Olivier Giroud’s 85th minute goal gave Arsenal a 1-0 win over FK Red Star Belgrade at the Stadium Rakjo Mitic in Serbia. The game looked to have been heading for a 0-0 draw after both sides failed to convert the chances that were.
Arsenal had a bunch of teenagers and bench warmers having a go at match fitness and appearances for the club. Nelson, Joe Willock and Niles continued their Europa League experience as they made another start in the competition. While they looked to be energetic and had moments of positive waves, it was the more established players that got the goal.
Jack Wilshere cleverly whisked his way through a three red shirts, played on to Theo Walcott who was awful all night. The England International found Wilshere running into the box, who immediately flicked back the ball to Walcott. Walcott nodded the ball towards Giroud who was backing the post, but the Puskas Award nominee acrobatically placed the ball beyond the goalie for the only goal and winner. Can we log that in for another Puskas Nomination?
Returns and Debut
Debuchy made his first Arsenal start in 11 months. The right back who have tried to leave Arsenal in the recent transfer windows put up a decent shift tonight. Hopefully, he works his way towards challenging to feature in the Premier League. How well he fits into Arsenal’s new found three-man back-line will be tested. There was a return for Francis Coquelin.
Ben Sheaf made his debut for Arsenal. I have heard so much about the 19 year old. I wonder what Chuba Akpom has to do to feature for the Gunners. Petr Cech also made his first start in Europe this season.
It was Arsenal’s first clean sheet in the Europa League and it came with a back three of young Holding, returning Debuchy and Out-of-position Elneny. The ghost of Watford still lingered in the late minutes of the game but Petr Cech kept his cool in goal. He had earlier on the game made some saves that kept the game at 0-0 before the brilliance from Jack Wilshere created the winner. Clean sheets are rare at Arsenal nowadays, so I will glory in this.
While we hope for Giroud to win the 2017 Puskas Award, Can we say that the Europa League is for Wilshere, Walcott and Giroud?
Oh. Yes. From Watford, the three were Per, Poor, and Poo.