Arsenal 4-2 Vorskla: Gunners in the goals as Europa League kicks off
Photo credit: VAVEL Spain.

Arsenal 4-2 Vorskla: Gunners in the goals as Europa League kicks off

Arsenal's Europa League campaign started with a comfortable win.

Matt Dawson
ArsenalLeno, Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Holding, Monreal, Elneny, Torreira (Guendouzi, min. 57), Mkhitaryan, Iwobi (Smith-Rowe, min. 70), Welbeck, Aubameyang (Ozil, min. 57).
VorsklaShust, Perduta, Dallku, Chesnakov, Batista de Souza, Kravchenko (Sklyar, min. 70), Kobakhidze (Sergiychuk, min. 78), Sharpar, Rebenok, Kulach (Careca, min. 75), Kolomoets.
SCORE1-0, min. 32, Aubameyang, 2-0, min. 48, Welbeck, 3-0, min. 56, Aubameyang, 4-0, min. 74, Ozil, 4-1, min. 77, Chesnakov, 4-2, min. 94, Sharpar.
REFEREEBart Vertenten. Yellow cards: Sharpar (min. 19).
INCIDENTSEuropa League group stage match between Arsenal and Vorskla at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal started their Europa League campaign with a dominant 4-2 win over Ukranian side Vorskla.

Two goals from Pierre Emerick-Aubemeyang and strikes from Danny Welbeck and Mesut Ozil ensured Unai Emery's quest for a fourth Europa League crown got off to a convincing start.

However, the Gunners did concede two late strikes as Volodomyr Chesnakov and Vyacheslav Sharpar netted consolation goals.

Aubameyang nets opener in frustrating start

Arsenal's start, as it has been in most games this season was slow and it took them over half an hour to break the deadlock.

They were able to finally find space in the final third and seized on a loose ball to score from a classic Gunners counter attack. Henrikh Mkhitaryan drove forward and then found Alex Iwobi down the left channel. The Nigerian played a lovely ball across to Aubameyang who found the net with a cool first time finish.

Emery's team had struggled in the opening period of the game and up until the goal they had found it difficult to break down their Ukranian opposition. Lucas Torreira, making his first start for the club, was forced to come deep for the ball whilst not a lot was happening in forward areas.

But with Aubameyang's 32nd-minute strike the Gunners sprung to life and almost doubled their advantage on three separate occasions before half time.

Torreira tried his luck from a free-kick which bounced just wide of the near post whilst Aubameyang was then denied by the woodwork with a brilliant curling effort. Mkhitaryan meanwhile saw a shot beaten away by Vorskla 'keeper Bohdan Shust.

Gunners find their groove

The second half was in stark comparison to the first as Arsenal came flying out of the traps. Within moments of the restart, the Gunners had a second as Welbeck headed home from a lovely ball into the box by Mkhitaryan.

Life was made even tougher shortly after as Aubameyang added his second of a productive evening for the club's record signing.

Mkhitaryan again claimed the assist as he rolled the ball into the Gunners striker before he bent a convincing finish into the back of the net from outside the box.

It could have been a hat-trick for Aubameyang who just before that had volleyed over from Iwobi's cross. The Gabonese international wasn't to claim the match ball, though, as he found himself replaced by Ozil immediately after his second goal.

Arsenal were now in full flow and after the German's introduction he didn't take long to get into the action. He played a nice one-two with Mkhitaryan before the Armenian almost added a fourth.

But it was Ozil who did indeed notch another Arsenal goal. Stephan Lichtsteiner looped a ball towards the back post and Ozil was there for the simplest of finishes as he scored his second in consecutive matches.

Arsenal still without a clean sheet

The Gunners back line were untested for a large majority of the game and despite Sokratis looking imperious both in the air and in the tackle, another two goals being conceded late in the game won't please Emery.

Lichtsteiner failed to sort his feet out on the edge of the box and as a result Vorskla found a consolation goal with just over ten minutes to go. Chesnakov picked up the ball and then hammered it past Bernd Leno who was making his Gunners debut.

It was a fine strike from the Ukranian side's captain as he ensured Arsenal's wait for a first clean sheet of the campaign goes on. With the last kick of the game, Sharpar then found the net via a deflection as he found a second goal for Vorskla.

Those goals, however, were a small negative in what for the most part was a convincing display.

Last term Arsene Wenger used the competition as a chance to showcase the club's youngsters. This year, Emery looks to be taking it rather more seriously, with his first game seeing a strong team selection justified with a comfortable win.