Arsenal player ratings v Molde – Balogun nets first goal and Nelson shines

Arsenal beat Molde 3-0 to continue their fine goalscoring form in the Europa League this season.

The Gunners have been struggling for goals in the Premier League, but the Europa League proved a happy hunting ground once again for our players, here are the Arsenal player ratings.

Runar Alex Runarsson – 6
Saved well from a 15th-minute attempt, lucky not to concede a goal after missing his clearance when he rushed out.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles -7
Solid at the back and was equally a problem for the hosts when he joined the Arsenal attack.

Cedric Soares – 6
Nothing spectacular, happy to see him get some game time.

David Luiz – 6
He wasn’t made to work hard because Molde struggled to create chances near the Arsenal box.

Shkodran Mustafi – 7
Appears sharp and clearing the ball away when Runarsson spilt it, otherwise, just like Luiz didn’t see too much trouble.

Joe Willock – 8
He is growing in stature and confidence and this will do his first-team chances a world of good. A mature performance capped with an assist.

Granit Xhaka – 7
Mr Reliable was on form in this game, helping to make the Gunners tick.

Nicolas Pepe – 8
The perfect response to his weekend’s red card. Not all his shots are good to watch, but he did hit some delightful ones. Hit the woodwork before getting his goal.

Reiss Nelson – 8
Got the goal that his performance deserved. He was a menace to the opposition defence all through the game.

Eddie Nketiah – 6
Not one of Arsenal’s best-attacking players on the night. Got a goal ruled out for offside.

Alexandre Lacazette – 6
Still doesn’t look like scoring a goal soon, but he did his best on another frustrating evening for the Frenchman.


Rob Holding – 7
Replaced David Luiz at half time and helped the Gunners to remain solid at the back and keep a clean sheet.

Dani Ceballos – 6
Full of running and he didn’t shy away from getting possession of the ball.

Kieran Tierney – 6
Was as solid as can be when he got on and helped the team keep an easy clean sheet.

Smith Rowe – 7
What a way to make a case for yourself to play more. Set up Balogun less than 10 minutes after he entered the pitch.

Folarin Balogun – 7
Will forever remember this night after scoring his first senior goal for the club almost immediately after he was subbed on.

Arsenal player ratings from Ime

Tags arsenal player ratings


  1. IMO its clear that Pepe needs to play slightly more in than out on the line. Tonight he played between CF and wing and worked well!

    Yes it’s not the strongest opposition but Pepe wide on the line is wasted. Guy has a great shot and conversation rate!

  2. Should have mentioned ESR earlier – could he be the player to be the link between our attacking midfield and the attack that is so woefully missing in the PL at the moment?

    I still believe that he can learn from MO, by the way, but as Ime says, a night to remember, along with Balogun.

    AMN also set out his stall – overall great performance…it will be interesting to see the line up and formation against Wolves.

  3. Well done boys. You made us proud. I am happy that kids are proving to be very reliable. In fact, they should get more time on the pitch now that seniors are toothless or shoot blanks. There is one who is really a talent and a half: Balogun. He reminds me of Anelka. He is independent thinker and tough in many ways. We are likely to lose him if he does’nt get games asap. No wonder he scored faster than you can say hullo.

  4. Willock is EL’s top assister right now with 4… on top of his 2 goals.. he’s doing alright 👍 Be great to see that form in the PL now….

      1. Yes they can.
        Any player registered in the under 21 squad are able to play in the PL whether in the 25 man PL squad or not.

  5. Pepe is one of the best striker of the ball that played for Arsenal. He needs to shoot more and shoot often. He reminds me a lot of Arjen Robben.

      1. Sue: Thank you so much. That’s a nice touch. Thanksgiving was great except that dinner was slightly burned because it was forgotten in the oven while watching the game 😁
        Nothing beats winning!

        1. 😂 slighty is ok – at least it was edible, could’ve been much worse!!
          Everything else is forgotten about when we’re performing well and scoring goals (from open play 😜)

  6. Pépé played well but Premier leagues speed and physicality struggles him..
    He has performed well European games because of slow Speed of football and typical continental style of football and low physicality

    1. I think Nketia has been unlucky last few weeks in all fairness.
      With VAR that goal last night wouldve counted and hes at least there to miss the chances which I believe he does better than Lacazette.

  7. Nelson and Willock must be given more starts in the PL. Also we can play Balogun along with Auba in 442 system, the lad seems to be full of self confidence and belief and also strong. Also keep ESR as an option on the bench in the PL games, the lad is very creative and has a good eye for goals and assists. On to Sunday!

  8. Acquire a pot and throw away the kettle?

    Nketia is england under 23 all time scorer, and had helped us win games countless striker is 100 percent goal bound on every goal attempt.

    Am happy for balogun, but the comparison is crazy, i admit it’s important the new kid be given game time but that shouldnt be rushed, less we have a wilshere in our hands.

    1. Forget about some stupid statistics that nketiah is the highest scorer for england u23. Do you realize bojan scored more goals for barca junior team than messi. Nketiah could not get a game at leeds in the championship but martinelli was already tearing up epl and europa league. What did arteta do, nketiah was brought back to arsenal to save his career while martinelli was dumped on the bench till he got injured. Nketiah will never score the solo goal martinelli put away against chelsea. You don’t need to be a scout to see the swagger, attacking instincts, movement, finishing and confidence of balogun even though he is 19yrs. This is the same club that sold donyell malen for 500,000pounds, now he is worth like 50million pounds and in the Dutch national team but kept nketiah. Nketiah labours a lot to do something but you could see not much is there whereas martinelli and balogun can really turn it on anytime. Cheers!

      1. Well said mate! I am not being biased, IMHO Balogun is lot better than Nketiah. I dun see Nketiah have specialties which Balogun and Martinelli had. Seriously, Nketiah is not even PL level. U23 top scorer all time doesnt mean anything because you need to see who your opponent is, like Luxembourg, and etc that are not competitive enough.

        Honestly till this day, I keep thinking why Arteta keep fielding Nketiah, with that gametime, he still cannot prove himself to be powerful attacker. Nketiah fans will said Arteta knows better! Trust me, his level only at championship. If u still stick to Nketiah, i dun think Arsenal can even make it to Top 6!

  9. Balogun and ESR could save us millions.The assist from ESR could only have been accomplished by a highly skilled player and the finish by Balogun came naturally for him.There are some aspects of the game that are out with the realms of coaching and the third goal was a demonstration of sheer talent.I accept that the opposition was not high quality but the link between the two young guys would have stretched the best of defenders.

  10. Good game from the kids.
    But EPL is on another level, too fast and physical.

    Arsenal has lost our yesteryears tempo(speed) and Physicality. We let the ball bounce in our 18 instead of heading it back.
    Leno and the defence do not release the ball fast.
    Adding that to our slow mid of Xhaka, The strikers are denied service.
    Yesterday i was happy to see Xhaka lead a counter attack. This is the way to go and I hope Arteta took note.

    Sorry to use the example of Kane at the totts, He is a big guy but increases the tempo and speed whenever he receives the ball, see how many assists he has to the likes of SON.

    Our team is slow, very slow in the league.

  11. Couldn’t agree more! No disrespect to our opposition but the euro teams are by no means great compared to EPL. I take it more as a confidence boost for our players but we still have to see if that can be transferred to our EPL games.

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