Gunners victorious in Europa League opener

Arsenal made a winning start to their Europa League campaign as they ran out 4-2 victors over Vorskla at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

  • Arsenal 4 Vorskla 2
  • Aubameyang (32′, 56′) scores in each half
  • Welbeck (48′) heads home from close range
  • Ozil (74′) pokes in at the back post
  • Chesnakov (76′) and Sharpar (90′) reduce deficit

Match summary

Unai Emery’s side took some time to get going, but were in the ascendancy once Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring on 32 minutes.

Second-half goals from Danny Welbeck, Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil secured a comfortable win in the end, although Vladimir Chesnakov and Vyacheslav Sharpar managed to reply for the Ukrainian Premier League outfit.

Full report

Arsenal were expected to run riot in the English capital, but they got off to a slow start and it was Vorskla who created the first two chances in the opening stages.

A long ball from Bohdan Shust down the right channel was flicked on by Yuriy Kolomoets into the path of Vladyslav Kulach, who volleyed high and wide from 20 yards out on nine minutes.

Bernd Leno was called into action nine minutes later, although Pavlo Rebenok’s long-range effort presented a routine save for the off-season signing from Bayer Leverkusen.

The hosts began to grow into the game around the midway point of the first half and threatened the opposition goal on 28 minutes when Alex Iwobi curled over from the edge of the box after receiving a square pass from Nacho Monreal on the left.

They were celebrating the lead just four minutes later from a swift counter as Henrikh Mkhitaryan released Iwobi on the left and he crossed to Aubameyang, who fired across Shust into the bottom-left corner of the net from 12 yards out.

Lucas Torreira was inches away from opening his account for his new club on 38 minutes with a free-kick from 22 yards out on the right that he curled into the side-netting at the near post.

Aubameyang went even closer in the 45th minute as he drifted in from the left and was given space to curl a shot from 21 yards out that clipped the outside of the right post. Mkhitaryan forced Shust into a save moments later with an effort from 17 yards out on the left having gone around his marker.

The Gunners wasted no time in asserting their dominance in the second half, with Welbeck heading past Shust from close range on 48 minutes after connecting with Mkhitaryan’s inch-perfect cross from the left.

Welbeck nearly scored again two minutes later, but wasn’t able to convert Aubameyang’s square pass on the slide at the back post, while the Gabonese striker volleyed over acrobatically from Iwobi’s cross on the left in the 53rd minute.

Aubameyang produced a clinical finish just three minutes later, though, as he combined with Mkhitaryan before curling past Shust at the right post from 19 yards out.

Substitute Ozil put the result beyond doubt on 74 minutes when he poked home from close range at the back post after Stephan Lichtsteiner lifted the ball over the Shust on the right.

Chesnakov gave the small pocket of travelling supporters something to cheer about when he pulled one back three minutes later. Lichtsteiner failed to clear the ball inside his own box and the Vorskla skipper lashed a shot into the top-left corner of the net from 17 yards out.

The north London giants looked to close out the match by keeping possession, but they switched off at the death as Sharpar connected with a left-wing cross to fire past Leno from inside the D.

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