Job done... C-
Arsenal 3-0 (3-1 agg) Bate Borisov
Spursday night football returned as Arsenal had a chance to put the horror show against probably the worst team in Europe behind them and book a place in the final 16 of The Europa League. Preparations for the fixture were hampered by yet more Ozil talk, "does he do it in training, does he even turn up for training, has he ever trained?" and of course that Kick off time.
What the hell is going on there is anyones' guess, men in grey suits hoovering up cash whilst the fan is ignored, those in London lucky enough to work finding it impossible to make it work. I for one ...swerved it, part protest, part job that dictates and quite frankly, part can't be Ar**d!
The team news saw Unai opt for an attacking 4-4-2 for a game Arsenal would surely dominate.
Arsenal: Cech, Lichsteiner, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Iwobi, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang
It only took 4 minutes, a little run down the right and an average cross from Aubameyang finding the hapless Volkov turning the ball into his own net, an OG and 1-0 Arsenal, how apt!
So the tie level and expectation was the floodgates would now open!
Er not quite!
As Arsenal do in every match these days, they gave the opposition some hope. Some bloke finding himself free at the back post unmarked but unable to hit the target, side netting, and then a minute later another bloke forcing Lichtsteiner into clearing the ball off the line in another, FFS moment for the home fans!
Arsenal needed a second and despite a lot of huffing and puffing with plenty of possession and the odd pop shot from Xhaka, nothing really blew the house down until the 39th minute when Mustafi rose like a salmon unmarked from a corner to burry a header. 2-0 to Arsenal and the 30 odd Arsenal fans that turned up went wild!
No changes needed at halftime and despite the odd scare in the second half where Arsenal's defence did those kind of Arsenal things which nobody can explain or work out, Cech was rarely troubled.
Sokratis got on for Koscielny and made the tie safe from another corner, a strong header and 3-0 to the Gunners!
The rest of the match petered out into a game in which Arsenal didn't feel like doing too much and Bate decided just to sit back and take the 3-0.
A tie and a game to put to the back of the head and not to revisit for a long time.
Everyone improved slightly from the first leg!
Next up Southampton at home and revenge in the air!