After two days filled with Champions League football, it was up to Arsenal and Everton on Thursday to play their Europa League match. In this post I discuss the results of the English teams in the 2017-18 Europa League group stage round 2.
2017-18 Europa League group stage round 2
The fans of the Gunners don’t like to see their team playing on Thursdays. They are used to play in the Champions League and it hurts them to play in the Europa League. Wenger obviously feels the same and uses this competition to play his youngsters. Players like Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Ashley Maitland-Niles all started in the match against Bate Borisov.
Big teams like Arsenal have one task in the Europa League. Score an early goal and to make sure their opponents lose their believe in a result. This is exactly what Arsenal did. It was 0-3 within 25 minutes minutes thanks to two goals by Theo Walcott and 1 by Rob Holding. Arsenal decided this was enough and the players took their foot of the pedal. Bate Borisov scored 2 goals in the remainder of the match. A penalty by Olivier Giroud was Arsenal’s fourth goal and 2-4 was the final score. Arsenal collected 6 points out of 2 matches and is heading towards the next round.
The start of this match was quite bizarre. It was Apollon Limassol who scored the first goal after 12 minutes. 9 minutes later an Apollon defender played the ball back to his goalkeeper, but he didn’t saw Wayne Rooney was in between him and the keeper. This gave Rooney the perfect opportunity for an empty goal and Rooney scored the equaliser. The second half things went better for Everton when Vlasic scored the 2-1 and a Limassol player got sent off. But in the 88th minute Limassol managed to score the 2-2 and a draw was the final result.