Olivier Giroud gets 100th Arsenal goal in Europa League win at Borisov
BATE Borisov 2 - 4 Arsenal

Olivier Giroud gets 100th Arsenal goal in Europa League win at Borisov

28/09/2017

Theo Walcott scored twice and Olivier Giroud notched his 100th Arsenal goal as the Londoners secured a second successive Europa League win, triumphing 4-2 at BATE Borisov.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gave a first senior start to young midfielder Joe Willock and also named Ainsley Maitland-Niles and forward Reiss Nelson in his XI.

And after an opening spell in which Arsenal dominated possession, Willock was involved as they fashioned the first chance.

It came when he found Jack Wilshere and the midfielder played in Walcott, whose snap effort came back off the post before the rebound was blocked.

But after 10 minutes, Wenger's side grabbed the advantage when Wilshere burst into the box and Walcott's header was half-stopped by Denis Scherbitski before he prodded in from point-blank range.

Arsenal were in control against the Belarusian champions with Wilshere, running the midfield, seeing an effort ruled out for offside.

But the home side burst into life after 20 minutes when Olivier Giroud lost possession and Mirko Ivanic shot narrowly wide from outside the box when a cross was half cleared.

Within three minutes, however, they were two down as Walcott struck again, accepting a gift when Scherbitski's terrible attempt to pass the ball out of his area gave him the chance to roll a finish inside the post.

Naitland-Miles almost created a third when Wilshere found him on the left and only a last-ditch interception prevented Giroud from tapping in.

After 25 minutes it was 3-0 when Borisov failed to deal with the resulting corner and Per Mertesacker's header went in off Rob Holding for the latter's first Arsenal goal.

Out of the blue, Borisov pulled one back within two minutes, Alexei Rios sending in a good cross from the right that was headed home by Ivanic.

As half-time approached Walcott was inches away from his hat trick when Scherbitski's superb low save denied him after Wilshere had created the chance, with Holding hitting the outside of the post from the corner that followed.

Three minutes into the second half, Giroud had his landmark goal and Arsenal their fourth when what looked like the softest of penalties for a challenge by Dragun on Shkodran Mustafi gave him the chance to roll home from the spot.

Dragun was booked and Borisov were stunned, with Arsenal settling in to another period of comfortable possession, but David Ospina was forced into a save after 56 minutes when a whipped free kick flicked off Nikolai Signevich.

And with a little over 20 minutes remaining, the hosts were on the scoresheet again, Mikhail Gordeichuk taking advantage of defensive confusion to hammer home from close range.

They should have made it 4-3 soon afterwards only for Alyaksandr Volodko, unmarked near the penalty spot, to blaze a first-time effort over the bar.

But as the game entered its final 10 minutes, Borisov's belief began to fade and Giroud and Wilshere threatened to add further goals for Arsenal.

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