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Europa League: Theo Walcott inspires Arsenal victory at Bate Borisov

30 September 2017

Arsenal: David Ospina: 8, Rob Holding: 7, Per Mertesacker: 5, Shkodran Mustafi: 5, Reiss Nelson: 6, Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 6, Joe Willock: 6, Mohamed Elneny: 6, Theo Walcott: 8, Jack Wilshere: 8, Olivier Giroud 7.

In Group K, Alassane Plea scored twice as Nice beat Vitesse Arnhem of the Netherlands 3-0 in a game interrupted for around 15 minutes due to floodlight failure.

But just as BATE seemed to be threatening a comeback, they gifted Arsenal a second. Like Wilshere, consistency is the key for him. Gradually making his way back into the first team with his second start of the season, he looked very comfortable out in Belarus last night.

Wilshere dazzled in the first half against BATE with perhaps his best Arsenal performance in three years - a span that was interrupted by numerous long-term injuries and last season's loan spell. However, his horrendous mistake to allow Arsenal and Walcott to make it 2-0 can not be forgiven.

'You are always playing for your future but at the moment I am happy to be back, to feel part of the squad.

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BATE in the last five bouts missed only one goal.

Stanislav Dragun - 4/10 - It was always going to be hard for Dragun, but playing Willock and Elneny, it was expected he would have some joy, but he was severely overrun by both centre midfielders and Wilshere. "If you are not performing consistently at a club like Arsenal, then there are other players ready to take the opportunity - which I learned the tough way", Iwobi told Evening Standard. "There were chances but I can't be too selfish".

However, a minute later, the same duo combined again to contribute the opening goal, with Wilshere's cross being finished off by Walcott from close range at the second attempt.

"I never played it [three at the back] as a youngster growing up". He faded out slightly, but come back to life late in the game as Bate pushed to try and force a draw.

Arsenal head into the game in seventh place in the Premier League table and six points behind early pace-setters Manchester City. However, it should be noted that, with the exception of the fight against Chelsea, Arsenal have conducted all of the matches listed on the home arena.

Europa League: Theo Walcott inspires Arsenal victory at Bate Borisov