Fine performances from Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere helped Arsenal to a comprehensive 6-0 win over BATE Borisov to ensure the Gunners finished top of Group H in the Europa League.
Arsene Wenger made 11 changes to the side that had been beaten by Manchester United in the Premier League at the weekend and they fired an early warning shot when Mohamed Elneny struck the post.
BATE would only hold out for 10 minutes as Mathieu Debuchy fired in only his second Arsenal goal with a fine strike from the edge of the area.
The champions of the Belarus league couldn’t get a foot hold into the game and nearly gifted Arsenal a second with goalkeeper Denis Scherbitskiy saving from his own defender Polyakov. From the resulting corner, Scherbitskiy made a smart save to deny Theo Walcott.
Arsenal’s captain for the night though was able to convert on 37 minutes as the former Southampton man capitalised on a mistake by Milunovic.
Arsenal would add a third before half time and it was a special moment for Jack Wilshere as he scored his first goal for the Gunners since May 2015. The home side had 79% possession in the first half and were well worth their 3-0 half time lead.
It would take Arsenal just six second half minutes to score again. A sweeping move eventually resulted in Polyakov deflecting a Walcott cross into his own net.
10 minutes later, the Gunners were awarded a penalty as the excellent Walcott was taken out by Nemanja Milunović. Olivier Giroud was ordered to retake his first penalty after Arsenal players encroached the six yard box but the Frenchman did convert the second attempt for 5-0.
It took 66 minutes for the away side to register their first shot on goal. Stasevich was left free in the box but his shot was saved by David Ospina.
It would be six for the home side on 74 minutes as Elneny got his name on the scoresheet. This goal was perhaps the pick of the bunch as Wilshere created the space for the Egyptian to bend one into the corner from 18 yards.
Arsenal couldn’t add a seventh which would have equalled their biggest European victory but Arsene Wenger’s men head into the round of 32 draw on Monday as a seeded team.