Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners against Norwegian outfit Molde on Thursday evening, qualifying for the last 32 of the Europa League in the process.
The north London side were lively from the outset, with Reiss Nelson and Nicolas Pepe looking threatening, though Mikel Arteta’s men spurned a number of chances in the first half and lacked the killer instinct.
The Gunners’ intensity improved after the break and they made the breakthrough with Pepe’s fine effort. Nelson was rewarded not long after as he got his name on the scoresheet after being set up nicely by Joe Willock, who claimed his second assist of the game.
Substitute Folarin Balogun turned and finished only minutes after coming on, helping to seal a deserved 3-0 win for Arsenal.
Here are your player ratings for Arteta’s side.
Runar Runarsson (GK) – 6/10 – Showed his inexperience at times throughout the match and rushed out of his goal. Also passed the ball to under pressure teammates on the edge of his own box.
Cedric Soares (RB) – 7/10 –
Got forward well and tried his best to feed Pepe wherever possible. Wasn’t really tested defensively and will be glad to get the minutes under his belt.
Shkodran Mustafi (CB) – 6/10 –
Looked comfortable next to Luiz and later Rob Holding. He continuously organised those around him and showed his leadership after both Luiz and Xhaka were substituted.
David Luiz (CB) – 6/10 –
There was nothing Luiz could do to stop the ball hitting his arm from a Molde corner and appeals were rightly waved away. Took a blow to the head and was substituted at half time.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (LB) – 6/10 –
Played out of his usual position for most of the game before moving into midfield late into the second half. He was unlucky not to score early on as his cross-turned-shot was tipped over the bar. Got forward wherever possible and linked up well with the lively Reiss Nelson.
Joe Willock (CM) – 8/10 – His cute left-footed cross was on a plate for Pepe and helped give his side a deserved lead. Willock once again teed up a teammate with an inch perfect pass right into Nelson’s feet on the edge of the six-yard box.
Granit Xhaka (CM) – 7/10 –
Showed aggression in midfield and put himself about winning the ball back for his team. Made an important block in the first half and tried to get his side on the front foot wherever possible.