Published: Fri, September 29, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Two-goal Walcottt explains decision to pass up Arsenal penalty

Two-goal Walcottt explains decision to pass up Arsenal penalty

Olivier Giroud brought up his century of goals for Arsenal, Rob Holding scored his first and Theo Walcott might have had a hat-trick.

BATE Borisov host Arsenal in Group H of the Europa League tonight.

If that appeared any sort of platform to build upon, it swiftly meant little when in the 22nd minute, BATE goalkeeper Scherbitski sloppily passed the ball under minimal pressure to Walcott, gifting him the close-range finish with which he scored.

The forgotten man then lofted a cross centrally to Walcott and after his initial header was palmed out by Denis Scherbitski, the former England global was on hand to stab the rebound home.

Arsenal opened the scoring inside ten minutes. But after four goals in the opening 30 minutes, there were to be no more for the remainder of a free-flowing, at times ludicrously open, first half.

The Gunners go into the game on the back of recent run of positive results and are looking to make it two wins from two in the competition following a 3-1 win over FC Koln at the Emirates Stadium a fortnight ago.

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The speedy attacking midfielder was born in Yerevan in January 1989 and speaks fluent, accent-free Russian. Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia are also set to miss the trip against CSKA though they are not injured.

The Frenchman slotted calmly from the penalty spot after Stanislaw Drahun was deemed to have pulled back Shkodran Mustafi.

Speaking after the match, Walcott revealed he stepped aside to allow Giroud to score.

Despite less more than 40 minutes left to play, events appeared to be academic and were reduced to nothing more than a training session for large parts. "He's obviously a forward, and the confidence he showed in the game playing at right wing-back was brilliant".

Gordeychuk made it 4 - 2. This was an Arsenal team composed of young, keen footballers whose ages were in inverse proportion to their squad numbers and some old lags with a point to prove.

Giroud becomes the 19th Gunners player to reach 100 goals and is their 12th-fastest to reach the mark after netting in his 237th appearance. Cologne's defeat in Belgrade makes it likely both Arsenal and Red Star will qualify for the knockout phase with something to spare.

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