It took 84 minutes of featureless drudge, but a decidedly second-string Arsenal eventually made the breakthrough against Red Star Belgrade – or Crvena Zvezda if you prefer – to maintain their flawless start to the Europa League group stage on Thursday evening.
Four years to the very day that Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere combined to score that beautiful ‘Wengerball’ goal against Norwich, the pair were reunited and back at it amid fairly hostile conditions in Belgrade.
The approach play started with Wilshere turning smartly out of a cul-de-sac of Red Star defenders and exchanging a couple of neat passes with Theo Walcott, whose headed flick-on was finished by Giroud with what scholars usually refer to as ‘aplomb’…
Nice. When Arsenal get it right, it’s a joy to behold.
The following alternative video may be geo-blocked for some of you but it’s worth watching if not, as the full move leading up to Giroud’s finish was a thing of beauty in its own right…
The turn and pass from Wilshere 🔥
The finish from Giroud 😳
What a goal from Arsenal 👏 pic.twitter.com/jVYnzVmeMd
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) October 19, 2017
And 1-0 it jolly well finished, leaving the Gunners perched comfortably atop Group H with three wins from their first three matches.