Arsenal too good on the night as they maintain 100% record

Arsenal have made it three wins from three in the Europa League this term, putting Molde to the sword in the 4-1 defeat.

The Gunners didnโ€™t start the fixture comfortably, and our opponents used their composure to get a lead inside the opening 30 minutes, but that goal did wake the team up.

The last 15 minutes was all Arsenal, and before we could even be angry about the officials decision to disallow our perfectly good goal, we had the ball in the net again.

Joe Willockโ€™s penetrating run forced our rivals to flap, shortly before the break, and at 1-1 at half-time we would have been feeling confident in the way we ended the period.

We started the next half much of the same, as we piled pressure on with some neat work on and off the ball, and once we managed to secure the lead thanks to another own goal, we really began to turn the screw.

Nicolas Pepe capped off a fine performance with a neatly placed goal to put us two goals clear, with substitution Saka, who came on to pile more punishment on Molde, setting up the Ivory Coast international.

Joe Willock was also amongst our better players on the night, and he also managed to cap his display off with a late goal, closing the game off at 4-1.

Pepe and Willock will deserve considering for more regular minutes if they can carry on their form, while the latter could well pose as the answer to our creative issues in midfield this term.

Will the manager already be looking at the young midfielder for some Premier League minutes? Do we have to take these Thursday night performances with a pinch of salt because of the opposition?

Patrick

Tags Molde

54 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    Good accurate cross from Saka and good finish by Pepe, but Pepe is still killing our attacks on the right wing. Willock completed his great effort by one goal and Ceballos intercepted many Molde’s passes

    Nketiah worked hard and the defenders did well too. I hope Nelson can make it to the Aston Villa game, at least to be a super sub

    1. Declan says:

      Yes, he should play on the left!

    2. Bur says:

      I think we were poor for 44 mins of the 1st half but stepped it up well in the second and TBH it could have been 8. PEPE is to inconsistent for me but he has taken his last 2 goals well. I would not be Leno’s biggest fan he seems to slow everything down and makes incorrect decisions. Scoring 4 goals against any team is good, a good win and a good 2nd half performance.

  2. PJ-SA says:

    Well played boys. Willock had a great game!

    1. Sue says:

      ๐Ÿ‘

  3. Uzi Ozil says:

    Welldone boys.

    Willock was involved in all the goals. Glad he got his goal he deserved tonight..

    Aston Villa Next…

    1. PJ-SA says:

      Nervous for the Villa game….important time in the season, need to keep up with the front runners.

      Historically these are the games we’ve struggled with. COYGS

  4. Herbz says:

    Very happy that our passing is now better and faster !!!!

    Elneny’s passing is just,,, Wow!!!

    Let’s continue like this.

  5. Sid says:

    Nice win. We top!
    COYG!

  6. Innit says:

    Sooooooo Happy with tonight. Thanks boys ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’—

  7. CorporateMan says:

    Our last goal!
    Product of two glorious passes and a beautiful finish. Elneny to Pepe to Willock to…goal. Lovely to watch
    Arteta is building a team. Iโ€™m excited.

  8. Dhoni says:

    Oh what have i to say when didn’t watch the match……great win though.

  9. Blue17 says:

    I think Pepe needs to stop forming hard guy when he scores, it will prolly do him lots of good with his confidence… Celebrate,laugh and free the tension… He scores and strolls like hes the boss and isn’t meant to be there… anyways job well done, surprisingly Xhaka made more progressive passes than ever… kudos to Willock and Ceballos… missed you Nelson.
    Villa up next. coyg

    1. Gibson power says:

      Xhaka really had a great game, I was quite impressed by his in-between line passes and work rate and shout out to willock who I think is evolving well as a fine player this season..

  10. jon fox says:

    WILLOCK WAS CLEARLY THE STANDOUT PERFORMER ON EITHER SIDE. He must now surely be pushing VERY hard for a Prem place.

  11. Sean Williams says:

    The boys looked shaky for half an hour but started to look penetrating as the game wore on. Willock played well, Saka looked good, all good experience for the youngsters…..to play in Europe. That’s what we need a large interchangeable group. We must be careful though to start games hot and not chilled out, or we could have some off days.

  12. Lenohappy says:

    I don’t know where El neny is getting all this is sudden vision from, I mean see that pass have gave to Pepe, just like a prime ozil pass when he was still playing football.

    1. Val says:

      was a class pass that!

    2. Mohsan says:

      And that pass to Tierney as well on left before that. …I hope he keeps it up with development of this side of his game.

    3. Reggie says:

      The difference in tempo when Elnenny came on and positive play from midfield was enormous. Xhaka was very ponderous and mostly passive first half, improved second but we improved again when the rejuvenated Elnenny came on.

      1. Sue says:

        ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

      2. Uzi Ozil says:

        When I look at Elneny, I just smile. To think a lot of us wanted him sold and I thought his Arsenal career was over… but the turn around from him have been incredible. May this improvement continue. He is proving that he isn’t just a squad player no more. Maybe this is his time……

        1. Sue says:

          ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

      3. jon fox says:

        Reggie we practically never disagree, I have noticed. Your above post maintains that case.

        I have been consistently saying that pace and mobility, esp in midfield, is VITAL. Xhaka has always lacked in BOTH these ways and I saw that almost as soon as he first came and have never changed my opinion of him, as some have done.

        Elneny has transformed his game and has both pace and esp good mobility, His previous problem was backwards and sideways passing but since paired with the incredible Partey, he has been a player transfomed.

        I remain a fan who craves XHAKA’s exit from our club and always will be, as nothing can change his total lack of pace and lack of mobility. Both are damning handicaps.

  13. Val says:

    Good win, I said 4-0 tonight but can’t take anything away from Molde, great strike from them early on

    Willock was class again tonight, sake was great when he came on
    Nketiah’s goal should have stood imo
    Pepe was awful apart from his goal
    Kola actually had a good game for once – hope that continues!
    DC and Xaka both played well and who would have believed Xaka’s break!

    Overall a good night for the 2nd team, its definitely coming along nicely!

  14. RSH says:

    didnt see the game but heard that willock did great again. He gets attacked a lot on here, especially brought up when Ozil is brought up. He’s the one making the difference for us in Europe now tho. So that’s interesting.

  15. Reggie says:

    Joe willock by a country mile MOM. Inconsistent Pepe second choice because he actually produced. I thought first half midfield was slow and ponderous, not really taking any control, better second half but when Elnenny came on the difference was enormous. Willock must be close to a start in the Premier league, his improved form is impressive in the EL. Good win and another 3 points to make the EL League safe.

  16. Mohsan says:

    Good second half not bad first half either. Good win, will give everyone at club more confidence boost. Hope we can keep stringing these wins together and go on a good strong run.

  17. Adajim says:

    Kolasinac, oh, kolasinac

    1. P.doff says:

      Xhaka xhaka, eddie, eddie, kola, kola kola….. 3 players who will never improve. Xhaka kills our tempo and leaves the midfield wide open yet is made captain?…one of the mysteries of the universe, , kola had lost it and eddie, regularly shows why leeds didnt want him

  18. Top Gunner says:

    Lots of fans used to say that I hate Xhaka, but I was just looking at his performance. Xhaka is not Arsenal material. Arteta also made him the captain? This is an insult to Arsenal fans who were verbally abused by this guy when he was a captain

    1. Quantic Dream says:

      Hehe. I think the fans and Xhaka forgave each other and moved on from that incident. Going forward I hope this habit of booing our own players like Xhaka and Mustafi needs to end.

      1. Kstix says:

        Spot on QD even though I don’t want xhaka in our first 11 but the booing needs to stop

      2. Top Gunner says:

        But guys like Gouendouzi cannot be forgiven. Xhaka should not come near the captain’s armband

        1. Val says:

          Like it or not, we do not make the decisions regarding who is captain when Auba doesnt play.

          Xhaka had a decent game last night, he was instrumental in our equalizer with his break from pretty much defence.

          Now, I’m not sure how many of you lot were at the home game against Palace, probably not that many as most of you live a million miles away from England, let alone the Emirates so you do not know what some of those fans were saying to him.
          I was there and believe me, it was not pretty and if my own fans had said some of those things to me during my playing career, I probably would have done a Cantona, It was disgraceful and i was in utter disbelief that my fellow fans could say such nasty things to own of their own.
          So dont come with BS when you only know what is said in the media!

      3. Ade says:

        Thank you @Dream

  19. Khadii says:

    Xhaka, Kola and Pepe think very slow when on the ball.
    Especially Xhaka and Kola who seem to not know what to do with the ball when it arrives. Pepe is really frustrating to watch,.. he doesn’t know how to dribble or take his man on, yet he continually tries to and loses the ball instead of just releasing the ball to a team mate especially in the 1st half. Arteta had to make the switch and pushed Willian to the right.

    Leno is very slow in passing the ball when playing from the back. Seems like he thinks too many things at the same time.
    The first goal would have been avoided if he just passed the ball out wide earlier to Niles. But he delayed till he was closed down and had to go long aimlessly then boom their goal.

    Impressive performances from Willock, Ceballos, Luiz and his long passes, Arteta and his subs (Lil Chilli Saka, Elneny, Cedric)..

    Elneny made more impact in midfield than Xhaka all through his time on the pitch..

    Bring on Villa.. COYG

    1. AubaKedavra says:

      You just spoke out my mind. Can’t believe we shelled out 72mils on another Iwobi. Won’t even take Pepe for half that amount if offered again.

      But glad to see Arteta has recognized it instead of going by the price tag. He is building a good team here. Dare I say this Arsenal side is giving me Atheltico Madrid vibes.

      COYG

    2. zamind says:

      good analysis.

      With Leno in goal, MA should stop the playing from the back Idea. PL teams will capitalize on this and put us under pressure.
      The defenders should minimise back passes to Leno.

  20. Quantic Dream says:

    It was a good performance from the boys so I say good job! Pepรจ and Leno are just not convincing. Man, I really hope we can offload those 2 in the near future especially Pepรจ. My goodness, how could the club fork out ยฃ72M for such a player? Even Welbeck was better than him.

  21. gunnerforlife says:

    Great win!Willock was simply too good and is asking to be played in the PL, the complete midfielder, probably solves our creativity problem. Bring on Villa!

    1. Top Gunner says:

      Xhaka needs to join Ozil, wherever Ozil is. Xhaka is the master of back passes. He really doesn’t help Arsenal in anyway

    2. zamind says:

      I have said it b4. Willcok is a gem, and a hard worker. A replacement of Ramsey.
      He should be played with TP, and Elneny in the Midfield.

      1. Ade says:

        My opinion also, he is a goal scoring midfielder, getting to the box is easy for him just like Ramsey, and he is very energetic

  22. Sue says:

    First half wasn’t great… second so much better – especially after Saka and Elneny came on…
    Pepe amazes me – does hardly anything all night, then comes up with a beauty like that again! I guess we’d forgive him, if he did that every game ๐Ÿคฃ
    Gutted Kolasinac missed that sitter…
    Willock very impressive again! MOTM!
    We are top of the group, say we are top of the group ๐Ÿ™‚

    Looking forward to Sunday… to see how many more delicious passes Elneny comes up with – he really has given a whole new meaning to ‘Movember’ haha..
    Well done, fellas…..

    1. Khadii says:

      Pepe, Kola, Xhaka should be nowhere near the Epl Starting 11.
      As well as Europa league knockout stage.
      Those 3 are really frustrating and lack ideas on the pitch.
      Leno is joining that list. He just doesn’t ooze confidence in the backline and constantly puts the team under pressure without realizing it. With his delays in playing out from the back.
      Can’t believe Arteta didn’t start with Runarsson. Its giving Leno the total guarantee of being 1st choice and almost no competition at all.

      1. Sue says:

        I agree, some are frustrating, very frustrating!! It’s funny isn’t it.. because I thought the playing out was really good at Old Trafford. Maybe we have one good game followed by a dodgy one ๐Ÿ˜„
        I was surprised we didn’t see Runarsson.. oh well, Villa next.. no messing around what with Grealish and Watkins waiting to pounce!

  23. Dhoni says:

    On to villa.COYG.

  24. Elton says:

    Well done to Willock and Luiz, by far our two best players on the night… Ceballos, Elneny and Saka did well too… Kola is just average. Cant beat anyone, always back passes, no creative threat..
    Xhaka really tried today but you could totally see the difference when Elneny graced the pitch..
    Cedric was impressive when he came on…
    Willock could be the next Ramsey for us. Boy has massive potential. The thing about Willock that I have always liked is his ability to be in dangerous areas in the pitch, getting chances after chances…

  25. Grandad says:

    The emergence of Willock this season is a joy to behold.In a 4-3-3 system he can now slot into a midfield trio with Partey and the rejuvenated Elneny.This midfield could hold its own against any other in the Premier League.

    1. Khadii says:

      Yea. That midfield trio will be one to watch.
      Willock just needs to improve his decision making in the middle of the pack. He has the ability and engine just like Ramsey. A late runner in to the box that can play off Partey and Elneny.
      Too bad for Smith Rowe and his injuries.. hope he gets over them. He’s another option if he can remain fit

  26. gunnerforlife says:

    MA can now play Willock along with Elneny and Partey in a 433 system. This will give attacking impetus and defensive stability. Louis also certainly played well and it is refreshing to have a extra defender ready to come on along with Gabriel and Holding, who are our regular defenders. I wonder what happens to ESR and what role will he play henceforth, maybe MA will try him out in the League Cup and FA Cup.

  27. Abul says:

    OMG where did Elneny get all this new drive, energy and every thing? The only thing that has not change about him is the name and the dread-lock hair do.

    Is totally a new person.

    He has wowed me

    1. Khadii says:

      A result of playing in the right system, the manager’s trust and belief in him breeds confidence.

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