Giroud scores 100th goal for Arsenal in 4-2 win over BATE
Olivier Giroud scored his 100th goal for Arsenal as the Gunners beat BATE Borisov 4-2 to go two-for-two in Europa League group play on Thursday.
Arsenal rested nine front-line players including Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette for the English Premier League and still had enough firepower at a venue usually hostile to visitors. Within 25 minutes, Arsenal was a decisive 3-0 up through two goals by Theo Walcott and Rob Holding.
Giroud sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot in the second half.
“Welcome to the 100 club!” tweeted Walcott, who has scored 107 for Arsenal.
Arsenal leads Group H with six points, two ahead of Red Star Belgrade which won at Cologne 1-0.
Mirko Ivanic and Mikhail scored for BATE, the Belarus champion.
AC Milan scored four minutes into overtime to edge Rijeka of Croatia 3-2, and Everton was held by Apollon at home to 2-2.
Lazio won a second straight Group K game after beating Zulte Waregem 2-0, while Marseille lost at Salzburg 1-0.
In Borisov, Jack Wilshere broke down the left and provided a perfect cross for Walcott to net from close range in the ninth minute, just a minute after he hit the post.
BATE goalkeeper Denis Scherbitski blundered in the 22nd when his clearance found Walcott at the edge of the area to score his second with a low shot.
Just three minutes later, Holding scored his first goal for Arsenal following a corner kick.
Ivanic reduced the deficit for the hosts with a header, Giroud restored the three-goal margin, and Gordeichuk finished off the scoring.
NO CHEERS FOR LAZIO
Lazio won in an empty home stadium, UEFA punishment for when its fans racially abused a Sparta Prague player in 2016. Lazio beat Zulte Waregem of Belgium 2-0 thanks to Felipe Caicedo’s first-half header and substitute Ciro Immobile’s last-minute goal.
LIGHTS OUT IN NICE
The Nice-Vitesse match was suspended in the second half for more than 15 minutes due to floodlight failure. Nice was already up 2-0. When the lights came back on, Alassane Plea scored his second. Nice, like Lazio, has two wins in Group K.
MILAN SQUEAK HOME
Patrick Cutrone scored the match-winner deep into stoppage time for Milan against Rijeka.
Milan looked in control at 2-0 with Andre Silva’s fourth goal in two group matches. But Rijeka scored twice in six minutes at the end.
After AEK Athens drew with Austria Vienna 2-2 in the other Group D match, Milan has a two-point lead over of AEK.
Everton’s campaign suffered another blow when it could only draw with Apollon 2-2 at home in Group E.
Everton rallied to 2-1 ahead and looked set to rebound from its previous 3-0 loss to Atalanta. Apollon looked buried when Valentin Roberge was sent off for a stamp in the 86th minute. But two minutes later, Hector Yuste headed home a free kick to salvage a draw at Goodison Park.
Atalanta leads Group E with four points following a 1-1 draw at Lyon, and Everton remains on the bottom with one point.
Marseille’s loss at Salzburg was its first in six games in Europe this season, and Zenit St. Petersburg defeated Real Sociedad 3-1 to make it two wins from two and a three-point lead in Group L.