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UEL: Wilshere oversees Arsenal assault on BATE without Iwobi

Europa League By: Collins Udeme | 07/12/2017

Jack Wilshere ran the show at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday as an Arsenal side with Nigeria's Alex Iwobi overpowered Belarus outfit BATE Borisov 6-0 in their UEFA Europa League final Group H fixture.

The Belarussians are now with just two clean sheets in their last 27 European away trips (inc. qualifiers), conceding five goals last time out while Arsenal remain unbeaten at home in their last eight European group stage games (W5 D2), racking up 24 goals and conceding just three.

The big win means Arsenal are through to the next round of the competition as group winners, racking up 13 points from six games while BATE are bottom of the table with five points. In the other Group H fixture, Red Star Belgrade defeated Cologne 1-0 to go through as runner-up with nine points with the Germans finishing in third spot.

Goals

Arsenal took the through an unlikely source Mathieu Debuchy. Arsenal were appealing for a penalty for handball but quickly changed their tune when the Frenchman hammered a rocket past Scherbitski into the far corner of the net.

Theo Walcott extended the Gunners' lead with a close-range finish after benefitting from a poor clearance by the visitors in the six-yard box for his third UEL goal, having scored twice in this fixture's first leg back in September.

Arsenal's midfield maestro Wilshere with great feet inside the area worked space for a shot before hammering hammers the ball in to give Arsenal complete control in what was a one-sided opening 45 minutes at the Emirates stadium. It was the Englishman's first goal for the Gunners since May, 2015.

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Milunovic conceded a penalty for a foul on Walcott after the break and Olivier Giroud was forced to re-take the resultant spot-kick before his effort was counted as Arsenal's fifth, 13 minutes after Polyakov had turned the ball into his own net from a right-wing delivery into the area by the home side. 

With 16 minutes left on the clock, Wilshere showed what the Gunners stand to gain if he stays fit, this time -keeping his cool just inside the area to set-up Mohamed Elneny grabbed Arsenal's sixth on the night with a perfect curler.

SETTING THE SCENE

No injuries or suspensions for BATE meant coach Alexander Yermakovich relied on his best legs for the clash at the Emirates while Arsenal who had already won the group but needed to end their qualification in style made wholesale changes for the Belarusians' visit.

David Ospina replaced Petr Cech as Arsene Wenger reverted to a back-four setting. Rob Holding who partnered Calum Chambers in the heart of the defense was flanked to his left and right by Maitland-Niles and Debuchy respectively.

Elsehwere, Francis Coquelin and Mohammed Elneny were paired in the central midfield positions while Wilshere, Walcott and Danny Welbeck played behind Olivier Giroud who spear-headed the Gunners attack.

It was nearly the perfect start for the hosts as Mohamemed Elneny struck the outside of the post with a low shot from just inside the box.

More to follow...
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