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Spectacular Giroud goal gives Arsenal win at Crvena Zvezda

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud had very little service for most of the game but made the most of his opportunity

Olivier Giroud’s stunning late strike gave Arsenal victory at 10-man Crvena Zvezda and kept them firmly on course to reach the Europa League knockout stage.

Giroud produced the game’s one moment of quality with an 85th-minute overhead flick to hook the ball into the net.

The goal came minutes after Milan Rodic was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Francis Coquelin.

Richmond Boakye hit the post for the hosts in the first half.

Arsenal are top of Group H with nine points, four ahead of second-placed BATE Borisov.

This win was their third in as many Europa League games and a welcome lift after a disappointing defeat by Watford at the weekend.

Arsenal give ideal response to Deeney dig

Arsenal<!–

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger once again gave youngsters such as Reiss Nelson a chance to impress

The character of Arsenal’s players was questioned after they let slip a lead to lose 2-1 at Watford on Saturday, with Hornets striker Troy Deeney saying the Gunners lacked “cojones”.

Manager Arsene Wenger admitted the comment hit a nerve, but backed his players to respond with a strong performance in Serbia.

There are few stadiums more intimidating than Crvena Zvezda’s Marakana, and the feverish atmosphere the 50,000-plus home fans produced from the first whistle promised to test Arsenal’s character to the full.

It would have been easy for the visitors to wilt, particularly with Wenger opting to give many of his younger and fringe players the chance to impress, but they kept their nerve to produce a professional away performance.

What next?

Arsenal will look to get back to winning ways in the Premier League when they travel to Everton on Sunday (13:30 BST).

Their next Europa League group game is on Tuesday, 2 November, when they welcome Crvena Zvezda to Emirates Stadium (20:05 BST).

More to follow.

Live Text

Match ends, Crvena Zvezda 0, Arsenal 1.

Second Half ends, Crvena Zvezda 0, Arsenal 1.

Foul by Reiss Nelson (Arsenal).

Guélor Kanga (Crvena Zvezda) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Reiss Nelson (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Reiss Nelson (Arsenal).

Guélor Kanga (Crvena Zvezda) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Srdjan Babic (Crvena Zvezda) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Srdjan Babic (Crvena Zvezda).

Substitution, Arsenal. Ben Sheaf replaces Francis Coquelin because of an injury.

Substitution, Arsenal. Marcus McGuane replaces Joe Willock because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Francis Coquelin (Arsenal) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Guélor Kanga (Crvena Zvezda) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Aleksandar Pesic.

Milan Borjan (Crvena Zvezda) is shown the yellow card.

Goal! Crvena Zvezda 0, Arsenal 1. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Theo Walcott with a headed pass.

Substitution, Crvena Zvezda. Marko Gobeljic replaces Slavoljub Srnic.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Francis Coquelin (Arsenal) because of an injury.

Second yellow card to Milan Rodic (Crvena Zvezda) for a bad foul.

Francis Coquelin (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Milan Rodic (Crvena Zvezda).

Substitution, Crvena Zvezda. Aleksandar Pesic replaces Richmond Boakye.

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Theo Walcott with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Damien Le Tallec.

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

Milan Rodic (Crvena Zvezda) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Mitchell Donald (Crvena Zvezda) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Nenad Krsticic.

Foul by Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal).

Richmond Boakye (Crvena Zvezda) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Milan Rodic.

Substitution, Crvena Zvezda. Srdjan Babic replaces Vujadin Savic because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Vujadin Savic (Crvena Zvezda) because of an injury.

Francis Coquelin (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Francis Coquelin (Arsenal).

Slavoljub Srnic (Crvena Zvezda) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Reiss Nelson (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Damien Le Tallec (Crvena Zvezda) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

What Next?

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