The goals rained in as we rounded off our Europa League group stage in fine style, bringing up Arsène Wenger's 700th win as Arsenal boss in the process.
Emirates Stadium was barely half full for what was essentially a dead rubber against the newly-crowned Belarussian champions. But those who had braved the cold Islington night were rewarded with a six-goal show from the ruthless Gunners.
We had already ensured top spot as we brought our Group H campaign to a close, and as expected the manager made 11 changes from Saturday's lineup. But the boss did spring something of a surprise by reverting to a back four for the first time since April.
Mohamed Elneny saw an early snapshot fizz just wide, but shortly afterwards Debuchy's aim was true, to fire us ahead, and we were in complete control from that point onwards.
Theo Walcott went down in the area, appealing for a penalty, but before the referee could make his decision Debuchy strode onto the loose ball and powered a drive inside the far post. It was the Gunners' 100th goal of 2017, and the Frenchman's first for three years.
We were comfortably running the game, and the second goal looked inevitable. It was the lively Walcott who supplied it. Danny Welbeck was dispossessed after breaking into the box, and Walcott, playing on the right of the front three, was loitering in the right place to tuck home.
Nemanja Milunovic dived in to clear another Walcott effort off the line, and Jack Wilshere saw a 20-yard curler clawed away before Wilshere did thump home the third as the first half drew to a close. He beat his man just inside the area before arrowing his shot past the keeper.
The second half started how the first ended, with the Gunners on the front foot, and the lead soon increased. Walcott raced onto a Wilshere pass on the right wing, centred for Welbeck, but Denis Polyakov got there first and sent the ball past his own keeper.
Olivier Giroud was desperate to get on the scoresheet, and was given the opportunity from the penalty spot when Walcott was brought down in the area. Giroud smashed the ball home not once, but twice, as the referee made him re-take his first effort for encroachment.
Elneny curled home a wonderful sixth goal, latching onto Wilshere's square pass inside the area, and picking out the top corner.
Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock were all introduced in the second half. They, as much as anyone, will be eagerly awaiting the resumption of this competition in February.
HOW IT HAPPENED
What it means
Arsenal had already won the group before this game, but this victory meant we became the first English side to amass 13 points in a debut Europa League campaign.
The draw for the Round of 32 takes place at midday on Monday in Nyon, and we will be drawn against one of the Europa League group runners up, or Dortmund, Napoli, Celtic or Spartak Moscow, who dropped down from the Champions League.
The knock-out stages kick off in February, but it's back to the Premier League on Sunday for a midday kick off away to Southampton.
This was Arsène Wenger's 700th win as Gunners boss, here are some of the stats from the milestone:
- His first win came against Blackburn Rovers, on October 12, 1996. Ian Wright scored twice in a 2-0 victory at Ewood Park.
- The manager with the next most wins for Arsenal is Bertie Mee, with 241.
- The wins have come in the Premier League (466), Champions League (96), FA Cup (78), League Cup (43), Uefa Cup/Europa League (10), Community Shield (7).
- The side he has beaten most often is Everton (31)
- His biggest win is 7-0, recorded three times (against Everton in 2005, Middlesbrough in 2006 and Slavia Prage in 2007)
- The most common winning scoreline is 2-1 (126)
- 216 of the wins came at Emirates Stadium.
- His most wins in a season is 39 in 2001/02
- The 700 wins came from 1,199 games at a rate of 58.4 per cent.
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