A review of Thursday’s Europa League action, with both Arsenal and Everton convincing winners.
Arsenal eased to victory in their final Europa League group game, securing the 700th win of Arsene Wenger’s reign as they outclassed BATE Borisov 6-0.
Mathieu Debuchy fired the Gunners in front before Theo Walcott’s close-range finish doubled their advantage.
Then, shortly before the break, Jack Wilshere finally got back on the scoresheet with a thumping left-footed strike to all but seal victory.
It was Wilshere’s first Arsenal goal since May 2015 as he continues his push for a regular starting place and, perhaps, a return to the England fold.
A Denis Polyakov own goal made it four before Olivier Giroud converted from the penalty spot after Walcott had been fouled, albeit at the second attempt after a retake had been ordered.
Mohamed Elneny then scored just his second Arsenal goal to round off an entertaining night for the sparse Emirates crowd, officially registered at 54,648 but thought to be under 30,000.
Also in Group H, Crvena Zvezda sealed second with a 1-0 victory over FC Cologne.
Promise in Everton win
Everton ended an otherwise forgettable Europa League campaign in style with a 3-0 victory at Apollon Limassol.
Ademola Lookman scored a brace in the space of seven minutes midway through the first half before Nikola Vlasic, did exactly that deep into the second half to round off a 3-0 win.
Lookman, who came through at Charlton and was making his 22nd Everton appearance, showed his inexperience when he spurned a great chance in the ninth minute, but made amends in the 21st as he dispatched a header into the roof of the net.
If the opener featured some good play in the build-up, it was nothing compared to the Toffees’ second as every Everton player touched the ball before Mirallas found Lookman inside.
Afforded space and time, he pulled the trigger from distance and his 25-yard attempt was too quick for Kissas.
Vlasic scored the goal which effectively ended the game as he finished below Apollon goalkeeper Tasos Kissas on the break.
The result sees Everton finish Group E in a distant third, 10 points off winners Atalanta after they beat Lyon 1-0, but three victories without conceding provide valuable momentum ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside derby.
More from the Europa League
Marseille sealed safe passage as runners-up in Group I thanks to a goalless draw with group winners Salzburg, with Vitoria and Konyaspor eliminated after a 1-1 draw.
FC Copenhagen edged through from Group F, with Pieros Sotiriou and Michael Luftner on target in a 2-0 win over Moldovan side Sheriff.
Goals from Aleksei Miranchuk and Jefferson Farfan sent Lokomotiv Moscow through via a 2-0 at Zlin, with Zoran Gajic’s red card leaving the hosts hamstrung.
Braga managed to top Group C despite losing 2-1 at Istanbul Basaksehir, Edin Visca and Emre Belozoglu on target for the Turkish hosts and Raul Silva in reply for the visitors.
Ludogorets‘ 1-1 draw at Hoffenheim proved enough to claim second spot, and deny Istanbul Basaksehir a place in the knockout stages.
Philipp Ochs put Hoffenheim ahead, only for Wanderson’s goal just after the hour to ensure Ludogorets’ smooth passage.
Group D winners AC Milan were beaten 2-0 at Rijeka, but the hosts still failed to qualify for the next stage as AEK Athens secured a goalless draw at Austria Vienna.
Jakov Puljic and Mario Gavranovic found the net for Rijeka, but that proved in vain as Greek capital club AEK grabbed the draw they needed to progress.
Astana took second spot in Group A thanks to their 1-0 victory at Slavia Prague, where Marin Anicic struck the winner.
Group winners Villarreal went down 1-0 at Maccabi Tel Aviv, who had Nick Blackman to thank for the winner.
Dynamo Kiev saw off Partizan Belgrade 4-1 in Group B, with both sides having already qualified in advance. Young Boys beat Skenderbeu 2-1.
Plzen clinched first place in Group G with a 2-0 win at Hapoel Beer Sheva, while Steaua Bucharest finished second despite a 2-1 loss to Lugano.
Athletic Bilbao topped Group J by winning 2-0 at Zorya, with Ostersund finishing second thanks to a 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin.
Lazio lost 3-2 at Zulte Waregem but had already won Group K, and Nice lost 1-0 at Vitesse Arnhem but had already sealed the runners-up spot.
Zenit St Petersburg topped Group L with a 3-1 win at Real Sociedad, who had previously sealed second place. Already eliminated pair Vardar and Rosenborg played out a 1-1 draw.