Europa League 2017/18: BATE Borisov 2-4 Arsenal, 5 Talking Points
Score: Bate Borisov 2 - 4 Arsenal
Goal(s) for BATE: Ivanic 28' (assist Rios), Gordejchuk 67'
Goal(s) for Arsenal: Walcott 9', 22', Holding 25' (assist Mertesacker), Giroud 49'
Arsenal came away with all three points from their visit to Belarus after seeing off a spirited BATE Borisov side 4-2. The game was never going to be easy, but the Gunners got off to the perfect start and found themselves three goals to the good within the first half hour.
While the hosts found some fight in the second half and threatened to make matters interesting, Arsene Wenger's men did enough to secure the W and maintain top spot in their group.
Here are five takeaways from the encounter at the Borisov Arena:
#1 Mixed bag for 'keepers
It was a strange night to be a goalkeeper. BATE custodian Denis Shcherbitsky had a shocking opening 30 minutes, at fault for two (maybe all three) of Arsenal's first-half goals.
The Belarusian was caught in no man's land for the opener, scrambling at his near post while watching Theo Walcott ultimately tap in a sublime Jack Wilshere cross. It may be a wee bit harsh to criticise the keeper for the first goal, but there was absolutely no one else to blame for the second. Receiving a harmless back-pass from centre back Gayduchik, Shcherbitsky suffered a complete brain-fade, proceeding to aimlessly pass the ball out to Walcott stationed at the edge of the penalty box.
The English striker couldn't believe his luck, slotting into the bottom corner past the horrified keeper.
The night was to get worse before it could get better for Shcherbitsky. The 21-year-old charged out to claim an Arsenal corner. Realising he wasn't going to get near it, he backtracked quickly only to see the ball fly past him and into the back of the net courtesy a Rob Holding prod. He had no chance of saving it considering Holding was just a couple of yards out, however, had he stayed on his line, he may have had a bit more time to stick out a leg and make a save.
He did make amends soon enough though, preventing a Walcott hat-trick in glorious fashion, tipping away a fierce effort at full-stretch.
Meanwhile, Ospina too was at fault for BATE's first goal, unable to keep out a powerful header that was directed right at him by Ivanic. However, he made a couple of great saves later in the first half to keep his side comfortably ahead.