Theo Walcott Brace Helps Gunners See Off Borisov in Belarus

Theo Walcott Brace Helps Gunners See Off Borisov in Belarus

Theo Walcott Brace Helps Gunners See Off Borisov in Belarus

Arsenal comfortably dispatched BATE Borisov 4-2 in the Europa with goals coming from Theo Walcott (x2), Rob Holding and Olivier Giroud.

Arsenal now top Group H with six points having played two games so far.

The Belarusian side are no slouches and they've beaten the likes of Athletic Bilbao, Bayern Munich and Roma in recent seasons, but for the most part the Gunners were utterly dominant.

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Walcott was given considerable assistance by the Borisov keeper, Denis Scherbitski, and by Jack Wilshere, who dominated the midfield.

The youngster was caught in the face by a swinging elbow from the defender as he attempted to close him down during the first half.

An under-strength Arsenal XI survived a late fightback from BATE Borisov to secure a 4-2 victory that keeps them on course to progress in the Europa League.

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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.

Steve Bould, who was sitting alongside Wenger in the Borisov Arena, would have recognised the make-up of the game from his own days playing reserve-team football in the old Central League.

However, Astana hung in there and equalised two minutes before half-time through Marin Tomasov's low shot from inside the penalty area.

With the score locked at 3-1, Arsenal made an instant impact after the second half.

Arsenal continued to dominate after the break and made it four after incredibly soft penalty award.

That was not the end of the scoring, though, as Mikhail Gordeichuk got the hosts' second of the night, converting the follow-up after David Ospina saved from Ivanic.

Olivier Giroud has reached 100 Arsenal goals, doing so at a faster rate than club icon Dennis Bergkamp and former star Robin van Persie.

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