Arsene Wenger: 'Olivier Giroud confident of Arsenal goal against Red Star Belgrade'

Erica Murray
October 20, 2017

Olivier Giroud strengthened his case in his battle for supremacy with Arsenal team-mate Alexandre Lacazette thanks to his sensational Europa League goal on Thursday.

The character of Arsenal's players was questioned after they let slip a lead to lose 2-1 at Watford on Saturday, with Hornets striker Troy Deeney saying the Gunners lacked "cojones".

However, the first chance went the way of the Gunners, with Theo Walcott being superbly denied by Milan Borjan after the ball had fallen invitingly for him from a free kick. Richmond Boakye met a cross as the near post but Petr Cech expertly kept it out.

And former United star Keane believes Arsenal are struggling to keep up with their Premier League rivals.

Following a typical pre-match offering, Red Star's fans bucked tradition and unfurled another huge banner for the start of the second half, but it could not lift the stodgy fare on the pitch.

Real Sociedad hammered FK Vardar 6-0 with the help of four goals from Brazilian forward Willian Jose, while fellow Liga side Athletic Bilbao were left on the brink of elimination as they drew 2-2 at Swedish side Ostersund.

Starting 30 yards from goal, Wilshere burst past two men before feeding Walcott and flicking a brilliant return to the winger, who nodded across the six-yard box, where Giroud turned and picked out the top corner over his shoulder, providing a satisfying aftertaste to another otherwise bland display, a trip to another out-of-sorts side, Everton, on Sunday will require greater gumption.

In the 80th minute Arsenal were handed the advantage.

The goal came minutes after Milan Rodic was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Francis Coquelin.

Arsenal would hold on to win 1-0 and pick up a potentially crucial 3 points in the context of the group.

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