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Of course I want to stay, I love the club

Of course I want to stay, I love the club

Jack Wilshere's lovely cross teed Walcott up to head Arsenal's opener. BATE, FC Koln and Red Star Belgrade are by no means mammoth opponents but they are just what Wenger needs at this stage - team's that his second string can easily match up with. Per Mertesacker won the initial header off a corner and the ball bounced the Holding who shinned/kneed/thighed it in. Arsenal started looking shaky at the back but managed to go into halftime at 3-1.

In becoming the 19th Arsenal player to reach the milestone, Giroud also achieved it in quicker time than both Dennis Bergkamp and Robin van Persie. Alassane Plea added his second goal after the delay. Since BATE is now in good shape, and Arsenal has low motivation for the upcoming meeting, the hosts may well not lose.

Walcott was denied a hat-trick by a stunning stop from Scherbitskiy from just eight yards out, before Holding sliced a volley against the post from inside the six-yard box. Mikhail Gordeychuk made it 4-2, but Arsenal's job was done.

Aleksey Rios - 5/10 - Rios defended well on occasions, and blocked numerous Maitland-Niles crosses and denied him after Wilshere got the ball to him in a risky area. Here is a look at how Arsenal fans reacted to his display. I have played several positions in it - left wing-back, left off the forward, central midfield. He's at an age where a player normally gets to the best of his career.

Centurion Giroud
Centurion Giroud

The one player that stood out the most last night, without question, was Jack Wilshere.

However, Wenger believes the future remains bright for the talented 25-year-old - provided he can stay healthy."He had an outstanding first half", said the Gunners boss. "There were chances but I can't be too selfish".

Maksim Volodko - 6/10 - Similarly to Palyakow, who he replaced, Volodko did well to keep Nelson quiet and showed some attacking intent.

They were unlucky not to score again in the 17th minute as Wilshere put the ball in the back of the net, but Walcott was contentiously ruled to have been offside in the build-up. However, it should be noted that, with the exception of the fight against Chelsea, Arsenal have conducted all of the matches listed on the home arena.




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