MX23RW : Saturday, December 5 05:32:48| >> :120:15874:15874:

Result: Arsenal secure Europa League progress with impressive victory at Molde

Result: Arsenal secure Europa League progress with impressive victory at Molde
© Reuters
Nicolas Pepe went some way towards redeeming himself for his headbutt against Leeds with a goal against Molde.

Nicolas Pepe showed the positive side of his game as he bounced back by scoring the opener to help Arsenal win in Molde and secure qualification to the Europa League knockout stages.

The Ivory Coast winger kept his place in Arsenal’s side despite being criticised by manager Mikel Arteta following his red card in the goalless draw at Leeds on Sunday.

Fast-forward four days and the club-record signing made amends by shining as the Gunners won 3-0 in Norway with teenage forward Folarin Balogun grabbing his first senior goal after Reiss Nelson had doubled the lead.

Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson made it 2-0 after Nicolas Pepe's opener
Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson made it 2-0 after Nicolas Pepe’s opener (Svein Ove Ekornesvag/AP)

The result means Arsenal are through to the round of 32 and can assure themselves top spot in Group B with a positive result at home to Rapid Vienna next week – a game which will see 2,000 supporters return to the Emirates Stadium for the first time in nine months.

Nelson had a decent early chance only to see his strike well saved but it was the hosts who were then scratching their heads as to how they passed up a fine opportunity to take the lead.

Defender Sheriff Sinyan only needed to turn in a cross when free at the back post but managed to divert it across goal and into the grateful hands of Alex Runarsson.

Pepe had looked lively from the off and fired wide after running at the Molde defence as the sides went in level at the interval.

Arsenal lost David Luiz to injury at the break, the Brazilian replaced in defence by Rob Holding – but it was at the other end of the pitch were Arsenal looked much sharper.

David Luiz suffered an injury in Norway
David Luiz suffered an injury in Norway (Svein Ove Ekornesvag/AP)

A superb Pepe strike cannoned back off the crossbar as the Gunners came closer and closer to taking the lead.

Moments later the 25-year-old opened the scoring, controlling a cross at the back post and curling a strike out of the reach of Andreas Linde.

Eddie Nketiah then bundled in from close range but was flagged offside before Nelson popped up six yards out to steer home Joe Willock’s cross and put Arsenal further clear.

Arteta rotated his pack by introducing Kieran Tierney and Emile Smith Rowe off the bench, giving Willock and the ineffectual Alexandre Lacazette a rest.

Cedric Soares goes down under pressure from the Molde midfield
Cedric Soares goes down under pressure from the Molde midfield (Svein Ove Ekornesvag/AP)

But it was Molde substitute Mathis Bolly who almost halved the deficit at the other end, bending a fine effort inches over the bar with Runarsson seemingly beaten.

The win would be wrapped up by Balogun, the 19-year-old scoring his first Arsenal goal just 37 seconds into his second senior appearance as Linde failed to deal with his strike from Smith Rowe’s pass.

The goal was the cherry on the cake for Arsenal, who have made it through to the knockout rounds of the Europa League for the fourth season in a row.

ID:423921:cQx
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Championship
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
League One
League Two
National League
National League North
National League South
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Danish Superliga
NIFL Premiership
Welsh Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
Ligue 2
Eerste Divisie
Brasileiro
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
J1 League
Women's Super League
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Tottenham HotspurSpurs106312191221
2Liverpool106312217521
3Chelsea1054122101219
4Leicester CityLeicester106041914518
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham105231711617
6Southampton105231916317
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves105231111017
8Everton105141917216
9Manchester UnitedMan Utd95131616016
10Aston Villa95042013715
11Manchester CityMan City94321511415
12Leeds UnitedLeeds104241517-214
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle104241215-314
14Arsenal104151012-213
15Crystal Palace104151215-313
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton102441416-210
17Fulham102171119-87
18West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom10136718-116
19Burnley9126417-135
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd10019416-121

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!