Europa League – Giroud earns Arsenal win while Lazio deny Nice

Olivier Giroud struck a late winner against Red Star Belgrade to preserve Arsenal’s unblemished start to their Europa League Group H campaign.

Giroud pounced with a brilliant overhead kick in the 87th minute after Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott combined to set up the chance in Belgrade.

Aleksei Rios scored as BATE Borisov beat Cologne 1-0 in the other game in the group.

Mario Balotelli gave Nice an early lead but it was not enough to prevent Lazio from emerging convincing 3-1 winners at the Stade de Nice in Group K.

Felipe Caicedo equalised almost immediately before Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was on target twice to clinch victory and keep Lazio at the summit of the table ahead of their rivals from France. Zulte-Waregem and Vitesse Arnhem drew 1-1.

Inaki Williams stepped off the bench to secure Athletic Bilbao a 2-2 draw with Ostersund at the Jamtkraft Arena, the Spanish club’s first point of their Group J program. Ostersund, under English coach Graham Potter, remain top despite the deadlock.

Ukraine’s Zorya Luhansk overcame Hertha Berlin 2-1 in Lviv, while Real Sociedad inflicted a record 6-0 home defeat on Macedonia’s Vardar with Willian Jose notching four successive goals in Skopje.

Zenit St Petersburg remain at the top of Group L, however, after Emiliano Rigoni scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 victory over Rosenborg.

Lucas Ocampos and Maxime Lopez were on target as Marseille got their Group I campaign back on track with a 2-1 victory over Vitoria at the Stade Velodrome.

Salzburg’s 2-0 win against Konyaspor in Konya keeps them top of the pool and stretched their unbeaten Europa League run to seven games.

Steaua Bucharest continue to control Group G after dispatching Hapoel Be’er Sheva 2-1 at the Turner Stadium through two goals from substitute Harlem Gnohere, Lugano staying in second place after edging Viktoria Plzen 3-2.

Patrick Twumasi and Junior Kabananga struck two goals each to help Astana to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Maccabi Tel-Aviv at the Astana Arena in Group A.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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