 starting formation, Arsenal fought it hard to keep shape in midfield, lacking the teamwork to control the ball efficiently.
Without speed and sharpness in the frontline, the home side only had four shots in total, outshone by the German side's seven times.
Looked more dangerous throughout the match, Schalke 04 took the lead with 14 minutes left when Jan-Huntelaar ran onto a heading pass to surge into the area, sending the ball to the bottom right corner. ( Ten minutes later, Afellay caught a low pass from right flank and struck a cool finish at far post to seal the victory.
Arsene Wenger, who sat in the stands for serving his final game of a three-match touchline ban, had asked his side to respond in an efficient way after Saturday's shock defeat to Norwich in Premier League.
But again with a lackluster performance tonight, the experienced manager and the team must find a method to return onto the winning track as soon as possible. Now, they are left 10 points behind the domestic leader Chelsea.