Player ratings: Molde 0-3 Arsenal

Arsenal ran out comfortable 3-0 winners in the second half of our trip to Norway on Thursday evening.

Victory sees us safely progress from the group stage with two games to go and a draw between Rapid Vienna and Dundalk in the late game would confirm us as winners.

Nicolas Pepe finally opened the scoring five minutes after the break and the game was as good as over five minutes later when Reiss Nelson made it 2-0.

Teenage substitute Folarin Balogun added the third late on.

Here are my player ratings from Molde 0-3 Arsenal:

Alex Runarsson 6 – The Icelandic goalkeeper has two clean sheets from his two appearances in the Europa League this season and once again had very little to do.

Cedric Soares 7 – Little to do defensively and got forward a lot. Cedric Soares saw a fair bit of the ball and put a couple of crosses into the box.

Shkodran Mustafi 8 – A rock at the back against weaker opposition this evening.

David Luiz 7 – Comfortable first half before being replaced by Rob Holding at half-time, perhaps with Sunday’s game versus Wolverhampton Wanderers in mind.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles 8 – Won the ball back a few times for us from left-back, produced a save out of the opposition goalkeeper and saw a decent amount of the ball as he bombed forward from defence.

Nicolas Pepe 9 – Broke the deadlock early in the second half in a very productive game down the right. Nicolas Pepe also hit the frame of the goal 90 seconds before, and tested Andreas Linde once more. The Ivorian created a few chances too.

Joe Willock 8 – Assist for both goals whilst he was on the pitch. Didn’t get a chance to do much in the weekend’s 0-0 draw but Joe Willock had a good game in Europe today.

Granit Xhaka 7 – Sensible passing game in the middle of the park. Not a lot to do defensively and didn’t feature greatly in attack.

Reiss Nelson 9 – Scored from close range to put the game away and looked a threat down the left for a lot of the evening. Rarely gave the ball away in a top performance from Reiss Nelson.

Eddie Nketiah 5– Will be disappointed not to get among the goals given the opposition and the number of chances Eddie Nketiah had. The striker had headers inside the six-yard box in both halves.

Alexandre Lacazette 7 – Held the ball up well, brought others into play, created a few chances. A good performance up front from Alexandre Lacazette but rarely tested the goalkeeper himself.


Rob Holding (45 mins) 6 – A direct replacement for David Luiz at the break and didn’t have a lot of work to do.

Dani Ceballos (30 mins) 6 – Never saw a lot of the ball despite coming on shortly after we went two up and had plenty of space to counter attack into.

Kieran Tierney (17 mins) N/A – Surprised to see the left-back on for the final quarter-of-an-hour when he’s going to start versus Wolves this weekend.

Emile Smith Rowe (17 mins) N/A – Late cameo appearance was enough time for Emile Smith Rowe to setup the third goal.

Folarin Balogun (10 mins) N/A – Introduced late on and scored online a few minutes later. The American teenager will be delighted on Thanksgiving Day.