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Live Commentary: Arsenal 3-0 BATE Borisov - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as Arsenal reach the last 16 of the Europa League with a 3-1 aggregate win over BATE Borisov.
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Arsenal have progressed through to the last 16 of the Europa League with a 3-0 win over BATE Borisov on Thursday night.

BATE held a one-goal advantage heading into the second leg, but an own goal from Zakhar Volkov got Arsenal back on level terms as early as the fourth minute.

The Gunners went ahead on aggregate through a Shkodran Mustafi header, before Sokratis Papastathopoulos completed the scoring after the break.

Find out how all of the action unfolded in North London courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.


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Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match in the Europa League between Arsenal and BATE Borisov. The Belarusian champions hold a 1-0 lead heading into the second leg of this last-32 tie, but can the Premier League giants overturn the deficit in order to progress through to the next stage?

The two teams are making their way out at the Emirates Stadium, so let's see who features in each starting lineup...


ARSENAL XI: Cech; Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Guendouzi, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Iwobi; Aubameyang

BATE BORISOV XI: Scherbitski; Ryas, Volkov, Filipenko, Filipovic; Simovic, Dragun, Baga; Stasevich, Milic, Skavysh


KICKOFF:  BATE get us underway!

SHOT!  It's a positive start from the Gunners as Lichtsteiner gets down the right and crosses for Iwobi, but the Nigerian shoots straight at Scherbitski from 12 yards out.

GOAL!  Arsenal 1-0 BATE Borisov (Zakhar Volkov own goal)

BATE Borisov's Zakhar Volkov scores an own goal versus Arsenal in the Europa League on February 21, 2019.© Reuters


Arsenal enjoy the perfect start. Aubameyang gets down the right and although his low cross does not find a teammate, Volkov sends the ball into his own net from around eight yards out.

The home side continue to storm forward in search of more goals, but nothing comes from an Ozil corner. This could get ugly if BATE concede a second.

SHOT!  That second almost arrives via the right boot of Iwobi, who sends a curler from 18 yards just wide of the far post.

CHANCE!  Where was this in the first leg?! Arsenal's attacking is relentless and Mkhitaryan should do a lot better with a first-time effort from 15 yards after being teed up by a teammate. Instead, it goes high over the crossbar.

OFF THE LINE!  Wow - BATE almost equalise! A cross is deflected to the back post where Dragun is waiting, but his half-volley is brilliantly cleared off the line by Lichtsteiner! Cech was beaten.

We need to catch our breath here because both teams are going toe to toe. BATE have realised that they cannot afford to allow Arsenal to net a second early goal and they have decided to meet fire with fire.

Arsenal are certainly living dangerously when they don't have the ball. Remember, if BATE get an away goal, Arsenal will need at least three this evening.

Arsenal hit back and manage to win a corner on the right. Ozil and Mkhitaryan work a short set piece, but it comes to nothing.

We have not seen too much of Aubameyang during the early stages. The Gabon international set up the goal but aside from that, he has barely had a touch. I'm sure that will change.

SHOT!  What a strike this is. Xhaka is provided with some space on the edge of the area, and the Swiss's bullet of a shot is superbly tipped over by Scherbitski.

Arsenal have also got a couple more crosses into the area over the past few minutes, but BATE are just about dealing with the danger.

BATE are taking every chance that they can to have a breather when they have the ball, although they are attacking with purpose when they do decide to go forward.

Even Arsenal are slowing down the tempo a touch. It tells you that both teams put a lot into the opening 15 minutes.

A cross from the left is over-hit but Ozil is able to retrieve the ball. The German opts to send a delicate floated pass back into the area, but BATE defend the situation well.

CHANCE!  Aubameyang is able to collect a Lichtsteiner cross by the penalty spot, but the forward has options. He picks the wrong one, and with a weak shot on the turn being dealt with by Scherbitski.

CHANCE!  The Gabon international does better with this opportunity - a header from 12 yards - but the striker had to generate his own power and the ball went onto the top of the net.

SHOT!  Arsenal go on the offensive once more and after Ozil mis-kicks from an Iwobi cross, the ball ricochets into the path of Xhaka who clears the crossbar from distance.

SHOT!  Lichtsteiner has just attempted a 30-yard volley, although it went closer than you probably think. Still, the effort was never threatening the top corner.

Arsenal put together a neat move from side to side, but Mkhitaryan cannot play the ball into the path of Lichtsteiner and the chance is lost.

CHANCE!  Mkhitaryan does well down the right and gets a cross into the box but the ball is only half-cleared to Ozil, who sends a spectacular volley marginally over the crossbar from around 16 yards out.

GOAL!  Arsenal 2-1 BATE Borisov (Shkodran Mustafi)

Arsenal extend their lead and they now have the advantage in the tie. Xhaka's outswinging corner finds Mustafi all on his own, and the German powers a header into the net from close range.

BATE are only one goal away from regaining the lead on aggregate but a third goal for Arsenal may end this game as a contest. We can no longer have extra time.

Arsenal are going in search of a third as well. Emery is encouraging his players to keep pressing forward and why shouldn't they? BATE look there for the taking.

There will just be one minute of added-on time.

HALF TIME:  Arsenal 2-0 BATE Borisov

The half-time whistle goes at the Emirates Stadium and Arsenal have overturned the first-leg deficit to lead in this tie. A Volkov own goal and a header from Mustafi has put the Gunners in control, but the visitors only require one goal to get back into this.

Chelsea are in action shortly after the conclusion of this game and you can follow that match with us at Sports Mole. If you would like to read our preview ahead of the fixture at Stamford Bridge, you can do so by clicking here.

KICKOFF:  Arsenal get us back underway.

SHOT!  The home side make another bright start after kickoff, but Monreal can do little but volley well wide of the target with his weaker right foot when meeting a cross.

SHOT!  It is Guendouzi's turn to try his luck from distance, but his curling effort goes just wide of the far post. Ozil played a big part in that move with a couple of flicks in the final third.

CHANCE!  Big chance for BATE. The visitors win a battle for the ball in the Arsenal penalty area, but Skavysh can only shoot straight at Cech from 12 yards out.

That opening for BATE has led to a change in approach from Arsenal, who are now being much more cautious on the ball.

CHANCE!  Arsenal then decide to push forward with intent and Iwobi finds himself with time to find the far corner, but his shot is too close to Scherbitski who is able to push the ball out.

SUBSTITUTION! Arsenal are being forced into a change due to an injury to Koscielny. Papastathopoulos is the man to enter the action.

CHANCE!  Iwobi sends a cross to the back post where Mkhitaryan is waiting, but the playmaker can only head wide of the near post. Time for another change...

SUBSTITUTION! BATE make a switch and former Arsenal man Hleb is being introduced for Baga.

GOAL!  Arsenal 3-0 BATE Borisov (Sokratis Papastathopoulos)

Surely this is tie over. An inswinging corner from Xhaka is misjudged by Scherbitski, and Papastathopoulos is able to head into an empty net from around eight yards out.

SUBSTITUTION! Arsenal make another change as Torreira is introduced for Guendouzi.

SUBSTITUTION! BATE also make a second alteration as Dragun is replaced by Berezkin.

Those substitutions have disrupted the flow of the game, but Arsenal and Emery won't care. Expect the Gunners to still push forward for more goals, however.

Those substitutions have disrupted the flow of the game, but Arsenal and Emery won't care. Expect the Gunners to still push forward for more goals, however.

CHANCE!  A fourth goal should arrive when the ball is knocked down for Ozil inside the area, but the playmaker miscues his volley from around 14 yards out.

Arsenal are happy to play at BATE's pace when the visitors have the ball. There is absolutely no need to press the action, especially with a hectic schedule over the next nine or 10 days.

CHANCE!  Mkhitaryan slides the ball through to Aubameyang and the striker should score. However, he instead attempts a dinked finish and the ball rolls wide of the far post.

SUBSTITUTION! BATE make their final change as Dubajic takes the place of Skavysh.

There is also little coming back from BATE when Arsenal have possession. It's fair to say that the result of tie is all but settled.

SHOT!  Arsenal win a free kick around 30 yards from goal and Aubameyamg takes responsibility for the set piece. It is well struck, but a low effort is sent straight at Scherbitski.

SUBSTITUTION! Arsenal make their third and last alteration as Suarez is introduced for Mkhitaryan.

Just the 10 minutes to go now. I will be honest - there is very little happening. Both teams know the score. Arsenal have their place in the last 16.

A big plus point for Arsenal is that Ozil is going to play 90 minutes of football, which has not happened in a while. The German has played well, but it is one thing performing against BATE and another doing it week in week out in the Premier League.

Right now, this is not even being played at the pace of a friendly match. I hope that the referee sees sense and doesn't add much injury time.

Celtic have been playing at the same time as this match, but the Scottish giants are going out. Valencia hold a 3-0 aggregate lead with just minutes to go at the Mestalla.

Many of the home fans are already making for the exits in a bid to beat the rush to the London Underground. It's a wise decision.

There will be two minutes of added-on time.

FULL TIME:  Arsenal 3-0 BATE Borisov

The full-time whistle goes at the Emirates Stadium and Arsenal have breezed into the last 16 with a comfortable 3-0 win. Chelsea are due to start very shortly so that is the end of our coverage for this game.

If you would like to read our on-the-whistle report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now!


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Mesut Ozil in action for Arsenal on January 29, 2019
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