Arsenal had Theo Walcott to thank this evening, as the England international’s goals ended up being the difference as the Gunners overcame BATE Borisov 4-2 to continue their perfect start to their Europa League campaign.
England star Walcott opened the scoring in the ninth minute, after some good passing between Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere allowed the forward to tap the ball home at the back stick to give the away side an early lead.
The away side then doubled their lead in the 22nd minute, and it Walcott on hand again to score for the Gunners, as the former Southampton man was gifted the ball by the Borisov ‘keeper before cooly slotting the ball home to put Arsene Wenger’s side firmly in the driving seat.
Arsenal then added a third just three minutes later, as youngster Rob Holding bundled the ball home following a flick on from Per Mertesacker as the Englishman bagged his first goal for the north London side.
Wenger’s side then suffered a setback just two minutes later, as a superb cross from Alex Rios was headed home by Mirko Ivanic to give the Gunners something to worry about.
The Premier League side then wrapped the game up four minutes after half time, as Frenchman Giroud slotted home his 100th Arsenal goal from the penalty spot to put the game out of sight for the English side.
Borisov then added a consolation in the 67th minute, as a cleared ball landed to Ivanic, who saw his effort saved by David Ospina before Mikhail Gordeichuk hammered rebound home.
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The home side then had another chance to score in 72nd minute, however Aleksander Volodko saw his shot fly just wide as the London side eventually held on for all three points.
For Borisov, their fans won’t be too displeased with the result, as they team showed great spirit and had a fair few chances to make the game seem closer than it was.
For Arsenal, this win will come as a big boost to the club and the team as they continue their perfect star to life in the Europa League.
BATE player ratings: Scherbitski (5), Rios (6), Gajduchik (5), Milunovic (5), Polyakov (6), Aleksandr Volodjko (6), Dragun (6), Gordeichuk (7), Ivanic (7), Stasevich (6), Rodionov (6)
Substitutes: Signevich (6), Maksim Volodjko (6), Baha (NA),
Arsenal player ratings: Opsina 7, Mustafi 6, Mertesacker 7, Holding 7, Nelson 6, Willock 7, Elneny 6, Wilshere 8, Maitland-Niles 7, Walcott 8, Giroud 7
Substitutes: Mcguane N/A, Nketiah N/A