Wonder goal from Giroud settles Arsenal’s trip to Belgrade
Frenchman's strike is a goal to replay over and over again
19 October, 2017 — By Steve Barnett
EUROPA LEAGUE: GROUP H
RED STAR BELGRADE 0
ARSENAL 1 (Giroud 85)
OLIVIER Giroud’s stupendous strike five minutes from time saved Arsenal’s blushes as they snatched three points against Red Star Belgrade this evening (Thursday) in the Europa League.
In arguably the game’s only moment of real quality the pirouetting Jack Wilshere played a neat one-two with Theo Walcott, whose cushioned header picked out Giroud. As quick as a flash, the French forward adjusted his body before pulling up an acrobatic overhead kick which nestled in the top corner.
The goal came just minutes after Milan Rodic put the red in Red Star Belgrade for the home side when he was sent off for a second bookable offence following a foul on Francis Coquelin.
In a night of few chances Walcott should have given the Gunners an early lead when after just 15 minutes when Wilshere’s floated free kick caused panic in the area, with the ball eventually breaking to the forgotten England man. But despite being just eight yards out and with the goal at his mercy, Walcott scuffed his shot to allow Milan Borjan to make the save.
The Serbians almost made Arsene Wenger’s side pay when minutes later a corner was whipped in towards Red Star’s top scorer Richmond Boakye who met it with a free header, but via the underside of the crossbar and Mathieu Debuchy, who was looming on the line, the effort ended up going wide.
In the end it was Giroud’s glorious winner that settled it, as he finished off a passing move that suddenly turned a forgettable game into a memorable one.
RED STAR BELGRADE: Borjan, Le Tallec, Rodic, Stojkovic, Savic (Babic, ’66), Krsticic, Kanga, Donald, Radonjic, Srnic (Gobeljic, ’83), Boakye (Pesic, ’80)
Subs not used: Racic, Milijas, Adzic, Supic
ARSENAL: Cech, Nelson, Debuchy, Elneny, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin (Sheaf, ’90), Willock (McGuane, ’89), Walcott, Wilshere, Giroud
Subs not used: Macey, Da Silva, Nketiah, Akpom, Osei-Tutu