Official AFC News

Boss reflects on the performance of his side following our 1-0 win against Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League

Arsene Wenger discusses Olivier’s brilliant strike in the win against Red Star Belgrade

France international on his audacious match-winning goal in Belgrade

Wilshere discusses just what it is that means he plays so well in tandem with the Frenchman

Who was our star performer in our win against Red Star Belgrade? Have your say…

Get new posts by email


  • Arseblog
  • ESPN
  • The Guardian

Jack Wilshere paid tribute to Reiss Nelson and Jo Willock after the teenage duo produced composed performances in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League. Nelson, playing at right wing-back, and Willock, anchoring the midfield, coped well with the intense atmosphere produced by the local crowd as they made their tenth […]

Arsene Wenger says that Olivier Giroud told him the team would score, before the French international popped up with a wonder strike to secure a 1-0 win over Red Star Belgrade. The Gunners had struggled to fashion too many chances during the game, and it was a dull affair overall. However, the interplay between Giroud, […]

Arsenal made it three wins from three in the Europa League this season after a brilliant Olivier Giroud goal five minutes from time gave us a 1-0 victory. Arsene Wenger’s somewhat makeshift team struggled to find much to trouble Red Star Belgrade, but as it looked like time was running out, the wiles of Wilshere, […]

Arsenal: Cech, Debuchy, Elneny, Holding, Nelson, Coquelin, Willock, Maitland-Niles, Wilshere, Walcott, Giroud Subs: Macey, Osei-Tutu, Akpom, Dasilva, McGuane, Nketiah, Sheaf __ Olivier Giroud helped Arsenal maintain their winning start to their Europa League campaign as the Gunners ran out 1-0 winners in Serbia against Red Star Belgrade. On a night when quality in the final […]

Earlier today the fixtures for television were revealed and the Gunners have five games on TV throughout the month. The games are as follows: Saturday, December 2 17:30 Arsenal v Man Utd (BT Sport) (originally 3pm) Sunday, December 10 12:00 Southampton v Arsenal (BT Sport) (originally TBC) Wednesday, December 13 20:00 West Ham v Arsenal […]

Red Star Belgrade Arsenal BT Sport 2, ESPN3 5:00 PM UTC Game Details Live football odds with bet365. Bet Now » GameCast Lineups and Stats Jack Wilshere has defended the character of his Arsenal team-mates after it was called into question by Watford captain Troy Deeney.The Hornets skipper lambasted Arsenal's performance following their 2-1 loss at Vicarage Road on Saturday.Per Mertesacker had headed the Gunners ahead before Deeney came off the bench to equalise from the penalty spot, with Tom Cleverley lashing home an injury-time winner for the hosts.The result leaves Arsenal sixth in the Premier League, nine points adrift of leaders...

After Troy Deeney's comments about Arsenal, Craig Burley says clubs know they can easily push the Gunners around. Jack Wilshere's rebuttal of Troy Deeney's withering character assassination of Arsenal was typically spiky, but it was clear from the tone of the response that the Watford player had landed a stinging blow with his gleefully and publicly expressed belief that Arsenal are missing a set of "cojones." Speaking to the press ahead of Thursday's Europa League meeting with Red Star Belgrade, Wilshere earnestly insisted that, "you can't question our character." Yet Deeney, enthusiastically, did, and...

Knowing that Arsenal have a UCL tradition, Arsene Wenger vows to be committed to winning the Europa League trophy.

After Troy Deeney's comments about Arsenal, Craig Burley says clubs know they can easily push the Gunners around. Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere says it was "horrible" to hear Troy Deeney's scathing comments about his teammates this weekend, and insists the Watford striker's criticism was unjustified. Deeney accused the Arsenal players of lacking "cojones" after Watford's 2-1 comeback win over the Gunners on Saturday, and said the team's defenders weren't up for a fight in the second half. Wilshere admitted it was painful to hear such comments, but also launched a staunch defence of his teammates. "As a player...

Knowing that Arsenal have a UCL tradition, Arsene Wenger vows to be committed to winning the Europa League trophy. After Troy Deeney's comments about Arsenal, Craig Burley says clubs know they can easily push the Gunners around. Arsene Wenger has said Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy is set make his first start in nearly year on Thursday against Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League. Debuchy's only appearance last season came against Bournemouth in November, but the French right-back lasted just 15 minutes before suffering another injury. A number of setbacks have kept him sidelined since then, but Wenger confirmed that Debuchy will return to the line-up in Belgrade as he deals with a defensive crisis. "He will certainly...

It takes something unusual to create a moment of silence at Red Star Belgrade’s boistrous Rajko Mitić Stadium. Five minutes from the end of a Europa League match that scored higher on atmosphere than intrigue, Arsenal produced the game’s defining move and for a few seconds the sound cut completely as the home crowd took in the blow.

What a blow it was. The move of the night was carved by Jack Wilshere, who changed gear to burst past two opponents, exchanged passes with Theo Walcott, and picked out Olivier Giroud. It had been one of those nights where Arsenal’s hulking frontman looked a bit tortured, nothing going for him, touches astray, movement on the leaden side. But in that moment he adjusted his body to send an overhead kick into the net.

Related: Red Star Belgrade v Arsenal: Europa League – as it happened

Related: Everton v Lyon: Europa League – live!

Continue reading...

Olivier Giroud’s brilliant late goal saw off Arsenal’s 10-man hosts and secured a third straight win in Group H for Arsene Wenger’s side

8.01pm BST

Olivier Giroud’s brilliant late goal proves enough for Arsenal to secure their third straight win in Group H. They’re five points clear of Red Star Belgrade and FC Koln in first place. They didn’t play particularly well, but they did well to cope with the atmosphere, survived a couple of scares and seized the moment when Red Star went down to 10 men. The Serbians are third on goal difference after Bate Borisov’s 1-0 home win over FC Koln. That’s all from me. Thanks for reading. Bye.

Related: Everton v Lyon: Europa League – live!

7.55pm BST

It’s all over!

7.55pm BST

90 min+5: Elneny heads Stojovic’s cross away. Then Kanga’s cross is held by Cech.

7.51pm BST

90 min+2: Nelson’s booked.

7.50pm BST

90 min: There will be five added minutes.

7.49pm BST

89 min: McGuane replaces Willock, while Ben Sheaf comes on for his Arsenal debut, Coquelin making way.

7.47pm BST

87 min: It all came from Jack Wilshere’s initial injection of urgency. That’s one of the things he’s really good at, pushing the ball past opposition midfielders. Wenger always talks it up. Arsenal still have to see this out. They doze off at the back, but Kanga fires over from the edge of the area.

7.46pm BST

This is absurd. Maybe not quite as absurd as Giroud’s flick-volley against Crystal Palace at the start of the year, but still. it starts with Wilshere bursting past two players. He plays a one-two with Walcott, who adroitly lobs it into the middle for Giroud. The ball’s behind him, but the striker contorts his body and manages to direct an overhead kick past Borjan and into the top-right corner! The home fans keep whistling, but what an important and brilliant goal that is for Arsenal.

7.43pm BST

83 min: Red Star make their final change, Gobeljic on for Srnic. They’re shutting up shop. Coquelin is back on his feet, meanwhile, though he looks to be wincing a bit. Play resumes and Arsenal promptly whack the ball out for a throw. Good start.

7.41pm BST

81 min: Already on a booking, Rodic leaps into an aerial challenge and catches Coquelin in the face with a stray arm. Coquelin felt that. He needs some treatment and while that’s happening, the disbelieving Rodic is shown a second yellow card. Red Star will play the closing stages with 10 men.

7.39pm BST

80 min: Pesic replaces Boakye, who’s been quieter in the second half.

7.37pm BST

78 min: Holding knocks a pass out for a goal-kick.

7.34pm BST

75 min: Boakye hares after a pass down the middle. Cech comes out to boot clear.

7.34pm BST

74 min: The home fans are still bouncing. The noise they’ll make if they score.

7.30pm BST

71 min: Donald shoots from 30 yards. Nope.

7.27pm BST

68 min: A Red Star counter ends with Radonjic crossing straight at Cech. A waste.

7.25pm BST

66 min: Babic replaces the injured Savic at the back.

7.23pm BST

64 min: Nelson dumps the free-kick into the wall. Red Star counter and Coquelin’s booked for a foul on Srnic.

7.22pm BST

63 min: Wilshere’s crunched by Le Tallec on the edge of the area. Yellow card. And a good opportunity for Arsenal, who are starting to trouble the Red Star defenders by running at them.

7.20pm BST

60 min: In this atmosphere, and given the situation in the group, a draw’s not the worst result for Arsenal. They want a win, though. Walcott drives through the middle and gets brought down by Boakye. The striker’s booked.

7.16pm BST

56 min: Giroud knocks a pass through to Walcott, who tries to burst through on goal. He ends up settling for a corner.

7.14pm BST

54 min: The dozing Elneny tries to mop up at the back, only to play a blind pass straight to Rodonjic. Oh dear. Luckily for the Egyptian, the Red Star winger’s powerful shot is struck at a nice height for Cech, who turns it over the bar. Elneny apologises.

7.12pm BST

52 min: Stojkovic flings a fine ball into the Arsenal area from the right. Krsticic beats Debuchy to it, but his header’s straight at Cech. Either side of the goalkeeper and Arsenal might have had a problem.

7.09pm BST

50 min: Arsenal have woken up. A cross from the left is shuffled on by Wilshere and to Nelson, who lashes a shot towards the near post. Borjan pushes it wide. Nothing comes from Wilshere’s corner.

7.08pm BST

48 min: Arsenal have a go. Willock bursts into the area. He’s tackled and the ball squirts to Walcott. Surprised, perhaps, that he still exists, surprised, perhaps, that he’s actually taking part in this match, he completely mistimes his shot, skewing it across the face of goal and against Giroud, who can’t react in time. The ball loops into Borjan’s arms.

7.06pm BST

46 min: Red Star get the second half underway. They’re on the attack straight away. Kanga rolls a pass through to Srnic, making a Ljungberg-esque run from right to left. He’s through on goal, but Maitland-Niles makes a crucial saving challenge. “Thanks to Amy Lawrence for that evocative mention of smoking at the football,” says Justin Kavanagh. “The waft of a Woodbine always reminds me of going to games with my dad… along with other assorted odors emitted by the Guinness-guzzling mobs of the great unwashed. Van Morrison really needs to write a song about the football… Smokin’, smokin’, smokin’ on Donegall Ave, with the smell of the crowd and the feel of a hot leg and it’s always being one-nil, yeah, always being one-nil… etc.”

6.48pm BST

Not bad. Both sides could have scored.

6.46pm BST

45 min: There will be two added minutes.

6.44pm BST

44 min: Giroud heads well over from Elneny’s centre.

6.44pm BST

43 min: Walcott lifts the free-kick to the far post. Borjan claws it behind for a corner. He tries to claim he didn’t touch it, but the referee isn’t interested. Not to worry, though, Wilshere’s corner is headed away.

6.43pm BST

42 min: After starting brightly, Wilshere hasn’t done much. Giroud and Walcott aren’t in the game either. But this is better from Arsenal, Maitland-Lines lifting the ball over Stojkovic and tempting the right-back into a late tackle on the left. Walcott will take the free-kick.

6.41pm BST

41 min: Srnic tries to bend a cross into the middle for Boakye, but it’s too close to Cech.

6.39pm BST

37 min: A lull.

6.35pm BST

34 min: Walcott returns.

6.35pm BST

33 min: Rodic picks up a booking for a foul on Walcott, who leaves the pitch to receive some treatment.

6.31pm BST

31 min: The Red Star fans haven’t got bored of singing yet. And they almost have something to really shout about here. Boakye curves a pass round the corner for Srnic on the right, Arsenal caught out. Srnic takes a moment to assess his options before whipping a cross to the far post. Nelson misses it and the ball reaches Radonjic, who controls before seeing his powerful shot from close range pushed out by Cech. Nelson blocks Radonjic’s second effort. Another hairy moment for Arsenal, though. Red Star have had two great chances.

6.29pm BST

28 min: Play stops so Stojkovic can receive treatment after a legal challenge from Coquelin.

6.28pm BST

26 min: Cech punches a corner away, but Red Star continue to press. From the right, Donald swings a low cross towards the near post. With Boakye making a nuisance of himself, Cech has to improvise and knee the ball behind for another corner on the right. In it comes again. Arsenal are under pressure. The marking isn’t good. Boakye rises highest – and unchallenged – and bounces a header past Cech ... and against the top of the right post! The ball bounces back into the area, but Arsenal hurriedly get it clear!

6.26pm BST

24 min: Kanga gets the better of Willock in the middle, turns and sprays a lovely pass through to Radonjic on the right, but Nelson reads the threat and wins a throw for Arsenal with a fine challenge.

6.24pm BST

23 min: Is Mohamed Elneny the new Tony Adams? Discuss.

6.22pm BST

20 min: An Arsenal free-kick is cleared. Red Star take the opportunity to launch another lightning counterattack. They’re not shy to do so when it opens up for them. Boakye again causes problems, forcing Maitland-Niles into a mistake on the right, before the ball rolls to Srnic for a scuffed shot that dribbles wide.

6.18pm BST

17 min: The dangerous Boakye sprints away from Holding again. Holding does better this time, though, holding the striker up. The ball comes to Kanga, who is short of ideas.

6.17pm BST

16 min: Radonjic shoots harmlessly wide from 25 yards. Cech wasn’t worried.

6.17pm BST

15 min: Wilshere chips the ball to the far post. Giroud and Debuchy both go for it, but neither can make proper contact. The ball drops to the floor and bounces off a few bodies. Red Star are all over the place. Eventually the ball runs to Walcott, eight yards out, but his goalbound shot is saved by the feet of Borjan and Red Star hack clear!

6.15pm BST

14 min: Donald clatters into Giroud around 30 yards from goal and gives away a free-kick. Giroud looks miffed. He always does when he gets hit. Eventually he clambers back to his feet and leaves the ball to Wilshere, who’ll look to send this into the Red Star area.

6.14pm BST

13 min: A long ball over the top catches out Holding, who lets it drift through to Boakye on the right. He swivels on the byline, leaving Holding on his backside, but his cutback is rushed. That was shaky defending from Arsenal, though, their offside trap chaotically laid.

6.13pm BST

12 min: Red Star pour forward after clearing that Arsenal corner. This is an entertainingly open game. They win their first corner over on the left. The delivery’s poor, though.

6.12pm BST

11 min: Arsenal win a corner. Nothing comes from it.

6.12pm BST

10 min: You don’t need to look at the pitch to see when Arsenal have the ball, you just need to listen to the whistles.

6.11pm BST

9 min: After a long spell of Arsenal possession, Red Star stir and break into space down the right. Srnic is away and he slips a pass into the middle for Rodic, but he’s crowded out, Maitland-Niles covering well. Arsenal counter, Giroud, Walcott and Wilshere combining effectively to penetrate the Red Star defence, only for Wilshere to fluff his final pass.

6.07pm BST

7 min: Wilshere schemes again, popping up in between the lines, but this time he’s tackled. The Arsenal midfielder is showing good urgency, though. I probably shouldn’t head down this path, but if he stays fit...

6.06pm BST

5 min: Donald deliberately handles to stop Willock getting away in the middle. Gerard Pique picked up a second booking for scoring with a handball last night, but Donald gets off with a warning. Willock isn’t happy, but play continues. Wilshere cleverly finds Walcott in space on the right of the area, but the forward take a heavy touch and loses the ball.

6.04pm BST

4 min: A back three of Debuchy, Elneny and Holding, though. Wenger always finds new ways to surprise us.

6.04pm BST

3 min: Donald needs some treatment on the side of the pitch. He’s got a sore mouth after appearing to be caught by a stray arm from Coquelin.

6.02pm BST

Peep! We’re off! Arsenal, in black shirts with red trim, get the game underway, a development greeted by searing whistles. The home fans don’t like the visitors having the ball. They’re happier when their heroes win it after 10 seconds or so. This is intense. Frenetic. Red Star want to make a fast start. Arsenal need their wits about them.

5.58pm BST

The teams have walked out into a wall of noise. The stadium’s packed, 55,000 fans packed inside. This is proper. You wouldn’t think it’s a Europa League group game. The Serbian league leaders are bound to be bang up for this!

It's bloody noisy and people are smoking at the football. This is a blast from the past.

5.30pm BST

These sides met in the old Uefa Cup in 1978, back when there was a bit of jeopardy about European football. Red Star came out on top.

5.27pm BST

Red Star have named an attacking line-up. Some were expecting them to be a bit more defensive, but they have pace out wide and a dangerous striker in their side.

Just as against FC Koln and Bate Borisov, Arsenal’s team is experimental. There’s another start for Jack Wilshere, a chance to have another look at Reiss Nelson, Ashley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock and a first opportunity for Mathieu Debuchy in more than a year. I’d forgotten he existed.

5.13pm BST

Red Star Belgrade: Borjan; Stojkovic, Le Tallec, Savic, Rodic; Krsticic, Donald; Srnic, Kanga, Radonjic; Boakye. Subs: Supic, Milijas, Racic, Adzic, Babic, Pesic, Gobjelic.

Arsenal: Cech; Debuchy, Holding, Elneny; Nelson, Willock, Coquelin, Maitland-Niles; Walcott, Giroud, Wilshere. Subs: Osei-Tutu, Akpom, Da Silva, Macey, McGuane, Nketiah, Sheaf.

10.28am BST

Hello. What have Red Star Belgrade got that Arsenal don’t have? A European Cup. That’s right, kids, they were quite the force back in the day. But those were different times, probably never to be repeated. At least they have the memories of that European Cup win in 1991, though. What Arsenal would give to experience something like that under Arsene Wenger in Europe. Let’s face it, there’s more chance of Jose Mourinho flirting with Red Star than of Wenger winning the Champions League, but it could be a different story in the Europa League.

Like their opponents here, Arsenal are coming to terms with some of their old lustre, but they are having fun in Europe’s second tier competition. They’ve started well in Group H, seeing off the invasion of FC Koln in their opener and winning handsomely away to Bate Borisov last time out, and they could go five points clear of their opponents this evening. They’ll want to watch out, mind you. Wenger’s reserves are likely to encounter a fearsome atmosphere at the Marakana, they’ve already struggled a few times away from home this season and, most worrying of all, Troy Deeney reckons they don’t have any cojones. Deeney even pronounced it like a Spaniard, so he definitely knew what he was on about.

Continue reading...

• Arsenal v Liverpool switched by Sky to evening of Friday 22 December• Tottenham travel to Burnley for 5.30pm game on 23 December

The Premier League fixture between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium will not be moved to Christmas Eve after a backlash from supporters against the Sky TV-driven proposal.

Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year and Sky had wanted to schedule the game that night. Instead, it has moved the match to the evening of Friday 22 December with no games on Christmas Eve.

Related: Jack Wilshere backs Arsenal to bounce back in Red Star Belgrade cauldron

Continue reading...

• Midfielder defends team-mates after ‘unjustified’ Troy Deeney criticisms• Debuchy set to return to depleted Arsenal defence for Europa League match

Jack Wilshere leapt to the defence of his Arsenal team-mates whose temperament was savaged by Troy Deeney in the aftermath of the defeat at Watford last weekend. “As a player if your attitude is questioned it’s horrible,” Wilshere said. “I don’t think the comments were justified.

“When we look back at what we did wrong I don’t think you can question our character. We will move on. We have a game tomorrow and another big one Sunday [at Everton] and the players can bounce back, we’ve see them do it. As players we haven’t spoken about it. I’m sure individually players are disappointed but comments are part of the modern-day game and we have to deal with that.”

Related: Raheem Sterling: I didn’t think for one minute about joining Arsenal

Related: ‘Smell of blood’ after Mesut Özil’s entry stirs Watford to victory | Simon Burnton

Continue reading...

• Manchester City forward ‘didn’t believe a word’ of transfer rumour in August• Sterling is joint top-scorer for Premier League leaders with seven goals

Raheem Sterling has stated he did not “think one minute” about Arsenal’s wish to buy him in the summer, when he learned of the club’s interest.

The forward was wanted by the Gunners as part of a deal that would have taken Alexis Sánchez to Manchester City. However Pep Guardiola did not contemplate allowing the 22-year-old to leave and Sterling has rewarded the manager’s faith by scoring six in the Premier League, seven in all competitions.

Related: Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Continue reading...

Next Fixture

League Table


Gunner Tweets