Arsenal cruise past BATE Borisov to advance in Europa League

Arsenal cruised past Belorussian side BATE Borisov 3-0 in Europa League action on Thursday night to advance to the round of 16.

The win at Emirates stadium ensured a 3-1 aggregate victory for the Gunners, who lost the first leg to the Belorussian side last week. 

Arsenal took the lead inside four minutes when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's right-wing cross was deflected into his own net by defender Zakhar Volkov.

Arsenal had little trouble with BATE Borisov and are now into the round of 16 of the Europa League.

Moments later, BATE almost netted a vital away goal, but Stephan Lichtsteiner was perfectly positioned to clear Stainslav Dragun's shot off the Arsenal line.

Six minutes before half-time, the hosts doubled their lead when Shkodran Mustafi met Granit Xhaka's corner on the run with a powerful header.

Petr Cech was called into action three minutes after half-time when a loose ball fell to Maksim Skavysh, whose low shot was smothered by the Arsenal goalkeeper.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos gave Arsenal extra breathing space in the 61st minute when, minutes after replacing Laurent Koscielny, he headed in a Xhaka corner.

"We wanted this result but also we wanted to play for our supporters here, to improve and build our mentality after the first match away, which was not good. We did our best to come back [in the tie] and the team worked very well," Arsenal boss Unai Emery said of the result.