Europa League: Giroud nets Arsenal's 100th goal

Poor defending also led to Arsenal's third of the evening, with Holding diverting the ball into the net from close range after Per Mertesacker had towered over the BATE defence to meet Walcott's corner.

The result means Arsenal are in control of Group H, sitting top with six points from two games, two points ahead of Red Star Belgrade.

Mirko Ivanic and Mikhail scored for BATE, the Belarus champion.

Click the right arrow, above, to see talkSPORT's Arsenal player ratings... "The most hard thing is to score goals and he has scored 100 for us".

Long-term readers of this website will know that we have long loved Wilshere.

Arsene Wenger rested players such as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil for a potentially tricky tie in Belarus, but he had little to worry about. However, Scherbitski did make a fabulous, fingertip save to deny Walcott his third - a fig leaf for a awful display.

In typical Arsenal style, they didn't make it easy for themselves and let Bate back into the match. Wilshere played a one-two with Olivier Giroud then put in a pinpoint cross for Walcott.

Thirteen minutes later Walcott had his second after BATE's goalkeeper passed it straight to him in a risky area. While this Thursday's match is the first game for Arsenal against to the Belarusian football team.

AC Milan's Italian forward Patrick Cutrone celebrates with teammates after scoring during the UEFA Europa League football match AC Milan vs HNK Rijeka at the San Siro stadium in Milan

Ivanic reduced the deficit for the hosts with a header, Giroud restored the three-goal margin, and Gordeichuk finished off the scoring.

"There was a chance for me to take the penalty for a hat-trick, but knowing Olivier was on 99 goals, it was a great opportunity for him so that's why he took the penalty".

There were 22 minutes remaining and for Arsenal they were often fractious, messy moments when the game suddenly looked more uncomfortable than it should have been.

For the first 45 minutes, he was simply wonderful, the living embodiment of an Arsenal style in danger of extinction, oozing pace, accuracy and effortless dynamism.

"He had an outstanding first half and he did fight until the end", said Wenger.

Borisov got one back only two minutes after a good cross, which Elneny really should have defended better.

"But on the other hand, when you score four goals away from home you're always likely to win games, so we're pleased with that".

"He is at an age where a player usually gets to the best of his career". Arsenal's back three included plenty of experience with Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding flanking Per Mertesacker, but they looked less than comfortable under pressure.

  • Julie Sanders