Arsenal 6-0 Bate Borisov: Europa League Ė as it happened

Rob Bleaney on 7 December 2017

Amy Lawrence's match report

Well that was fun. Arsenal went for the throat against a very poor Bate side and it reaped great rewards. Jack Wilshere was brilliant throughout, making space with clever spins and creating openings with probing passes. Wilshere scored his first goal for two and a half years and Debuchy also ended a lengthy drought with a stunning strike. Red Star beat KŲln 1-0 in Belgrade to join the Gunners in the knockout stage. Thanks for joining. Bye.

Arsenalís Jack Wilshere applauds fans after the final whistle.
Arsenalís Jack Wilshere applauds fans after the final whistle. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

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FINAL SCORE! Arsenal 6-0 Bate Borisov

Arsenal march into the Europa League knockout phase in style. Bate Borisov bow out.

90+1 min On the TV John Hartson accuses Bate of a lack of ability after a slow break fizzles out meekly. as it on cue Gordeichuk works some space and fires a vicious shot on goal, which Ospina does well to beat out.

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89 min It looks as if 80% of the seats at the Emirates are empty now. Arsenal fans are never happy are they?

87 min Signevich works some space and whips in a threatening shot but it drifts narrowly wide. The game is petering out now.

81 min Coquelin breaks up the play and finds Wilshere in acres of space. He moves the ball on to Nelson but his shot is blocked. Can Arsenal match Liverpoolís tally of last night? Bate are giving them every opportunity.

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78 min Nketiah and Willock come on for Welbeck and Elneny.

Elneny scores only his second goal for Arsenal, and itís a beauty. Wilshere picked up the ball on teh edge of the box, shimmied and threatened to shoot before laying the ball to his left for Elneny. The Egyptian, who I may earlier have suggested was not very creative, strikes the ball first time, arcing it beyond Scherbitski and into the far corner. Fine goal, fine player. Needs to do this more often.

Mohamed Elneny shoots.
Mohamed Elneny shoots ... Photograph: Michael Zemanek/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock
Mohamed Elneny shoots the ball past Bate keeper Denis Shcherbitski for Arsenalís sixth.
The ball flies past Bate keeper Denis Shcherbitski for Arsenalís sixth. Photograph: Michael Zemanek/BPI/REX/Shutterstock
Arsenalís Mohamed Elneny celebrates scoring their sixth goal .
Elneny is rightly chuffed about his fine finish. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

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GOAL! Arsenal 6-0 Bate Borisov (Elneny 74)

What a player this guy is!

71 min Reiss Nelson comes on for Theo Walcott. This boy can play, and has impressed in the Europa League this season. Heís 18 on Sunday.

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68 min Bate work an opening in the penalty area with a nice bit of play. Stasevich tops it off with a clever flick over his shoulder and first-time shot but itís straight at Ospina.

It was a soft penalty, clumsy more than anything, but maybe still the correct decision. Giroud stepped up and smashed it with his left instep high to the keeperís left. The referee made him retake it, and he just did the same. Scherbitski got a hand to it this time but to no avail.

Arsenalís Olivier Giroud scores their fifth goal from the penalty spot.
Arsenalís Olivier Giroud scores their fifth goal from the penalty spot. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

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GOAL! Arsenal 5-0 Bate Borisov (Giroud 64pen)

Giroud has to score twice thanks to the refereeís eagle eye

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Penalty to Arsenal

Milunovic bundles over Walcott

Theo Walcott goes to ground after being barged by Nemanja Milunovic of Bate Borisov and the referee points to the penalty spot.
Theo Walcott goes to ground after being barged by Nemanja Milunovic of Bate Borisov and the referee points to the penalty spot. Photograph: Michael Zemanek/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock

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57 min Great save! Welbeck is played in in the inside right channel by Elneny and turns inside his man with a typical body swerve. He takes the opportunity to shoot on his left and drills it with some venom but Scherbitski stands big and keeps it out Ö with his face.

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That was unfortunate but entertaining. Walcott broke clear down the right and squared for Welbeck to put into an empty net. However before the Arsenal striker could do that Polyakov fairly Polyakoved it past his own keeper in some style.

Bate Borisovís Denis Polyakov, left, looks dejected after scoring an own goal.
Bate Borisovís Denis Polyakov, left, looks dejected after scoring an own goal. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

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GOAL! Arsenal 4-0 Bate Borisov (Polyakov OG 51min)

Itís an own goal, but a spectacular one.

46 min Peep peep! The players are out for the second half but Wenger isnít, not for the first few seconds of action anyway. He must be enjoying this so far.

Mak Imamovic has written in to say £20 for a ticket to tonightís game is expensive. ďIs that supposed to be cheap?Ē he writes. ďI know my perspective from Eastern European Jungle is a bit screwed, but come on ...Ē At the time I thought I was suggesting £40 for the pair was quite a lot for a nothing game, but after that half Iím not so sure.

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HALF-TIME! Arsenal 3-0 Bate Borisov

That was exhibition stuff from Arsenal, and Jack Wilshere in particular. The England talk just might not be so ridiculous.

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Wilshere scores his first goal for two and a half years, and a fine one it is too. He was picked out inside the box by a sharp pass and bought himself space with a nice trick. Sixteen yards out and on the angle, he spun and drilled a left-footed drive across the keeper and into the far corner. He has looked very good tonight. Bate look terrible.

Jack Wilshere thumps in Arsenalís third.
Jack Wilshere thumps in Arsenalís third. Photograph: Michael Zemanek/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock
Arsenalís Jack Wilshere, left is congratulated by fellow goalscorer Theo Walcott.
Arsenalís Jack Wilshere, left is congratulated by fellow goalscorer Theo Walcott. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

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GOAL! Arsenal 3-0 Bate Borisov (Wilshere 43)

That is brilliant again!

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41 min Wilshere steps inside on the edge of the box and curls one towards the top corner with the inside of his left foot. It looks good but itís not quite in the corner and Scherbitski palms it over the bar.

Welbeck was put in on the left side of the box. He faced up and beat the last man but another appeared and dispossessed him with a desperate last-ditch challenge. The ball went straight to Walcott through and he fired it calmly across the keeper and inside the far post. Game over.

Arsenalís Theo Walcott celebrates scoring their second goal.
Arsenalís Theo Walcott celebrates scoring their second goal. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images via Reuters

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GOAL! Arsenal 2-0 Bate Borisov (Walcott 37)

That was coming.

35 min Walcott is throwing his weight around a bit, piling into a shoulder barge after overrunning the ball. Arsenal have completed 258 passes to Bateís 61. This game is only heading one way at the moment.

30 min Wilshere goes down as only Wilshere does, clutching his ankle and unmoved after a heavy challenge. It looks alarming. Itís not. Heís up and sparking another move that ends with Walcott crossing to no one in the middle.

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28 min Arsenal have a free-kick in a very dangerous position. Walcott is over it. The wall jumps and Walcott hits it underneath the jumpers, Coutinho style, but it flies wide of the far post. Not quite enough curl from the instep.

25 min Great save from Walcott. Giroud nods down and Walcott is five yards out. Itís a great point-blank save from Scherbitski.

24 min Another lovely pass over the top from Wilshere brings a desperate header out of a Bate defender to prevent Giroud getting in. The keeper palms away the attempted clearing header.

23 min A lovely pass from Wilshere puts Welbeck clear of the defence down the left. The keeper senses danger and comes flying out, getting enough in the way of the first-time strike to stop the danger. That could have been disastrous for Bate but they escape. Welbeck should have done better there.

20 min Wilshere is playing well, finding space around the edge of the box and looking to take the ball on the half turn and make things happen. Bate are struggling to cope with Arsenalís slick passing at the moment.

Arsenalís Jack Wilshere surges past Bate Borisovís Vitale Rodionov.
Arsenalís Jack Wilshere surges past Bate Borisovís Vitale Rodionov. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

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17 min Nice football from Elneny and Wilshere sets Maitland-Niles free down the left. His cross is blocked for a corner, which comes to nothing. Volodjko is booked for a slightly desperate lunge on Debuchy

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15 min More pressure from Arsenal results in a corner and panic in the Bate box. Scherbitski flaps and Bate escape this time, but the confidence is flowing through Arsenal now.

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That was really quite something from the forgotten Frenchman. Waslcott caused a bit of nuisance on the right of the penalty area after a lofted ball from Chambers. He was almost fouled in the box but the ball dropped to Debuchy near the apex of the box. Running on to it from the right-back position Debuchy struck it first time on the half volley and rifled it into the far top corner.

Mathieu Debuchy fires Arsenal into an early lead with a fine finish.
Mathieu Debuchy fires Arsenal into an early lead with a fine finish. Photograph: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
Arsenalís Mathieu Debuchy, centre, is congratulated on his goal by Olivier Giroud, left, Theo Walcott, right, and Francis Coquelin.
Arsenalís Mathieu Debuchy, centre, is congratulated on his goal by Olivier Giroud, left, Theo Walcott, right, and Francis Coquelin. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

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GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Bate Borisov (Debuchy 10)

What a goal this is!

8 min Bate have started brightly and when the ball falls to Ivanic on the edge of the box he is quick to have a pop. Itís on his left foot on the half volley but Ospina watches it go over the bar.

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5 min The commentators say this is guaranteed to be the lowest ever attendance at the Emirates. The previous lowest was 44,000 or thereabouts. How much would you pay to watch a Europa League dead rubber. A friend of mine was offering a pair for £40 total. They did sell.

This Arsenal fan is pleased to be in the stands at the Emirates Stadium.
This Arsenal fan is pleased to be in the stands at the Emirates Stadium. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

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2 min Elneny hits the post. I was almost eating my words. A Walcott flick on was knocked back by Giroud and Elneny swung his left foot at the ball. It was an awkward connection from the edge of the box but hit the outside of the post.

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1 min Peep peep! Bate kick off in yellow with Arsenal in the traditional red and white. The atmosphere is low key.

An early tussle between Arsenalís Olivier Giroudand BATE Borisovís Stanislav Dragun.
An early tussle between Arsenalís Olivier Giroudand Bate Borisovís Stanislav Dragun. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

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An email! ďPersonally I find Elneny quite inspiring,Ē writes Michael Whelan. ďMaybe I can still make it.Ē

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon díOr for the fifth time, equalling Lionel Messiís record. A free subscription to The Fiver for anyone who can guess which players came second and thirdÖ

Coventry has been named UK City of Culture 2021. Maybe thereís hope for the Coquelin-Elneny axis yet?

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So Wenger has put his faith in experience for this dead rubber and dropped Nelson and Willock to the bench from his usual Europa League XI. A centre midfield pairing of Coquelin and Elneny is about as uninspiring as modern football gets, but Welbeck and Chambers continue their comebacks from injuries.

The teams

Arsenal Ospina, Debuchy, Holding, Chambers, Maitland-Niles,
Coquelin, Elneny, Wilshere, Walcott, Giroud, Welbeck. Subs
Macey, Reine-Adelaide, Akpom, Nelson, Nketiah, Sheaf, Willock.

Bate Scherbitski, Rios, Polyakov, Milunovic, Maksim Volodjko, Berezkin, Dragun, Gordeichuk, Ivanic, Stasevich, Rodionov. Subs Chichkan, Yablonskiy, Buljat, Signevich, Tuominem, Baha, Gvilia.

Referee: Robert Schoergenhofer (Austria)

Everton are currently 2-0 up courtesy of Ademola Lookmanís brilliance. You can follow the last half an hour of that game with Nick Miller Ö

Preamble

So here we are. Arsenalís long (in miles at least), successful and at times mind-crushingly dull journey through the Europa League group stage ends here with an Emirates showdown that matters only to the team from Belarus. ArsŤne Wengerís side are already through as group winners but Bate can still join them in the knockout phase, if they can snatch a win while Red Star and KŲln cancel each other out in Belgrade.

For Wenger, the tournament he did everything in his power to avoid for so long has proved surprisingly useful this season. Heís been able to blood young talents such as Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Eddie Nketiah, while giving the the elder statesmen who have fallen out of favour just enough game time to keep them from banging down his door. Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere have not started a Premier League match between them this season but have all had their moments in the Europa League.

In the first game between these two Arsenal were 3-0 up inside 25 minutes with the help of a Walcott double before running out 4-2 winners so we can be hopeful of goals tonight. With the likes of Napoli, Borussia Dortmund and Atlťtico Madrid dropping into the competition from the Champions League after Christmas Wenger may not persist with his second string for too long. Tonight would be an opportune moment for them to remind him of their worth. Kick-off is at 8.05pm

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