Belfast Telegraph

Giroud's Arsenal ton was more important than my hat-trick, says selfless Walcott

 

By Robert Jones

Theo Walcott gave up the chance of a hat-trick in Arsenal's 4-2 Europa League win at BATE Borisov in order to allow Olivier Giroud to score his 100th goal for the club.

Walcott had bagged twice in the opening 22 minutes, with Rob Holding also netting early on, to put the Gunners in command in Belarus, but allowed Giroud to take a second-half penalty.

The Frenchman coolly converted to reach a century of goals, and the England international said that was more important than a treble.

"As a forward you want to score as many goals as you can, there was a chance for me to take the penalty but Olivier was on 99 goals," he said.

"It's a great moment in his career to get 100 goals for Arsenal, I have achieved that and I know the feeling and it is brilliant.

"That is why he took the penalty. I can't be too selfish."

Everton's winless start to their Europa League campaign continued when 10-man Apollon Limassol earned a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park.

Defender Hector Yuste netted with just two minutes to go to stun the Toffees and goalscorer Wayne Rooney said: "The goals were sloppy. It's a point but it should be three."

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