Thursday, January 27, 2022

Report: Red Star Belgrade 0-1 Arsenal (inc. AMAZING goal)

Arsenal: Cech, Debuchy, Elneny, Holding, Nelson, Coquelin, Willock, Maitland-Niles, Wilshere, Walcott, Giroud

Subs: Macey, Osei-Tutu, Akpom, Dasilva, McGuane, Nketiah, Sheaf


Olivier Giroud helped Arsenal maintain their winning start to their Europa League campaign as the Gunners ran out 1-0 winners in Serbia against Red Star Belgrade.

On a night when quality in the final third was thin on the ground, the Frenchman produced a stunning volley to steal all three points with six minutes remaining. Half chances had earlier fallen to Theo Walcott and Reiss Nelson but it wasn’t until the home side were reduced to ten men on 80 minutes that the Gunners made their pressure pay.

First half

Against the backdrop of a raucous home atmosphere, the Gunners made a steady, if unspectacular, start to the game. It was fun listening to the deafening whistles every time we held onto the ball for any prolonged period of time.

Jack Wilshere was at the centre of the action, snapping into challenges and deftly conducting Arsenal’s forward play. He was also the subject of some rough treatment but seemed to cope ok.

Chances for both sides were few and far between. Walcott tested keeper Borjan after a Wilshere free-kick on 14 minutes was half-cleared but that was about it from Wenger’s men.

Arsenal’s makeshift centre-back trio, made up of Rob Holding, Mohamed Elneny and Mathieu Debuchy, held up well enough initially but they were nowhere to be seen when Richmond Boakye headed onto the bar from a 25th-minute corner. It was a let off.

Five minutes later Petr Cech, in for the injured Ospina, made a fine stop from close range to deny Nemanja Radonjic. Reiss Nelson then did well to block the follow up.

That aside, it was a game lacking any real quality.

Second half

Arsenal had several decent chances to break the deadlock inside the first five minutes of the second period. After a penetrating run by Wilshere, Walcott skewed a shot so badly it provided Giroud with a chance of his own to pounce. Caught by surprise the Frenchman couldn’t get any purchase on his shot.

Next, Walcott made a mess of things again, miskicking a Nelson cross. The youngster then took matters into his own hands in the following attack, forcing a Borjan into a save at his near post. A frustrated Giroud let loose from 25 yards but his effort flew over.

As the game stretched out the home side also had chances. Cech first dealt with a header from Nenad Krsticic, then the veteran stopper came to Elneny’s rescue after the Egyptian played a back pass straight to Radonjic.

The initial spurt of action soon gave way to more of the turgid stuff we’d seen before the break. Giroud looked very lonely up front, rarely winning any balls tossed up to him, Walcott faded and Wilshere’s touch started to desert him.

It was heartening at least to see Coquelin get a booking, at least some things will never change. The France midfielder was on the receiving end of a hefty challenge from Milan Rodic who was promptly shown a second yellow and given his amrching orders. It looked pretty harsh.

On 84 minutes Arsenal finally made the breakthrough and it came from a stunning move. The Frenchman, up for FIFA’s Puskas award this year, produced a stunning acrobatic volley to finish superb tiki-taka interplay between Wilshere and Walcott. It was a moment of quality that the game didn’t really deserve.

Arsenal should seal qualification from the group stage when Red Star visit the Emirates in two weeks time.

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Be honest for a sec.
Thumbs Up – Keep Nelson, sell everyone else on the pitch this summer
Thumbs Down – Vice versa

Ox in the Box

I thought his attempt at free kick was dreadful. He was ok otherwise mind, if not the fastest at running back to defend. Willock seemed another one not too bothered with the defensive side. But what a peach of the goal!


I was just going to comment on how we undervalue Giroud greatly, and I had to read this sorry ass comment before I even had the chance.


A load of bollocks.


It doesn’t matter how undervalued you think Giroud is, Reiss Nelson is a 17 year old with the world at his feet while the rest are backups to one of the most under performing first teams we have ever had.

French Gooner

So let me get this straight. A 31-year-old past his prime Giroud, Willy Walcott, Coq, Debuchy, Elneny, past his prime Cech, over-rated Willock and Holding over Reiss Nelson? He is probably our best youth player since Fabregas and you’d rather see him leave than a bunch of back ups who have failed to win a spot in one of the worst Arsenal sides in years?

I’m actually baffled.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

You don’t understand. A team is not made of 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1=11 individuals. It’s made through partnerships and teamwork. The sum of eleven players should amount to something more–sell everyone and you have an excruciating task of rebuilding the team around two u21 players who look kinda exciting? Get real, they may be more fun to watch, but they’re only flourishing at the moment because we have defensive stability, senior players they trust and can play ahead of without worries.


I don’t think we undervalue Giroud. I think we used to, back when he was our primary striker and we were comparing him to Henry and Van Persie while ignoring his qualities. But I’d argue that ever since Sanchez replaced him as the striker at the beginning of last season and he was relegated to a secondary role, Arsenal fans have grown to value the qualities he brings. The fact that everyone agrees with you saying that he is undervalued kind of proves that we don’t undervalue him. I wasn’t throwing shade at the rest of the team. It is… Read more »


Let’s see him play a few good games in his real position before putting him on a huge pedestal from which he will be doomed to fail.


101ivier Giroud. You HFB. What a finish that was !


Can’t believe I read 9 comments before somebody mentioned that goal!

Dennis\' Berg Camps

You’ve a great point man.
Nelson – Nelson – Nelson



Who’d have thought it, two 100 goal strikers on the bench and we manage to win.



5 points clear after 3 matches, has Wenger done something right at last?


We are playing against the likes of Red Star Belgrade and BATE Borisov. Do we really deserve any credit up to this point?


On the BBC site all the comments were about how bad the team choice was, inexperienced bench and so on, Wenger doesn’t know what he is doing. Hence the question.

If it was Mourinho they’d be saying what a genius he is (or Mourinho would be at least).


Mourinho has been actually winning leagues in the last 14 years, something this sorry manager of ours can’t do anymore


He also won leagues at teams which threw bucketloads of cash at the title. Sure Arsene hasnt been successful with league titles but you cant deny he has managed a club on a considerably less budget and still been fairly successful. I doubt ANY manager would win the league at Arsenal with the financial system the club deploys.

Thierry bergkamp

So lets just forget what Ranieri did, then


The Leicester win was a fluke. Cant compare. A 1 off event where all the stars aligned perfectly cannot be used as proof a manager should be winning the league with Arsenals financial system. Leicester had 1 good season, look at them now.

Dan Hunter

Oh for fuck sake. Less budget my arse. We have spent over the past 5 years over £300M. With the basis we have had, we have spent POORLY. The only player which was worth it was Alexis for £35M odd.


That 300m is in isolation. Compare it to the other top clubs over the same 5 year spread and use the NET spend.

In an ideal world we don’t have to debate the point at all, but if we do we should do so on the level.


We deserve credit for playing Maitland-Niles, Willock and Nelson in games that mean something, and not some 6th game dead rubber in the CL. The experience they get dealing with the pressure to perform, and the fact that we can compensate for any mistakes they might make, especially in group stages means that by next season we should have 3 experienced homegrown players


Agreed although I just wish AMN and Nelson played in positions where they can actually showcase their talent and build some confidence.


They are no worse than Brighton or Watford.


Jeez…enough to make you support Sp#rs….I despair of our so-called fans…


Red Starvhave won European Cup and we put out almost Areserve team. Can’t you enjoy a fine win?


Don’t you think it is fascinating that despite a win and a big lead in the group with several youngsters gaining useful experience that a majority of Arsenal fans can’t say that Wenger has done something (not everything) right?

A little credit where it is due I say.


Some fans just cant give the ol fella any credit. Fans need to realise the team is competing where it should be, considering the financial system the club runs under. The financial model deployed at Arsenal suggests loitering around the fringe of the top 4 and being a big fish in the little pond of Europa, or a little fish in the big pond of Champs league is the expected outcome. I dont understand why so many fans blame Arsene. He has actually succeeded fairly well with the budget constraints he has. NO Manager would win the league at Arsenal… Read more »


Enjoy life my friend, we only get one.


Sorry, on the pitch…


Beautiful man, beautiful goal. Norwich vol. 2?


Not quite. Very nice, but not quite.


Nice to see some good old Wengerball.

jack jack jack

Jacky carrying the torch <3


Jack’s ability to dribble and turn in tight spaces is world class. That Giroud-Wilshire combination always seem to produce something special. Takes us back to those summers not long ago when we’d score special team goals. Its time they get a start in the league. Maybe they’d give us the spark we need to get us back on track in what has been a frustrating season so far.


We’ve been missing Girouds abilities in one touch combination play through the lines, largely because nobody plays to his abilities for some time the way Jack does. Alexis and Ozil have played him some quality assists, but don’t use his interplay enough. The rest just seem to lump the long ball to him and leave it at that. At least give a runner off his shoulder to play on, or someone come to and show so we can keep possession. We need a few more players to play to those talents because it is an effective way to unlock the… Read more »


Does he have the best collection of goals of any gooner?


No, watch Bergkampsmand Henry’s best 100. So many class goals.


I’m going to be bold and say his collection gets a seat at that table with some of the beauties he’s put in. Assists too.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Bergkamp, pires, Henry, and ljungberg would make the same tiki taka goals except forty feet apart from one another and Henry finishing with a screaming volley from outside the box. It’s such an unfair bar…that I loveeee


Small request Arsenal, could play at the level you did in the 85th minute for the full 90 in every game please. That would be nice. Thank you.

Also, Giroud to be first player to win 2x Puskas Awards??


His goal today is another reason why he should win the award. Our HFB’s world class goals are not a fluke (unlike the others with all due respect to them ). The man has genuine world class ability to pull off wonder strikes. I really hope he wins it !

Jimbo Jones

Thoroughly enjoying the Europa League! Great competition! The Red Star fans were incredible and a great goal too! It doesn’t solve any of our problems (we were pretty lacklustre tbh) but just enjoying the win


Thanks ref.


Wilshere is a joy to watch.


Not sure which ass gave you a thumbs down. Suppose it’s someone that just never watched the game and only saw we scored. Wilshere had a great game. Loved seeing him in action and you can see he how commited he is.


The ass is me and i’m sorry to have ly own thinking and to not join the chorus of the sheeps… Wilshere is over rated, but English and home made, so untouchable, it seems.


WTF is wrong with you. No one ragged on Ozil today. No one. Can’t you give a player ccredit when its due? lol


After rumours of him leaving, I really hope we can keep him. If he stays fit he’ll be an amazing player. Fuck Ozil, he doesn’t give a shit.


It’s a pity you can’t appreciate a world class player who has won German Player of the Year for 5 of the past 6 years. He is our most creative player and creates more chances than anyone else We will miss him when he leaves.


Sadly he cannot finish chances others create for him.
Giroud is a boss when used properly….


He sure is. I don’t think it would be an overstatement to say that apart from Iniesta, no one in world football has that ability to beautifully and elegantly glide past players like Jack does. That’s how talented our Jack is. If he could stay injury free, we could still see a world class player coming out from our academy.


I wonder what you’ve been drinking…


I love THIS team Europa league team feels more Arsenal than the other lot. Well done kids and fringers.. And sign Jack up I’m deeply smitten again.


Every time Jack gets the ball you know he’s going to try to make something good happen. I think he has earned his place in the PL starting 11 now.


It hurts me watching him. He’s still got the skill and the vision, but he used to have an amazing burst of pace, could get past anyone from a standing start. That’s completely gone now. Heartbreaking.


lol, are you blind? last couple of times he has been playing he’s been fizzing past opponents on a consistent basis. I just love watching how he gets past players all the time, and i just can’t comprehend who you are talking about…




He certainly has, even for England. But I heard our neighbours think that Harry guy (whatever his name is) is already better than Wilshire. Lol what a bunch of deluded fans they are !


Oh my Bergkamp


Özil has a better goal/assist ratio than Bergkamp, but well… never mind.


This is not a knock on Ozil, but Dennis was a master of the hockey assist.


Bergkamp is still Bergkamp. And always will be.

I’d be happy for Ozil to sign on and earn his seat at the table.

Except for that goal of course!!!!


Agree, goal aside it was dull as dull can be. No matter how hard Andrew will try to drive the excitement around this competition it just feels super secondary.


Personally quite enjoying it. Financial and prestige losses aside (and of course the likelihood of players leaving is included in the latter), I was thoroughly disillusioned by the champions league. Getting hammered every March by Bayern or Barca became thoroughly dull.


I only just red match review … Sounds like most our lads were shit.. However I loved the game and thought that most of our lads did real goodl but I only saw second half as I totally missed the early kickoff.


We played better in first Half than second , until the red card..I don’t think we played that much more boring or un attractive than in premier league, good to see the young lads get experience and mature players play solid , clean sheet etc… The starting line up had 354 international caps , not too shady!!


Even better than Giroud’s goal has to be the commentator getting tongue tied and calling Walcott, Willcock.
Pretty boring game other than the goal, Wilshere MOM and thought Niles did pretty decent as well.
Only we could f*ck this up from here.


Wilshere and Giroud ought to start for games after Everton since they’ll be a bit knackered. They pair really well, and Giroud I think will go well with Laca and Alexis. Still can’t get enough of seeing Jack play, I saw him running back for defending and the one with the best ball control on the pitch with that dribbling spectacle that led to the goal. Drop xhaka don’t want him anywhere near the starting xi

Danaery\'s pet dragon

Great goal but that aside no pace going forward and most of the time taking the safe pass back to the back three rather than turning and driving forward. Very good result but didn’t dominate the game by any means. I didn’t see enough from Giroud or Wilshere to say they should start Pl games…..and I am generally looking for positive things from our displays


Did you not notice the players on the pitch with Jack and OG? You expect them to just go out and do whatever they wish and not think about the team?


After contemplating 80 minutes of what the meaning of life is, I saw the goal. Now I know, it’s the beauty of life itself.


That goal makes it all worth it.


That turn of Jack to beat 3 RSB players and start the move was great!!

time will tell

Really someone voted this down, must hate football


Give him a crazy difficult chance, and he puts them away! What a goal by Giroud. To get 3 points away from home, with a mixture of out-of-position players, comeback players, youngsters and a few senior players (with an entire bench of youth players) means our decision to play this team has now been vindicated. Really excited to see what Jack brings to the team henceforth. No way he’s not going to make the England squad next year!


Brilliant. Play Wilshere for God’s sake.


The amazing goal aside we had no gameplan whatsoever. Just a makeshift team put together for the sake of it. Giroud bailed Wenger out on this one.


Were you in the change rooms or training ground to make that amazing analysis? It’s a bunch of new kids given the chance with some experienced Gunners that played against a well organised team that made it difficult.


It was a very young side and they controlled the game, away at one of the most intimidating places you can play. I’ll take it.

Fergal (captain optimistico)

Wow. That’s harsh. This was a demonstration of our squad dept. Fair enough. Some poorly squirned attacks. Well repaid by what will be a CLASSIC ARSENAL goal. For the ages. Pure Arsenal.

Sir Henry Norris\'s Brown Envelope

Giroud has a habit of scoring when the ball is behind him, Crystal Palace, Scorpion and now this. Can any body else think of other goals like this from the HFB?
Good to see Jack back. His part in that goal was sensational

my name is bob

I think it’s time to try out Jack again in midfield.
Have him either play with Ramsey or Xhaka, depending on our opposition, he’s beginning to look like he’s regained the class that we thought he had three or four seasons ago.


Debuchy was playing FFS (and done fairly well) performance wasn’t great but the goal made the prior 85 worth it. Wilshere needs to replace somebody in the middle of the park. That piece of skill, control and pass to Walcott is why i still consider him Englands best player ..At this moment in time who in our midfield is playing better than him…even though he is still not back to his best or fully fit. Definitely ahead of Xhaxa who is in there…for what? Defensive solidity lol. Impressed with Willock again…Quietly goes about his game, does the simple things and… Read more »


I think its only natural they just want to play it safe at their age and playing out of position. I think its a good experience for them just to be out there for 90m playing.

I agree Wilshere needs to be in the MF with Ozil. How much better the team would click together IMHO lol

bob davis

Another Giroud classic! I hope Jack starts on Sunday!



I thought we played pretty well. We were brave, too risks and kept going till the end. Energy levels didn’t drop and every player did ok. They gave us a decent game. Glad our class shone through in the end. Let’s see what Wenger does with Wilshere and to an extent Debuchy. They could be the real LANS


Didn’t watch as I was busy doing work in the yard this afternoon, and I don’t know if I’m going to make time to catch matches live anymore this season as the club has given me an overall feeling of ‘meh’ too early this year (usually that comes in March).
That all said, I’m glad the team won, and what a fabulous piece of improvisation from Olivier Giroud.


We brought proper goal keeper & attacking front three, but everything in between them is utter shambles.

But then again, wow, what a goal!!


A team of mainly youngsters wins a difficult European away match and you can’t even give any credit.


Was at the game. Buzzing! Great atmosphere and the HFB scored right in front of me! Get in!


Wilshere with another 90 minutes of uninjured play and heavily contributed to the beauty of that goal. Way to finish it Oli!

Alex Doukakis

Love seeing wilshere play .. offers something completely different desperately needed for club and country, no doubt he won’t start against Everton but I hope he forces his way into both starting 11s soon and shoves Troy Deenys comments down his throat- since the little Spanish magician has been out we have missed that turn on a sixpence player apart from Alexis .. but someone who can come from deep.. best thing I love abou jack though is his hate of the spuds and love for Arsenal !

Kostas Greek Gooner

Giroud and Wilshere combine so good everytime the play together. That makes me wonder why Ozil and Alexis dont try one-two’s with Giroud. I kinda feel that they dont believe in him

Toure motors

If Jack Wilshere could just get another half yards pace and stay fit for a year…. he’s such a clever footballer


I think that considering the circumstances it was a very good win. A team that is a very mixed bag lacking cohesiveness, big hostile crowd, away game – far far away. But of lately critisizing your own team has become an art of too many.

Clock-End Mike

Your anti-Walcott bias is showing again. There were plenty off “fluffs” throughout the team, but Walcott had as good a game as most — with the exception of Wilshere, at least — and much better then Giroud (with the exception of the goal itself).

Dr Whale

What surprise me is that despite Walcott contributing to at least a goal in every uefa we have played, fans still want to get rid of him. With Walcott in the starting line up, you have the chance of ball on target or goal than with welbec starting. With Welbec however, you have work rate upon work rate. If goals win you match, why do we hate Walcott so much we want to get rid of him? Possibly if Walcott had started against Watford instead of Welbec, we may have scored another goal in the first half

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject

“forcing a Borjan into a save at his near post.”

I like this typo. A Borjan sounds like some strange creature from Slavic myth. Probably one that shouldn’t be woken up if you can help it, otherwise it will play spiteful and potentially dangerous pranks on you.


Goal link is broken arseblog


Was in the stadium yesterday with the Serbian fans (my wife is cheering for the Red Star). Couldn’t hold it for the goal and happy I made it alive out of the stadium…
Definitely an hot place to play football so congrats to the team for showing some!
Wilshere is getting really fit. Time for some PL!

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