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Arsenal player ratings: Willock and Xhaka impress in laboured win

A

rsenal came from behind to beat Molde and put themselves on the cusp of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Martin Ellingsen gave the visitors a shock lead as he struck from 25 yards out after 22 minutes.

Arsenal, however, fought back to claim the win that puts them top of Group B with nine points as two own-goals, a Nicolas Pepe strike and one from Joe Willock secured the victory.

Simon Collings delivers his verdict on how the players performed.

Position was perhaps suspect for Molde’s goal and the German knew that, showing his frustration after being beaten from 25 yards out.

A few shaky moments, but on the whole he was solid enough. Rarely tested by a Molde attack that lacked bite.

( REUTERS )

Comfortable on the ball as always and had a quiet night in defence in what was his first game back after injury.

One of Arsenal’s better players on an easy night. Constantly tried to get hold of the ball and get the team going.

Few nice moments when he tried to get forward on the overlap, but was otherwise fairly quiet. Neat and tidy in possession.

His usual busy self and full of energy. Didn’t make many mistakes and went about his business with minimal fuss.

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Showed again how he offers Arsenal something different in midfield. Full of running and energy. Assisted and got on the scoresheet.

Missed a brilliant chance from three yards out when a cross found its way to him. Otherwise had a quiet night.  

Was frustrating for 70 minutes as he failed to show any end product, but then scored a lovely goal and later bagged an assist too.

Assisted Arsenal’s opening goal and had his own ruled out for offside. Worked hard but didn’t have many clear chances.

Like Pepe on the other flank, the Brazilian struggled to get into the game. Switched wings and did look better on the right.

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Cedric Soares (Maitland-Niles 63’) 6

Very little to do. Came on and was solid to help Arsenal see out the victory.

Bukayo Saka (Willian 64’) 7

Came on and bolstered the Arsenal attack, offering pace and creativity out wide. Setup Pepe’s goal.

Mohamed Elneny (Ceballos 80’) 6

Had little impact and little to do in his 10-minute cameo.

Kieran Tierney (Kolasinac 80’)

Came on and helped Arsenal see out the game with ease.

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