The Gunners continued their 100% start in the Europa League campaign and needed to respond after their disappointing display in the Premier League the last time out. The Gunners who top the group with 9 points seem on course in qualifying to the next round of the Europa League campaign.
Arsene Wenger made nine changes from the team that lost at Watford on Saturday, having Petr Cech, Matthew Debuchy, Mohammed Elneny, Rob Holding, Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, Thoe Walcott, Olivier Giroud, in his starting XI against Serbian opponent Red Star Belgrade – and it was an underwhelming display from the Arsenal side until Giroud’s overhead kick settled the game in favour of the visitors, very late on in the match.
Theo Walcott forced a leg save from the opposition keeper, following a Wilshere free kick which wasn’t dealt with properly in the 15th minute; and fell to Walcott who seemed to put the Gunners in front but got denied a goal.
The host looked threatening at the initial stage of the match and was so close to taking the lead in the first half when Richmond Boakye headed effort hit the post, which was a free header in front of goal as Arsenal failed to deal with a set piece.
A little error from Reiss Nelson allowed the opposition player to collect the ball from a cross, forcing Cech to make a remarkable low save from before Nelson recovered to block off the rebound and cleared the danger from Cech’s goal.
Reiss Nelson had an effort on goal in the second half, and what delight it would have been to see the youngster grab his first goal for the club – but a sharp save from the opposition keeper meant the youngster would have to wait for his first goal for the senior team.
A sloppy pass from Elneny, gifting the ball to the opposition player in a very dangerous area forced Petr Cech into action yet again, this time looking furious with the defence and their inability to contain threats of the opposition.
Soon after, Red Star was reduced to 10 men when Rodic was shown a second yellow card with just under 10 minutes left in the match, for catching Francis Coquelin with a stray arm, which seemed like a blessing for the Gunners.
Arsenal hardly wasted any time to make their advantage pay off as Wilshere and Walcott exchanged passes before the latter headed the ball across for Giroud to finish in spectacular style and secure the win for the Gunners. Giroud’s goal seems alike to that of Wilshere against Norwich at the Emirates in 2013.