Arsenal 0-0 Red Star Belgrade: 5 Talking Points
In the 4th game week of the UEFA Europa League group stage, Arsenal hosted Red Star Belgrade at the Emirates. The last time these two met, Arsenal ran out 1-0 winners in Serbia, after an 85th minute winner from Olivier Giroud.
Arsène Wenger has used the tournament to rest senior first-team players and give fringe players precious game time. Before the game, the Gunners sat 5 points clear at the top of the group, needing a point to confirm their place in the round of 32.
What followed was an affair void of much quality, Arsenal failed to get the better of their Serbian counterparts, as the game ended 0-0. The point means Arsenal have qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League, but it does not guarantee them to be group winners.
Here are 5 main talking points from Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Red Star Belgrade:
#5 Red Star Belgrade more than hold their own
For a team of Red Star Belgrade’s quality and standing to only concede 1 goal in 2 games against Arsenal, is a massive achievement. Not only did they restrict Arsenal’s creativity today, they arguably should have gone home with all 3 points.
Both Guelor Kanga and Richmond Boakye had 1-on-1 chances with Matt Macey, in which they lacked the composure to convert. The team from Serbia came to the Emirates, created more than the hosts, shut out the hosts and produced the better of the chances.
On top of that, Belgrade opened up Arsenal’s back three several times, as they exploited the acres of space behind the wing-backs.
The visitors completed 271 passes in the game, forced Arsenal to concede 4 corners and had 7 shots on goal. The draw leaves the Serbs 2nd place in Group H, 5 points behind leaders Arsenal. With the level of performance they showcased tonight, they’re almost guaranteed to qualify for and put up a fight in the latter stages of the tournament.