Arsenal's Walcott: I gave up hat trick chance to let Giroud score 100th goal

Theo Walcott says he gave up the chance for a hat trick to let Olivier Giroud score his 100th Arsenal goal from the penalty spot in Thursday's 4-2 win over BATE Borisov in the Europa League.

Walcott netted the first two goals as the Gunners raced out to a 3-0 lead after just 25 minutes, and Giroud killed the game off from the spot after Shkodran Mustafi had his shirt pulled in the area.

It was the French striker's 100th Arsenal goal in his 238th appearance, making him the 19th Gunner to reach the milestone. Walcott had previously left Giroud frustrated on a couple of occasions by going for shots himself instead of laying the ball off to his teammate. But when the penalty came, he said he was happy to step aside.

"Obviously there was a chance for me to take a penalty, but knowing that Olivier was on 99 goals, I felt like it's a great moment in his career to get 100 goals for Arsenal," Walcott told BT Sport.

"I've achieved that myself and I know the feeling, it's brilliant. So that's why he took the penalty. Yeah, there were chances, but you can't be too selfish."

It was Arsenal's second straight Europa League group-stage win, putting them top of Group H. It wasn't quite as comfortable as it should have been, though, as Mirko Ivanic and Mikhail Gordeychuk pulled goals back after more sloppy defending from the Gunners.

"We pressed well, we attacked very well as a unit. Especially for the first 60 minutes, we were very steady. Obviously we're disappointed with the goals we conceded," Walcott said.

"With the structure we play, we don't want to be conceding sloppy goals like we did. But on the other hand, when you score four goals away from home you're always likely to win games, so we're pleased with that."