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Utterly sublime late Giroud goal gives Arsenal win in Belgrade

Olivier Giroud, scorer of great goals.

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A PIECE OF 85th-minute magic, finished off by a glorious hooked volley from Olivier Giroud, gave Arsenal a 1 – 0 victory over Crvena Zvezda in their Europa League Group H meeting in Belgrade this evening.

After sparkling inter-play between Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott, Giroud executed an unorthodox finish into the top corner five minutes from time to lift returning pressure from Arsene Wenger.

The weekend’s defeat to Watford, after which the Hornets captain Troy Deeney claimed the Gunners lacked “cojones”, reopened some Arsenal fans’ frustrations with Wenger and the players – and this performance did little to help.

Wenger reverted to the patchwork approach he has taken to European team selections this season, Mathieu Debuchy playing for the first time in nearly a year, while Mohamed Elneny featured alongside the Frenchman in a back three and Reiss Nelson, scorer of six goals in five Under-23 games this season, was deployed at wing-back.

Serbia Soccer Europa League Source: Darko Vojinovic

The result was a stunted performance in attack, until Red Star defender Rodic was dismissed in the 80th minute and the Premier League side’s three most senior players linked up to brilliant effect at Rajko Mitic Stadium. Progression from Group H now looks a certainty, with the Gunners sat five points clear in first place after three wins from as many matches.

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