Arsenal 0, Red Star Belgrade 0: Gunners clinch place in Europa League last 32 despite being held to goalless draw at home

 
Frank Dalleres
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Arsenal endured a frustrating evening against Red Star Belgrade (Source: Getty)

Arsenal 0, Red Star Belgrade 0

Arsenal guaranteed their progress to the knockout rounds of the Europa League with two games to spare despite being held to a goalless draw at home to Red Star Belgrade.

Midfielder Jack Wilshere went closest to continuing the Gunners’ 100 per cent record in Group H but, having beaten goalkeeper Milan Borjan, his second-half effort was hooked away by defender Damien Le Tallec.

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The Serbian visitors enjoyed the better chances, Vujadin Savic forcing Matt Macey to tip his header onto the crossbar and striker Richmond Boakye twice blazing wide with only the third-choice Arsenal stopper to beat.

A draw kept Arsene Wenger’s second-string team, which featured 10 changes from Saturday’s win over Swansea, top of the group and they can secure first place with one more point.

“That was the plan before we started this group – we knew we had the quality and we wanted to get out of it as soon as possible,” said Wilshere.

“Of course we wanted to win the game tonight, but if you can’t win the game don’t lose it. We’re not delighted with the point but we’ll take it.”

Wilshere has been left out of the latest England squad despite his return to fitness but, following another energetic display, said he felt he was approaching his best form again.

“I feel good. I’m trying to get in the team. It’s difficult here, there are good players. I understand that,” he added.

“I’m doing all I can in training and when I get the chance I’m trying to impress. But I’m happy with where I am. There’s a little bit more to come from me but I’m enjoying my football and being back in an Arsenal shirt.”

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