Theo Walcott has revealed that he passed up the chance of a Europa League hat-trick so that Arsenal team mate Olivier Giroud could notch his 100th goal for the club.
The Gunners forward bagged a brace in his side's 4-2 away win over BATE Borisov on Thursday, and had the opportunity to take home the match ball by firing home a penalty handed to Arsene Wenger's men in the 49th minute.
However, Walcott opted to allow Giroud to score from 12 yards to bring up his ton of goals for Arsenal and, in quotes published by the Daily Mail, explained why he had done so.
He said: "Being a forward you want to score as many goals as you can. There was a chance for me to take the penalty [and score my hat-trick] but knowing that Olivier was on 99 goals I felt like he should.
"It’s a great moment in his career to get 100 goals for Arsenal, I’ve achieved it myself and I know the feeling.
"It’s brilliant so that was why he took the penalty. There were chances but I can’t be too selfish."
Walcott's two strikes and Giroud's second half penalty were added to by Rob Holding as Arsenal took full control of the group in the Europa League. The north Londoners have six points from a possible six so far on the continent and had to show some mettle in their second group H match as Borisov pressed to reduce the arrears further.
Walcott added that it was a slight concern to see Wenger's charges take their foot off the gas after the hour mark, but admitted it was a good performance overall.
He said: "I felt we pressed well and attacked very well as a unit especially, for 60 minutes we were very steady. We were disappointed with the goal we conceded.
"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 and we were pleased with that."