Arsenal secured a 4-2 victory over BATE Borisov in the Europa League in their second group league fixture and here are a list of five incredible things that happened in Belarus which certainly bode well for the future.
Theo Walcott scored twice and Olivier Giroud notched his 100th Arsenal goal as the Gunners secured a second successive Europa League win, triumphing against BATE Borisov.
The hosts found some fight in the second half and threatened to make matters interesting but Arsene Wenger’s men did enough to secure the win in the end in a convincing manner and maintain top spot in their group.
Arsenal managed to get the blend right with a reshuffled team, a mix of older pros who are perhaps not getting as much football as they want, and kids desperate for opportunities in coming back with a convincing victory against a team that had not lost in the last 8 years at the BATE Borisov stadium to teams like Manchester United, Bayern Munich.
From Jack Wilshere’s impressive performance to the 100 goal milestones and a bunch of Arsenal youngsters justifying the managers faith in trusting them and making us proud, it was quite a satisfying afternoon.
Here are the 3 incredible things about our display against Borisov that deserve to be pointed :
- Jack Wilshere out to prove a point :
First and foremost is about Jack Wilshere, tt may have only been BATE Borisov but this was a display that reminded us of just how good Jack Wilshere can be.He started right behind Oliver Giroud and Theo Walcott in a number 10 role and right from the starting seemed destined to lead his team to glory.
Starting with an eye-of-the needle pass to Theo in the 8th minute
and soon after set him up with a surging run for the first goal.He even nearly teed up a third for Ainsley Maitland-Niles with an delicious through ball.
The stats showed he didn’t misplace a single pass until the dying moments of the first half, with BATE resorting to fouling him as they struggled to keep up with his energy and trickery
Present at the heart of Arsenals each and every attack, it was a sight for sore eyes seeing the much maligned Jack Wilshere putting in a shift like that. Energetic, creative and innovation at its best Jack seemed to have it all during the first half and all we hope is that he maintains this over the majority of the season at least.
- Theo Walcott with a brace and a bucket full of selflessness :
Scoring two goals in a game always bodes well for the players future and its not different for our Theo Walcott either. Scoring the first one off an inch perfect Jack Wilshere cross, the second one was like a gift but was justified by a fine finish indeed.
What he did next shows how closely knit together this team is, (making PSG jealous are we ) In the 49th minute, Arsenal were awarded a penalty when Shkodran Mustafi was hauled down in the box.Being the designated penatly taker, Theo had the glorious chance to return home with the match ball but instead decided go ahead a gift Oliver Giroud the chance to revel in the elite 100 goals club by taking the spotkick.
Speaking after the match against Borisov to BT Sport this is what he said :
“Obviously there was a chance for me to take a penalty, but knowing that Olivier was on 99 goals, I felt like it’s a great moment in his career to get 100 goals for Arsenal,”
“I’ve achieved that myself and I know the feeling, it’s brilliant. So that’s why he took the penalty. Yeah, there were chances, but you can’t be too selfish.”.
— Theo Walcott (@theowalcott) September 28, 2017
Having scored a brace was surely enough for the manager to include Theo in his thoughts for the weekend game but had he scored a hatrick, it would have almost made Wenger feel guilty if he wouldnt have included Walcott in the starting line up but instead Theo showed quite a bit of sportsmanship and camaraderie to allow Giroud to slot home the spotkick. Genuine fellow and surely a thing or two to learn from here for PSG and their stars.
Youngsters on the rise :
Ahead of the match Wenger had been quite clear on what it takes for youngsters to represent the club. He knew what he wanted from those who he would trust and allow to take the field at the Borisov Arsenal and the selected group of Maintland Niles, Willock and Ress Nelson knew what they had to do very well and they did exactly that proving the manager right in trusting them.
Joe Willock started at the base of midfield and a calm and smooth afternoon for our team by distributing the ball calmly and making more tackles and interceptions combined than any of his team-mates.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles was outstanding. Mostly that he was cool, composed and mature. It didn’t look like he was trying to show off to do some out of the world, he was just trying to do his job and what the manager had asked of him and he did it really well.
Ress Nelson our golden boy as everyone likes to call him and Keown has even gone on to compare him to Neymar. However coming back to earth, Ress Nelson against the sturdy Belarusian Champions was both flashy and marvellous on the ball, and at the same time seemed quite out of position playing at wing back as he looked to drift out of position a number of times.
Coming up with some remarkable penetrating runs, excellent footwork and efficient link up play with the rest of the team he certainly has a long way to go and preferably with us. Quite impressive and with a bit of defensive work he can be quite suited to the wing back role for now.
Another incredible moment for us to be proud of was when an 19 year old Marcus Mcguane came on for a 17 year old Ress Nelson after 78 minutes against Borisov at the Borisov Arsena.
After coming on he evidently solidified the right flank with his presence and even played Theo Walcott through for what should have been a hat-trick.