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Europe's football governing body, UEFA has announced that Arsenal's Europa League tie in Ukraine will go ahead on Thursday as planned.

"They need to take minutes in matches like today".

Ukraine parliament voted to introduce 30 days of martial law across 10 of its regions, in effect from Wednesday, but Poltava was not one of them with the fixture now set to be held about 200 miles away from its originally scheduled venue. UEFA will be sending senior security experts to Ukraine to further assess the situation and the potential impact on security for upcoming UEFA matches.

Press Association Sport understands a small group of Arsenal support staff were also already in Poltava before UEFA's decision, while the plane carrying the team to Kiev had technical difficulties which meant their pre-match press conference was delayed by 90 minutes.

Londoners Chelsea and Arsenal both enjoyed high-scoring Europa League soccer wins on Thursday night as Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers were left with work to do on the final matchday to qualify for the next stage.

After his late arrival, Arsenal head coach Unai Emery took his seat to address the media in the bowels of the stadium as it was being hastily prepared to host the game. Manager Vasyl Sachko is disappointed that the game has been moved to the Kiev but has called on his side to use the whole saga as extra motivation to cause a huge upset tomorrow night.

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"First, we need to respect UEFA's decision because I think it's not easy for Vorskla", he said.

But UEFA are adamant that the decision to play the match in Kiev is final, with Arsenal now flying direct to the Ukrainian capital after abandoning plans to travel to Kharkiv and then take a 100-mile bus trip to Poltava.

"It influenced the mental condition of the players very much because only in 24 hours everything had changed". It is clear they are playing in Ukraine, not in their town, but here in Kiev they can also move their supporters.

"The main target was to win, we needed a strong team reaction and we did it well tonight", said the World Cup victor Giroud.

"We only want to play the match, to win and to show every supporter that we can do well".


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