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Red Star Belgrade 0-1 Arsenal: 3 Gunners talking points

Friday 20th October 2017
As the UEFA Europa League entered its third game week, Arsenal made an interesting trip to the Serbian capital. But despite the enormity of the fixture, Arsene Wenger treated it like a Carabao Cup encounter, deploying a weakened side. 

In the end, it was a Wenger regular who delivered all three points against Red Star Belgrade. Olivier Giroud's beautiful overhead kick in the 85th minute means the Gunners stay top of Group H, with maximum points from their opening three games.
Here are three talking points from Arsenal's 1-0 win over Red Star Belgrade.

Is Jack Wilshere back?

It is the first occasion for a long time that the Arsenal faithful have witnessed Jack Wilshere play consistently. In this season's Europa League, he has started all three games, dominating each contest. The Englishman has averaged 68 touches per match while maintaining an impressive 85% pass accuracy.
Against Red Star Belgrade, the 25-year-old took his performance level to new heights. Stunningly, he completed five successful take-ons, created two chances, made 30 accurate passes and wasn't dribbled past all game. The Gunners fans are now waiting for Wilshere to translate that form to the Premier League. Arsenal is currently missing the midfielder's unrivalled close control, vision and ability to effortlessly dribble through the opposition.

Wilshere has certainly given his manager a selection dilemma ahead of Sunday's trip to Goodison Park.

Theo Walcott disaster class

Why doesn't Theo Walcott start regularly in the Premier League? If a reminder was needed, Thursday night provided it. Against a team clearly deprived of quality, the winger failed to make any meaningful contribution. He was often in no man's land between centre-back and left-back. Walcott was supposed to help create two v one overloads, but he failed. Instead, Reiss Nelson provided Arsenal's width on the right-hand side.
Throughout the 90 minutes, Walcott only mustered two shots on target. He also misplaced six passes and was dispossessed once. If the England international can't produce the goods against a Serbian team, then he has no chance of making an impact on the Premier League.

Reiss Nelson impresses once again

The 17-year-old has been the name on every Arsenal fan's lips since his debut in the Emirates Cup last July. He exuberates skill, flair and direct play. Consequently, Wenger has entrusted Reiss Nelson with a regular spot in matchday squads. Although the youngster isn't meant to play as a right wing-back, he's excelled in that position up to now.
In his latest performance, Nelson completed five successful take-ons, attempted two shots, made 68 passes and had 88% pass accuracy. He impressed on the right flank, tirelessly running at Milan Rodic all game. The Belgrade full-back's constant torture led to his sending off in the 80th minute. If Nelson's excellent performances continue, he will prove a fine replacement for Alexis Sanchez in Arsenal's future attacking line.
Mathaeus Abuwa

Arsenal fan with ample amounts of passion for both Cristiano Ronaldo & Real Madrid. I'm one of those bandwagonist hipster fans that will claim to know everything about football, but only watches the El Clasico outside of the Premier League. Forgive me, I'm trying. Oh yeah, #WengerOut. 

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