A 0-0 draw at home against Red Star Belgrade is a disappointing result, but it was enough to ensure we reached the knockout stages of the Europa League. Chances fell for both sides, but our fans who made the trip to The Emirates were unable to cheer any goals.

Eleven changes followed our win over Swansea in the Premier League, and they were all expected.

Matt Macey made his second start for the club, with Mathieu Debuchy, Mohamed Elneny and Rob Holding taking the defensive spots again. Reiss Nelson and Ainslie Maitland-Niles seem to have the Europa League wing-back spots sewn up, and Francis Coquelin partnered Jo Willock in the centre of midfield.

In fact, it was the exact same lineup that went to Belgrade and won 1-0. They had the beating of them before, so it makes complete sense to name to same lineup again.

Within the first ten minutes we had two chances to open the scoring. Theo Walcott had a shot deflected over the bar and then Giroud’s effort was superbly saved by Red Star’s keeper Borjan. Theo was looking lively and Belgrade were pinned back for long stretches, although they appeared poised to counter.

Around half-hour mark, Belgrade’s repeated attempts to break nearly paid off but Matt Macey pulled off a wonderful save with the ball nearly behind him, tipping the ball onto the bar. Belgrade were starting to threaten and it was half attributed to their counter-attacking and the other half was our wayward play gifting possession.

Richmond Boakye nearly put Belgrade a goal up just before the break too, and we can be thankful for his wayward finishing. The half time whistle blew, and after bossing the majority of the half, ten minutes of lackadaisical play nearly cost us dearly.

Reiss Nelson looked dangerous in flashes at the start of the second half, with only inexperience costing him in end product. We were starting to turn the screw, but we couldn’t find the killer touch. The minutes were dripping away and with BATE winning against Cologne at the time we needed a win to guarantee progression.

Red Star still looked dangerous though. The pattern for this game was eerily similar to the corresponding fixture in Serbia. Jack Wilshere had an effort cleared off the line as the desperation for the points began to open the game up.

The man now known simply as Eddie came on for Jo Willock as we went for the accelerator instead of settling. Red Star weren’t budging though.Then, news of Cologne clawing their game back against BATE and taking the lead. If that score stayed the same, this draw we had would be enough to guarantee a spot in the knockout stages.

We shouldn’t be settling for a draw at home though. Although that was exactly what we got.

There were positives to take however. Our makeshift defence looked firm, Nelson was lively and Jack lasted another 90 minutes.

We still should have won this game regardless of positives and negatives.

We can now take our last two group games a little lighter and perhaps a bit of game time for our lesser-spotted stars.

Next up, we go to The Etihad on Sunday. What a game that will be. It will certainly have another eleven changes too.