Giroud hits century of goals for Arsenal in BATE thumping
Europa League By: Collins Udeme | 28/09/2017
Olivier Giroud scored his 100th goal in Arsenal shirt on Thursday as the Gunners thumped BATE Borisov 4-2 to maintain their perfect start to the 2017-18 UEFA Europa League campaign at the Borisov Arena in Belarus.Two goals from Theo Walcott and a third by Rob Holding gave Arsenal a commanding lead at the packed Borisov Arena. Two minutes from the half-hour mark, BATE reduced the deficit through Ivanic's towering header.Giroud restored Arsenal's three-goal lead four minutes after the break but the home side responded 18 minutes later as Gordeichuk finished emphatically from close range after Arsenal failed to clear their lines despite Ospina's block on Ivanic's header. Walcott's opener was Arsenal's first away from home this season having drawn blanks in their first three outings on their travels.
Arsenal settled any early nerves with Walcott’s ninth-minute opener. The goal was all about Wilshere, who darted down the left and lifted a cross perfectly for Walcott to convert at the second attempt after a brilliant save from Scherbitski had denied the Englishman initially. At that point, all Walcott had to do was meet the dinked ball across and head past Scherbitski.It really had been an impressive, dominant start from the Arsenal midfield, all the more so given BATE’s imposing home record coming into this one. Elneny, Willock and Wilshere set the tempo of the game, with the latter two causing the home side’s defence plenty of problems with their constant switching of positions.The brightest moment of the game for the hosts was when Stasevich escaped down the left and delivered a cross that was only half-cleared to Ivanić who shaped beautifully but sent his half-volley just wide.Walcott could hardly believe his luck moments later as Scherbitski misplaced his pass, sending the ball straight to the feet of the England international who controlled calmly before firing his shot past the stranded goalkeeper to add to his opening goal. 25 minute into the game, Holding might have had little to do at the Arsenal end, but he was suddenly busy at the BATE's end when he poked home from point-blank range Arsenal’s third after BATE failed to clear Walcott’s inswinging corner. It was his first competitive goal for the North London outfit who were now in the driving seat.BATE joined the party three minutes later as Elneny missed his clearance to hand Ivanić the opportunity to rise imperiously behind him and power in a header. Ivanić’s excellent header sent the home crowd into raptures, but, from the Gunners’ point of view, that was an avoidable goal to concede. The cross should never have been allowed to come in, while Holding - despite his heroics at the other end - failed to clear.SECOND HALFAfter the break, Arsenal restored their three-goal lead after BATE conceded a penalty for a foul on Mustafi. Giroud made no mistake from the spot as he calmly sent Scherbitski the wrong way to grab his century of goals for Arsenal.Ospina who was forced into point-blank stop Stasevich moments after Giroud's goal was left helpless no thanks to a pathetic defending by his defenders. The Colombian did well to keep out Ivanić's header but could do nothing to deny Gordeichuk's emphatic finish.More to follow...