Sports

Draw sees Gunners into last 32

Arsenal booked their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League despite a drab goalless draw at home to Red Star Belgrade.

With Arsene Wenger continuing his policy of completely rotating his Premier League side for this competition, the Gunners were toothless as the visitors wasted the best chances of a forgettable contest at the Emirates Stadium.

Jack Wilshere, who failed to prove a point to England manager Gareth Southgate following his omission from the latest Three Lions squad, came closest to winning it for the hosts only to see a second-half effort hacked off the line.

Let's keep this run going tonight, @_OlivierGiroud_ ????#AFCvRSBpic.twitter.com/5Y0xq5uTL3

— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 2, 2017

Star man – Rob Holding

On an uninspiring evening, the central defender again showed his promise and growing confidence with a composed performance in which his ball-playing and reading of the game was crucial to the fact Red Star also posed minimal attacking threat.

Moment of the match

Secure qualification from Group H ?

Now let's complete the job and make sure we finish top ????#AFCvRSBpic.twitter.com/CscEVWl0hJ

— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 2, 2017

Jack Wilshere, showing the desire that was missing from much of Arsenal’s play, took possession from Ainsley Maitland-Niles in front of goal before shooting beyond Milan Borjan with the outside of his left foot. His goal-bound effort was then blocked, but it was a rare display of ambition during an unremarkable game.

Moan of the match

There's nothing like sealing qualification to the knockout stages in style…and that was nothing like… #AFC

— Mark Mann-Bryans (@MarkyMBryans) November 2, 2017

Several of those among Arsenal’s starting XI – Giroud, Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Francis Coquelin among them – have ambitions of returning to Wenger’s Premier League plans, but had minimal influence. At their best, all are also fine players, but they displayed too little of their true potential during a largely dull game.

Match ratings

Arsenal: Matt Macey 7, Mathieu Debuchy 6, Mohamed Elneny 6, Rob Holding 7, Reiss Nelson 5, Francis Coquelin 5, Joseph Willock 5, Theo Walcott 5, Jack Wilshere 6, Olivier Giroud 6; Subs: Edward Nketiah (for Willock, 68mins) 5Red Star Belgrade: Milan Borjan 5, Marko Gobeljic 6, Vujadin Savic 5, Damien Le Tallec 6, Filip Stojkovic 6, Mitchell Donald 5, Nenad Krsticic 6, Nemanja Radonjic 5, Guelor Kanga 5, Slavoljub Srnic 5, Richmond Boakye 5 Subs: Nemanja Milic (for Kanga, 70mins) 5, Uros Racic (for Srnic, 86mins) 5, Aleksandar Pesic (for Radonjic, 89mins) 5

Who’s up next?

Kings Cross commuters meet Red Star Belgrade fans as they make their way to the Emirates Stadium. Should be a decent atmosphere tonight pic.twitter.com/DTZGPduZOF

— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) November 2, 2017

Manchester City v Arsenal, Premier League, November 5

Radnicki Nis v Red Star Belgrade, Serbian SuperLiga, November

Source: By PA Sport Staff

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