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Full-time: Arsenal 0-0 Red Star Belgrade

  • Arsenal seal their spot in the last 32 of the Europa League despite being held to a dull goalless draw by Red Star Belgrade at the Emirates Stadium
  • Point enough to secure progress from Group H with two matches to spare courtesy of Cologne's 5-2 win over BATE Borisov
  • Olivier Giroud misses a few chances and Jack Wilshere's second-half effort is acrobatically cleared off the line by Damien Le Tallec
  • Red Star striker Richmond Boakye fails to hit the target with a great chance in each half and Matt Macey makes an excellent save to deny Vujadin Savic
  • Arsene Wenger continues his rotation policy in the cup competitions ahead of Premier League trip to Manchester City on Sunday
  • Recap: Lyon 3-0 Everton
Jack Wilshere

That's all from me for tonight folks, thanks for following along. IBTimes UK will be back at the weekend to bring you live coverage of an intriguing slate of high-profile Premier League games that includes West Ham vs Liverpool, Manchester City vs Arsenal and Chelsea vs Manchester United.

Until then, it's goodbye.


A smattering of boos from the few fans that made it to the end of that mostly tedious 90 minutes.

No fourth consecutive win and not a game that will live long in the memory, but job done as far as Arsenal are concerned. Cologne's 5-2 win over BATE Borisov in Germany means they are through to the last 32 with two matches to spare.


Arsenal 0-0 Red Star Belgrade

Borjan clears with his head as Arsenal apply some late pressure. Nketiah overhits his cross after a decent bit of skill and Donald hacks clear after Giroud nods down Nelson's ball in.

Nelson's deep cross is kept alive by Nketiah and Giroud. Coquelin then botches a hopeless strike from distance.

That just about sums up this game.

Aleksandar Pesic for Radonjic is Milojevic's final substitution.

Four minutes of added time have been signalled by the fourth official.

Red Star send on Uros Racic in place of Srnic. Less than five minutes plus stoppage time remaining.

Can Arsenal dig deep to find another late winner?

Arsene Wenger

Wilshere, who missed out on a place in the England squad for upcoming friendlies against Germany and Brazil, falls down in some discomfort after a tackle from behind by Krsticic.

Stojkovic now receiving treatment for cramp. The stretcher is prematurely brought on but certainly will not be needed.

I don't think that any watching scouts will be enjoying what they are seeing from Boakye.

Red Star exploit the space vacated by an injured Debuchy, but their leading striker declines to fire across goal and again misses the target with a left-footed shot to the near post.

Walcott fails to execute a difficult half-volley on the turn after Giroud and Elneny combine nicely from a Nelson throw-in.

The Gunners skipper is then flagged for offside as Nketiah forces a save from Borjan. It wouldn't have counted anyway.

Wilshere picks out Walcott with a cross, but the latter is unable to steer his tame header on target.

Holding in action again as he heads clear Krsticic's right-wing cross after a short corner from Red Star conceded by Elneny.

Holding catches Srnic with his arm during an aerial duel and promptly receives the first yellow card of the game.

Nemanja Milic for Kanga is Milojevic's first change of the evening.

The Gabon international is furious with the decision and lets his manager know about it.

Giroud is harshly penalised for a perfectly good header and Wenger looks to his bench for the first time with 68 minutes on the clock.

18-year-old forward Eddie Nketiah, the hero of that extra-time Carabao Cup fourth-round win over Norwich, replaces Willock.

Maitland-Niles displays impressive strength to hold off Savic after Stojkovic had just about dispossessed Wilshere, whose subsequent goal-bound strike is acrobatically cleared off the line by Le Tallec.

Stunning defending.

Jack Wilshere

Sounds like a crazy affair in Cologne, where the hosts, who went 1-0 up before trailing 2-1, have scored twice to lead BATE Borisov 3-2.

Wilshere leads a couple of quickfire Arsenal penalty appeals following a challenge from Srnic and an apparent handball from Savic.

Both are denied by referee Banti. The second looked debatable, it must be said.

Willock receives possession from the increasingly influential Wilshere and draws the wrath of Walcott after trying to go it alone and not succeeding.

Nelson is stopped in his tracks by a quite brilliant well-timed sliding challenge from Savic.

At the other end, Srnic delivers another pinpoint low cross. However, Boakye is flagged for offside.

Reiss Nelson

Giroud gets up highest from the subsequent corner but Le Tallec is there to head clear.

Much more purpose and intensity about Arsenal now as an early ball to Giroud is diverted behind by Le Tallec.

Kanga sends a low pass out to Srnic, whose meek drive is easily gathered by Macey.

Giroud whistles a left-footed shot over the crossbar after being picked out by Elneny.

Back off and running in north London. No changes from either manager at the break.

In the other Group H tie, two goals in as many minutes for BATE Borisov has them in front in Cologne.

Arsenal will have to wait to confirm their place in the last 32 if the scores remain as they are.

Arsenal have dominated possession at the Emirates, although have Macey and a shocking lack of composure from the usually prolific Boakye to thank for keeping them level at 0-0.

Giroud spurned the best opportunity for the hosts early on. Improvement needed.


Arsenal 0-0 Red Star Belgrade

A minimum of three minutes of added time will be played at the end of this first half. The Arsenal physio takes a look at Willock, who appeared to receive a painful knee to the groin in the build-up to that Red Star chance.

What a chance for Red Star to go ahead on the stroke of half-time.

Nenad Krsticic dispossesses Willock with a robust challenge and Donald combines with Kanga to release Boakye, who runs inside Holding.

The former Juventus striker is clean through on goal, but loses all composure and misses the target completely. A shocking miss.

Richmond Boakye

Walcott drives into the Red Star box but again Arsenal are comfortably kept at bay. Still goalless as we head towards the interval.

Macey to the rescue again for Arsenal. The former Accrington Stanley and Luton Town loanee is at full stretch to divert Savic's header onto the crossbar.

What a save. The Gunners are living very dangerously just at the moment.

Willock outmuscles Donald and finds Giroud, who is denied by a brave piece of goalkeeping from Borjan.

Red Star counter quickly with searing pace and Srnic's fizzing right-footed shot is tipped over by Macey.

Olivier Giroud

Srnic whips a delightful ball across the face of the six-yard box but it is just too far in front of Boakye and Arsenal clear behind.

Coquelin wins the ball for Arsenal and carries it forward menacingly on the counter. However, he misses a golden chance to play in Giroud and ends up passing straight to Le Tallec.

Not a good effort from Kanga and Stojkovic's hard work goes to waste. Macey untroubled.

I think poor Borjan might require a change of studs. The goalkeeper again slips while trying to launch a Red Star counter after claiming Nelson's right-wing cross intended for the head of Giroud.

Visiting captain Mitchell Donald then hurts himself during a challenge on Willock and becomes the latest player to require treatment. There's been a very stop-start feel to this opening 25 minutes or so.

Giroud is just unable to pick out Walcott with a low cross from the byline. Borjan then draws a huge cheer from the otherwise subdued home crowd as he slips while attempting to throw the ball out to his left-back.

Kanga receives treatment after a hefty challenge with Elneny.

Ah yes, the old "tickets sold" trick. Far from a sellout, as you might expect....


Simon Zoller puts Cologne ahead against BATE Borisov in tonight's other Group H tie. That means Arsenal are going through with two games to spare as it stands.

A quick flurry of Arsenal corners come to nothing as Boakye clears at the near post and the lesser-spotted Debuchy nods Wilshere's latest floated delivery well wide.

Terrific centre-forward play in the corner from Giroud, who holds the ball up well before flicking it through Savic's legs and winning a free-kick off Stojkovic.

The latter goes down holding his face after being caught with a stray arm from the powerful forward. That looked accidental.

Red Star look to come forward once more but a woeful first touch from Radonjic ends the attack after another good pass from Kanga.

Borjan throws out a foot to deny Giroud at his near post after a nice pass inside from Maitland-Niles.

It looks like the Frenchman will be fine to continue.

Le Tallec stays down after an innocuous collision with Walcott. Giroud then hits the deck holding the back of his hamstring.

Nelson shows Le Tallec his pace after being released down the right flank by Walcott. His cross for Giroud is cleared as far as the skipper, whose hopeful effort is deflected behind.

Theo Walcott

Macey looked confident as he raced out of his goal during the opening few seconds, but now he slices a simple kick straight into the path of Boakye after receiving a tame pass from Elneny.

Luckily for the 23-year-old, Holding is on hand to block.

Guelor Kanga releases Radonjic with a great pass and Elneny makes a crucial interception to prevent Boakye from connecting with his low cross.

Arsenal look to release Walcott early and Macey takes a couple of touches as Ghanaian striker Richmond Boakye, who is reportedly being watched by Chelsea scouts for the second time this evening, chases down Elneny.

Italian referee Luca Banti gets proceedings underway. Can Arsenal secure a 14th straight home win across all competitions, or will Red Star cause a major shock?

Walcott wearing the captain's armband for Arsenal tonight...

The 3,000 travelling Red Star fans have been in fine voice before kick-off. Expect them to keep making themselves heard throughout the 90 minutes.


It's another miserable night for Everton, who have been eliminated from contention for the last 32 after a listless 3-0 defeat in central France.

Bertrand Traore, Houssem Aouar and Memphis Depay all on the scoresheet for Lyon. Morgan Schneiderlin was sent off after accumulating two yellow cards and will be suspended for the visit of Atalanta to Goodison Park on 23 November, while Cuco Martina was stretchered off in a neck brace.

Safe to say that David Unsworth will not be getting that gig on a full-time basis.


Arsenal are looking to notch up their fourth successive group stage win tonight. The only previous time they have achieved such a feat in a single European season was back in 2005-06, when they reached the final of the Champions League.

Per Opta, they have failed to score only once in their last 26 European ties and are going up against a Red Star team that have not won back-to-back away games on the continent since they lifted the European Cup in 1991.

A look at the stats also tells us that the visitors have been shown the joint-most cards in this season's Europa League and also have the lowest shot conversion rate among sides who have scored more than once.

This is the fourth time that Arsenal have gone head-to-head with Red Star. That win in Serbia was their first in three previous meetings, with a two-legged Uefa Cup third-round affair back in in 1978-79 ending with a 2-1 aggregate victory for the Serbians.

Alan Sunderland notched the Gunners' only goal of the tie in a 1-1 home draw.

Arsenal vs Red Star Belgrade

Those fans will be expecting a comfortable victory, no doubt...


Vladan Milojevic opts for Marko Gobeljic as a replacement for the suspended Rodic in Red Star's sole change from the first match.

Filip Stojkovic, Damien Le Tallec, Vujadin Savic and Nemanja Radonjic all return after being left out of the team for Sunday's 1-0 win at Zemun that increased the club's lead over fierce rivals Partizan Belgrade at the top of the Serbian SuperLiga to four points.

Marko Gobeljic

No surprises in that Arsenal team, with third-string goalkeeper Matt Macey deputising for Petr Cech in David Ospina's absence after his impressive Carabao Cup showing against Norwich City last week.

That is the only change from the side that began the match in Serbia. Otherwise it's exactly the same squad.

Matt Macey

Here is what Wenger had to say about his rotation policy during yesterday's pre-match press conference....

Both of the teams do well. Even in training, when we play them against each other, it's very tight. I've gone into a rotation policy and I want to stick to that at the moment. I must say that I am pleased with the quality of our performances in every single competition.

It's very difficult to make a change. They all want competition, they all deserve competition because of their quality.

If you look at the number of minutes played by all of these players since the start of the season, many of them are in very competitive shape and that should be an advantage of us for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, Red Star are missing Milan Rodic after the Serbian left-back was sent off for two bookable offences in the closing stages of that slender defeat to Arsenal a fortnight ago.

Milan Rodic

The likes of Mathieu Debuchy, Mohamed Elneny, Rob Holding, Francis Coquelin, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Giroud should all start tonight, while young trio Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles will hope to be given another chance to shine.

However, neither David Ospina nor Calum Chambers are fit enough to return after recovering from groin and hip injuries respectively and Shkodran Mustafi remains sidelined with a thigh strain.

Popular summer signing Sead Kolasinac sustained his own hip issue in last weekend's comeback victory over Swansea City, although would not have played tonight anyway and is expected to recover in time to face Manchester City.

Santi Cazorla (achilles) is a long-term absentee and Danny Welbeck continues to nurse a groin problem.

David Ospina

Olivier Giroud proved to be the hero when these two sides squared off amid a red-hot atmosphere at Rajko Mitic Stadium two weeks ago, with the Frenchman beating goalkeeper Milan Borjan with a superbly inventive overhead kick in the 85th minute after gorgeous build-up play involving Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott.

Red Star, level on points with BATE Borisov in third after following up their shock opening win in Germany with a draw against the Belarusian champions, were reduced to 10 men shortly before that winning goal.

Olivier Giroud

Good evening and welcome to IBTimes UK's latest live coverage of Thursday nights in the Europa League.

My esteemed colleague Rhod Cannon is the man for all of your Lyon vs Everton needs, but here we look ahead to the late clash between Arsenal and Serbian giants Red Star Belgrade - otherwise known as Crvena Zvezda - at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsene Wenger is set to continue rotating his squad for Europe's secondary club competition, especially with the small matter of a trip to Manchester City to come this weekend.

Such a policy, which typically sees bench players and fringe first-teamers mixed in with a handful of exciting young hopefuls, has certainly been a success so far as the Gunners go in search of a fourth successive Group H win that would seal their spot in the competitions's first knockout phase.

A draw could also be enough to book a place in the round of 32, provided that BATE Borisov, five points adrift of Arsenal in second, do not win away at Cologne.

Stay tuned for a match preview, team news and confirmed lineups. We will also have minute-by-minute updates after kick-off at the slightly unusual time of 20.05 GMT.