Arsenal 3 - 0 Bate Borisov: "Arsenal booked their place in the last 16 of the Europa League with a comfortable second leg victory"


Arsenal booked their place in the last 16 of the Europa League with a comfortable second-leg victory over Bate Borisov at the Emirates.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, they scored inside four minutes when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's cross was turned in by Bate defender Zakhar Volkov.
Centre-back Shkodran Mustafi made it 2-0 before the break with a powerful header from Granit Xhaka's corner. 

Substitute Sokratis Papastathopoulos headed in the third goal after an hour.
After a disappointing performance in losing the first leg in Belarus, Arsenal needed to score at least twice to go through. 

Bate were denied an equaliser just four minutes after Arsenal had taken the lead when Stephan Lichtsteiner slid in to make a goalline clearance from Stanislav Dragun's header.
The visitors also came close when Maksim Skavysh hit the side-netting in the first half but Arsenal had the best chances through Alex Iwobi, Xhaka and Aubameyang.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery vowed his side's performance was "going to be different" from their lacklustre display in Belarus and he wasn't wrong.
The Gunners looked full of energy in the opening stages - winning two early corners and forcing a save from keeper Denis Scherbitski when Iwobi pounced on Lichtsteiner's cross.
They were rewarded when the ball bounced off Volkov's shin and into the back of the net to give them a crucial equalising goal in the tie. 

Arsenal continued to press high up the pitch and created chances in both halves. They had 22 shots in total - including 15 in the box - and put in 24 crosses from open play.
Xhaka forced Scherbitski into a smart save with a powerful long-range effort in the first half, while Mesut Ozil - making just his second start of 2019 and first in four games - poked a shot wide of the left post and Aubameyang's free-kick was saved after the break.

Bate did come close on a few occasions - Skavysh got in behind Nacho Monreal only to slam the ball into the side netting, before Dragun's header was kept out at the last minute by Lichtsteiner.
But Arsenal were dominant throughout and never really looked like conceding a costly away goal.
The Gunners have not made the final of a European competition since their Champions League defeat to Barcelona in 2006 and were knocked out in the semi-finals of this competition last season.
They will hope to go one step further this time around though - the prospect of securing an automatic spot in the Champions League by winning the Europa League is a strong motivator.

The bookmakers have Arsenal down as third favourites behind Napoli and Chelsea to win the competition and manager Emery has experience of doing just that having done so with former club Sevilla in his last three outings in the Europa League.
Arsenal could come up against the Spanish five-time winners when the draw takes place tomorrow.
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