Search

Arsenal 6-0 BATE Borisov: Emphatic Europa League rout – but questions need to be asked about official attendance figures

PUBLISHED: 21:54 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 22:45 07 December 2017

Arsenal team group. Top Row (left to right) Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, David Ospina, Mohamed Elneny, Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck. Bottom Row (left to right) Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Francis Coquelin, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Mathieu Debuchy during the UEFA Europa League, Group H match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

Arsenal team group. Top Row (left to right) Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, David Ospina, Mohamed Elneny, Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck. Bottom Row (left to right) Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Francis Coquelin, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Mathieu Debuchy during the UEFA Europa League, Group H match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal beat BATE Borisov 6-0 in the Europa League at the Emirates on Thursday.

Arsenal's Mathieu Debuchy (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team mates Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (left), Arsenal's Theo Walcott (right) and Arsenal's Francis Coquelin (second right)Arsenal's Mathieu Debuchy (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team mates Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (left), Arsenal's Theo Walcott (right) and Arsenal's Francis Coquelin (second right)

First half goals from Mathieu Debuchy, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere put the Gunners 3-0 up at the break before Walcott squared for Evgeni Berezkin to slot past his own keeper to make it 4-0. Olivier Giroud then made it 5-0 after being made to re-take his penalty before Mohamed Elneny made it 6-0.

It was a good result on a cold North London evening before Christmas when you could have expected a few fans to swerve the match and stay in the convivial surroundings of a warm pub, take part in Christmas shopping or simply stay at home.

The few hundred Borisov fans who made the trip - or who were expats in London attending the match - also deserve credit for making the effort, along with those hardy souls in the home areas who used their season tickets.

But the real talking point was the fact Arsenal Football Club announced the official attendance as 54,648.

Arsenal's Mathieu Debuchy (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team mates Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (left), Arsenal's Theo Walcott (right) and Arsenal's Francis Coquelin (second right)Arsenal's Mathieu Debuchy (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team mates Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (left), Arsenal's Theo Walcott (right) and Arsenal's Francis Coquelin (second right)

Because judging by the huge swathes of empty seats there were fewer than half that number.

If Arsenal are to have any credibility when it comes to the importance of announcing attendances then they have to start confirming the numbers of supporters present at the stadium.

Otherwise, as social media confirmed once the figure was released, this proud club will be subject to mockery and derision on a huge scale – because this correspondent has seen bigger crowds at the Emirates for FA Youth Cup matches.

As it was those present did enjoy Debuchy’s cleanly-struck right-footed opener in the 11th minute which flew across BATE goalkeeper Denis Scherbitski – which was his first for the club since scoring against Liverpool three years ago. The goal was also the club’s 100th of 2017.

Arsenal's Mathieu Debuchy celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Europa League, Group H match at the Emirates Stadium, London.Arsenal's Mathieu Debuchy celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Europa League, Group H match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

Despite constant Arsenal pressure the second did not come until eight minutes before half-time through Theo Walcott after he slotted home after a driving run into the box from Danny Welbeck.

Wilshere then made it 3-0 with a neat turn and powerful shot inside the box after linking well with Walcott two minutes before the break.

Arsene Wenger’s men were relentless after the interval with the fourth arriving when Walcott powered down the right flank before squaring the ball into the box. Unfortunately for Borisov Berezkin made a strong connection to send it past his keeper for an own goal and 4-0 – making it two assists and a goal for Walcott.

Giroud then retook his 64th minute penalty to make it 5-0 before Mohamed Elneny struck a curling shot to make it 6-0.

Matchday programmes on sale outside the stadium ahead of the UEFA Europa League, Group H match at the Emirates Stadium, London.Matchday programmes on sale outside the stadium ahead of the UEFA Europa League, Group H match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

It was a good night for those who made the effort to attend. For those who didn’t who cold perhaps understand their reluctance to come along.

But what you can’t understand is Arsenal’s stubborn insistence is basing their official attendance figures on tickets sold rather than those through the turnstiles – because it makes a mockery of this proud club when fewer than half the sanitised figure actually make it to N5.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Premier League: Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2

Yesterday, 12:59

Emile Smith-Rowe has been speaking exclusively to the Islington Gazette newspaper after he made his Arsenal debut at the Emirates against Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League on Thursday. Read on for what he told Layth Yousif.

Fri, 18:11

Middlesex captain Dawid Malan was pleased to see his side complete their 117-run win over Derbyshire at Lord’s on Friday.

Fri, 16:26

Tim Murtagh finished with 4-55 as Middlesex ran through the Derbyshire batting to secure a 117-run victory in their final home County Championship match of the season at Lord’s.

Fri, 15:49

Arsenal boss Unai Emery wants to draw fans back to the Emirates for Europa League matches after a low turnout for the Gunners’ 4-2 victory over FC Vorskla Poltava.

Fri, 15:03

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has hailed midfielder Lucas Torreira after the Gunners’ 4-2 Europa League victory over FC Vorskla Poltava.

Fri, 15:00

Members of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust have helped raise £75,000 for Prostate Cancer UK over the last three years

Fri, 15:00

England lock impressed for Sarries in victory at Northampton Saints last weekend

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now