Arsenal rounded-off their Europa League group campaign with a 6-0 hammering of Belarussian side BATE Borisov at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night.
The Gunners came close to opening the scoring as early as the fifth minute. Olivier Giroud teed the ball up for Mohamed Elneny 20 yards from goal. The midfielder’s effort skidded off the surface and skimmed the outside of the post.
The visitors threatened Ospina’s goal for the first-time three minutes later, as Ivanic’s effort from around 20 yards out went just over the bar.
The home side took the lead on 11 minutes. Theo Walcott looked to be upon ended by a BATE defender. However, the ball broke to full-back Mathieu Debuchy just inside the area and the Frenchman fired a powerful arrow like effort into the far corner of the net.
BATE suffered a scare on 22 minutes, as goalkeeper Scherbitsky raced off his line to deny Danny Welbeck down the left wing. The visitors were nearly the architects of their own downfall on the quarter half mark, as BATE defender Polyakov headed towards his own goal, only for Scherbitsky to produce a good save.
Arsenal were soon attacking the BATE goal once again. Giroud wins a long ball and directs it to Walcott at the far post around six yards out, but Scherbitsky produced an outstanding save with his feet.
Arsenal continued to dominate possession and on 37 minutes, the home side doubled their lead. Welbeck ran at the BATE defence, only to be tackled and the ball to land at the feet of Walcott, who kept his cool to fire low into the far corner. Walcott also saw an effort cleared off the line by BATE defender Milanov.
Jack Wilshere attempted to get in the goalscoring act on 40 minutes, but Scherbitsky tipped his curled effort from long-range over the bar.
However, the midfielder did get on the scoresheet on 43 minutes and it was Wilshere. The England international showed good feet in the box before lashing an effort past Scherbitsky.
Arsenal were four up with the first real attack of the second half. Wilshere found Walcott down the flank and the winger’s cross was turned past his own ‘keeper by BATE defender Palyakow.
Giroud saw an effort on goal deflect wide of goal for a corner kick on 55 minutes, as the Gunners looked to add to their goal tally. Welbeck also saw an effort on goal blocked by a BATE defender.
On 63 minutes, Arsenal were awarded a penalty kick, as Milunovic brought down Walcott in the area. Giroud scored with the penalty, only to be ordered to re-take it and score with his second attempt.
With 16 minutes left on the clock, the Gunners chalked up their sixth goal of the game. Wilshere again showed good feet to find Elneny, who curled a delightful effort past Scherbitsky from inside the penalty area.
BATE posed a rare threat on 86 minutes, as midfielder Evgeni Berezkin fired just wide of goal from long-range. However, the game was all-but-over at that point and Arsenal emerged with a very comfortable victory.
The Gunners topped their group. The north London side are now odds of 6/1 to win the Europa League trophy, second favourites behind Atletico Madrid.
Who was Arsenal’s man of the match against BATE?