Arsenal 1-0 Zurich: Gunners top Group A after Tierney's sumptuous strike

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Kieran Tierney's excellent strike was enough to see Arsenal seal top spot in Europa League Group A after a 1-0 home victory over Zurich on Thursday.

Mikel Arteta's side disappointed in their last European outing with a 2-0 loss at PSV but responded with a much-improved performance to ensure they bypassed the competition's knockout-round play-offs.

Tierney scored what proved to be the winner with a thumping first-half effort at Emirates Stadium, where Adria Guerrero saw a second-half equaliser disallowed in an otherwise dominant Arsenal showing.

Arsenal will avoid the likes of Barcelona and Juventus in Monday's draw after topping the group, in which PSV came second, while Bo Henriksen's side were eliminated from Europe after finishing bottom.

Zurich were without a win in five away matches against English sides in Europe but started in encouraging fashion with Lindrit Kamberi blasting a presentable opening off target.

Arsenal struck first after 17 minutes, though, as Tierney latched onto a loose ball to fire a left-footed half-volley from outside the area into the bottom-right corner.

Yanick Brecher denied Eddie Nketiah's header from Fabio Vieira's corner as Arsenal attempted to capitalise on the impetus from Tierney's opener.

Gabriel Jesus inexplicably smashed over after the interval before Guerrero finished past Aaron Ramsdale on the rebound, only to see the offside flag deny him an equaliser and Zurich a share of the points.

What does it mean? European home comforts continue for in-form Arsenal

Premier League leaders Arsenal have made their north London home ground somewhat of a fortress in domestic outings, and the same can be said for their performances in Europe.

The Gunners have lost just one of their last 20 group games at home in major European competition, winning six such matches in a row, as their blistering start to the season continued.

While tougher tasks will follow at Chelsea on Sunday and in the latter stages of the Europa League's knockout rounds, Arteta's side continue to impress both domestically and on the continent.

Vivacious Vieira

Vieira has had to wait patiently for his chance at Arsenal after his move from Porto in the last transfer window, but proved his worth with an excellent performance here.

The 22-year-old, usually a deputy to Martin Odegaard, appeared to be everywhere on the pitch as he created a game-leading four chances in an encouraging attacking display.

Under-par Rohner

Fabian Rohner endured a game to forget up against the astute defensive pairing of Rob Holding and Gabriel Magalhaes.

The Zurich striker managed just eight touches and one successful pass – both lows among starters before his half-time removal – and won just one of his three duels.

Key Opta facts

- Arsenal have won all nine of their home games in all competitions this season, their longest such run at the start of a campaign since 2009-10 (11).

- Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in all three of their home group stage games in a single European campaign for the first time since the 2008-09 Champions League.

- Zurich have lost all six of their away games against English sides in all European competition.

- Arsenal have finished top of their group in all five of their participations in the Europa League, with no side winning a group more often since the rebrand of the competition in 2009-10 (Salzburg also five).

- Kieran Tierney scored his third goal in the Europa League (two for Arsenal, one for Celtic), with only Kris Commons (six) netting more among Scottish players in the competition since 2009-10.

What's next?

Arsenal head to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in a crunch Premier League clash, while Zurich visit Lugano in the Swiss Super League on Sunday.