Arsenal player ratings: Nicolas Pepe dazzles as Gunners ease through in Europa League
Arsenal took a while to get going in Norway, but delivered a second half masterclass to pick up a convincing 3-0 win over Molde on Thursday night. The three points puts them through to the first knockout round of the Europa League, having picked up four wins from their four group games so far.
Arsenal booked their place in the first knockout round of the Europa League with a comfortable win against Molde on Thursday night.
Second half goals from Nicolas Pepe, Reiss Nelson and debutant Folarin Balogun were enough to their Norwegian opponents to the sword.
Ivorian winger Pepe put the disappointment of being sent off in his last game behind him by delivering one of the best performances of his Gunners career.
But there were also some underwhelming performances amongst the Arsenal ranks, leaving Mikel Arteta with plenty of thinking to do.
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Alex Runarsson – 6
Didn’t have much to do really in the Arsenal goal, but looked reliable when called upon, given his lack of game time.
Cédric Soares – 6
Deputised for Hector Bellerin well, and showed his experience with a strong showing.
David Luiz – 6
Seems to have put his major woes behind him and looked relatively solid at the back.
Shkodran Mustafi – 7
Mustafi looks to be getting back to his best, taking charge of the Gunners back line, and looking pretty solid in the process.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 7
Gave his all in defence and attack, as usual. His versatilely and engine have made him one of the best full-backs in the Prem.
Joe Willock – 8
A brace of assists for Willock, who is definitely stain a claim for a look in more frequently in midfield.
Granit Xhaka – 6
A typically efficient showing from Xhaka, who is now an important part of Arteta’s line up most weeks.
Reiss Nelson – 8
A very bright performance from the winger, capped off by scoring his first goal of the season.
Nicolas Pepe – 9
Ran the show for Arsenal from right-midfield, always driving at the Molde defence and looking to cause problems.
Alexandre Lacazette – 5
Another relatively underwhelming performance from the stand-in skipper in Norway, and he never really looked like threatening the Molde goal.
Eddie Nketiah – 6
Missed some chances he definitely should have scored, but always seemed to be involved, unlike Lacazette.
Rob Holding – 6
Dani Ceballos – 6
Kieran Tierney – 7
Emile Smith Rowe – 7
Folarin Balogun – 8
Young Balogun the pick of the subs on debut, grabbing his first goal for the club which was set up by some smart work from Tierney and Smith Rowe.
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