MX23RW : Thursday, July 16 17:52:00| >> :60:645:645:

Result: Arsenal breeze past Vorskla Poltava in Europa League opener

Arsenal beat Vorskla Poltava 4-2 at the Emirates Stadium to pick up all three points in their opening Europa League group-stage fixture.

Arsenal have opened up their Europa League account under Unai Emery with a resounding 4-2 win against Ukrainian unknowns Vorskla Poltava at the Emirates Stadium this evening.

The Gunners recovered from a slow start with a ruthless display in the second half, getting the job done through a couple of goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and one apiece for Danny Welbeck and Mesut Ozil.

Three-time winner of the competition Emery once again saw his side fail to keep a clean sheet, however, as Volodymyr Chesnakov and Vyacheslav Sharpar bagged consolation goals for the Green-Whites in what is their second ever appearance in a major European competition.

Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring Arsenal's fourth goal against Vorskla Poltava in their Europa League tie on September 20, 2018© Reuters

Vorskla, third-placed finishers in Ukraine last season, had scored just three goals in their last seven competitive away outings and were more than happy to sit deep for large parts here.

The home side were not exactly taking advantage of their high possession count, though, as they became a little too reliant on full debutant Lucas Torreira to create openings from his deep starting position.

Alex Iwobi's wayward shot 29 minutes in was their only attempt of any note in the opening half-hour, in fact, as an Arsenal side showing eight changes from their most recent outing struggled to get going.

The breakthrough moment would arrive shortly after, however, and it all came from a rare Vorskla voyage forward into the opposition half.

After pouncing on a loose pass on the edge of his own box, Henrikh Mkhitaryan fed Iwobi on the left and the Nigerian winger crossed for an unmarked Aubameyang to tuck past Bogdan Shust.

Unai Emery gestures with two fingers during the Europa League group game between Arsenal and Vorskla Poltava on September 20, 2018© Reuters

That goal made Aubameyang the first Arsenal player to score more than once in all competitions this season, but the Gunners did not exactly build on the lead.

Not until the final minute of the half did they register their next attempts, with Aubameyang grazing the post with his long-range curler and Mkhitaryan being denied by Shust from inside the area.

Arsenal managed to push on from that strong finish to the first half, taking just a few minutes of the second period to double their tally for the night.

A clipped Mkhitaryan cross from the left was guided past Shust by the head of Welbeck, giving last season's beaten semi-finalists some breathing space and a chance to flex their muscles.

Welbeck could have had a second 90 seconds later, only to send Aubameyang's pass wide of the post when under pressure, and the Gabonese striker volleyed over the bar from a glorious position moments later.

Arsenal did not have to wait long for the killer third to arrive, though, with Aubameyang this time picking out the bottom corner after pouncing on his own misplaced pass just outside the opposition box.

Vyacheslav Sharpar and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in action during the Europa League group game between Arsenal and Vorskla Poltava on September 20, 2018© Reuters

Mkhitaryan miscued his shot as Arsenal, without a home defeat on matchday one in European competition since 2003, closed in on a fourth goal.

The next 20 minutes saw the Green-Whites venture forward more regularly in search of a consolation, but Arsenal were always the more likely to bag the game's next goal and it duly arrived before full time.

Stephan Lichtsteiner lifted the ball over Shust towards the back post, where substitute Ozil was waiting to help it past a couple of defenders on the line with the underside of his boot.

Arsenal could not keep the opposition out, however, as Chesnakov thumped the ball past debutant Bernd Leno after the hosts failed to clear their lines from a corner.

Sharpar then pulled back a second for Vasyl Sachko's men from the final kick of the match, sending the ball high into Leno's net from right on the edge of the area with an equally-as-emphatic finish.

ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Leno; Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Holding, Monreal; Elneny, Torreira (Guendouzi 57'); Welbeck, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi (Smith Rowe 70'); Aubameyang (Ozil 57')

VORSKLA POLTAVA (4-4-1-1): Shust; Perduta, Chesnakov, Dallku, Artur; Kobakhidze (Sergiychuk 77'), Sharpar, Kravchenko (Sklyar 70'), Rebenok; Kolomoets; Kulach (Careca 75')

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring for Arsenal in the Europa League on April 12, 2018
Read Next:
How Arsenal could line up against Vorskla
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
2Manchester CityMan City36243993355875
4Leicester CityLeicester361881066363062
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd351611861352659
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves361414849381156
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs3615101157461155
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd361412103834454
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle361110153755-1843
14Crystal Palace35119153045-1542
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton35812153652-1636
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham3597194459-1534
19Aston Villa3687213865-2731
20Norwich CityNorwich3656252668-4221

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!