Jack Wilshere scored his first Arsenal goal since May 2015 as Arsene Wenger’s men cruised to a 6-0 win over BATE in their final Europa League group game.
An Arsenal line-up featuring a number of fringe players made light work of their Belarusian opponents, taking the lead after 11 minutes when Mathieu Debuchy ended a three-year goal drought with an accurate finish.
Neither midfielder Wilshere nor forward Walcott have started a Premier League for the Gunners this season, but both found the net as Arsenal rounded off their Group H campaign with a comprehensive victory, BBC reports.
“There is plenty of competition when you play for Arsenal. We are doing our best to give the manager a headache to pick us for the team,” Walcott said.
Wilshere, who scored his first goal since May 2015, added: “All we can do when we get our opportunity is give the manager a headache.”
On the subject of Wilshere, Wenger said: “Jack’s moving forward. He’s sharp, incisive and moving forward. For 70 minutes he was dominant in midfield on the creative side and that’s very good news for us.”
The Gunners had already secured top spot in the penultimate round of matches and went ahead with an angled finish from defender Mathieu Debuchy.
Walcott added Arsenal’s second with a close-range finish and Wilshere then scored a fine goal after he cut on to his left foot inside the penalty area and arrowed the ball into the net.
Bate defender Denis Polyakov put Walcott’s low cross into his own net after half-time before striker Olivier Giroud converted from the penalty spot following Nemanja Milunovic’s trip on Walcott.
Mohamed Elneny added a sixth with a curling effort after being set up by Wilshere.
In the wake of Arsenal’s 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United, this fixture represented a chance for some of Arsenal’s fringe players to impress.
Wenger made 11 changes from the side that lost to United in the Premier League, although the starting line-up still boasted plenty of experience.
Bate had a chance of qualifying for the knockout phase of the competition but did not present much of a test for the Gunners who did not have to exert themselves to secure a routine victory.
In truth the margin of victory probably could have been even greater given Arsenal managed 22 shots on goal.