Arsenal needed just one moment of magic!
Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere saved Arsenal’s blushes as they fought their way to victory against a 10 man Red Star Belgrade in tonight’s Europa League clash at the Rajko Mitic Stadium.
In a night where Arsene Wenger opted to field a relatively inexperienced side it was the three established names in the lineup that saved the Gunners’ blushes.
Chelsea star reveals how he completely changed his mind about Jose Mourinho
Arsenal’s superb new-look XI if they complete transfer raids on Real Madrid and Barcelona in bid to replace Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil
Manchester United target drops hint to give Red Devils hope of securing transfer
Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Giroud all combined brillantly to give Arsenal the lead on the 85th minute.
Belgrade’s downfall was orchestrated on the 79th minute when Milan Rodic was dismissed for a second yellow card offense. The red card could have been considered harsh with Francis Coquelin making the most out of the situation when fouled.
Man of the match: Jack Wilshere
Wilshere found himself isolated at times while trying to support Giroud but provided the vital quality to give the Gunners the lead. The Englishman’s link-up play with Giroud and Walcott was superb and allowed the Frenchman to finish off an outstanding team goal.
Villain of the match: Milan Rodic
Red Star did their best to personify the hostile atmosphere created by their ultras to give Arsenal an uncomfortable night at an iconic ground renowned for its intimidating nature. For 80 minutes the Serbian side did everything right with Arsenal unable to significantly trouble the home side. However, Rodic’s dismissal was the turning point in the tie and gifted Arsenal the three points.
Stat of the match
Pretty incredible really – the benefits of playing Red Star Belgrade than Barcelona or Bayern Munich…
1 – Arsenal have kept their first clean sheet away from home in European competition since beating Olympiakos 3-0 in December 2015. Wait. pic.twitter.com/oTTNxetr4g
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 19, 2017
Arsenal player ratings
Cech 6, Debuchy 6, Elneny 5, Holding 6, Nelson 5, Coquelin 5, Wilock 6, Maitland-Niles 5, Walcott 6, Wilshere 7, Giroud 6
Substitutes: McGuane N/A, Sheaf N/A
Unsurprisingly, a lot of love for the two main men involved in the goal – Giroud and Wilshere…
Giroud digging Arsenal out for the 567th time in his career.
— Connor Humm (@TikiTakaConnor) October 19, 2017
Not a great performance, but we got the win, it makes the trip all the more worth while, proud of the young lads also tonight #Arsenal
— MR DT © (@MrDtAFC) October 19, 2017
F/T: 1-0 Arsenal. Awful game – settled by a quite stunning goal. Three wins from three.
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) October 19, 2017
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 19, 2017
And finally, tweet of the night surely goes to Matt Spiro, who perfectly sums up the enigma that is Olivier Giroud – a player equally capable of missing two-yard sitters as scoring several Puskas Award contenders a season…
When Giroud shows his grandkids a compilation of his best goals they’re going to think he was better than Pele
— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) October 19, 2017