Arsenal fell behind to Molde at the Emirates this evening, but two own goals and strikes from Nicolas Pepe and Joe Willock gave Mikel Arteta’s men a deserved Europa League victory.

It perhaps wasn’t as fluid as some would like, especially in the first half, but the Gunners had 16 attempts on goal overall, and in the context of the competition, it was a decent win.

The homegrown players, Willock in particular, and substitute Bukayo Saka were the bright spots on the night, and qualification for the knock-out stages is now basically assured.

Read the Arsenal 4-1 Molde match report and see the goals here

Arsenal 4-1 Molde – Player Ratings

The ratings are hidden by default until you vote, but if you just want to view the ratings and the comments, flick the switch at the top above Bernd Leno. Also, please give the ratings a few seconds to load.

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Johnny 4 Hats

10 / 10 for my wife who hates football but, while sending emails sitting beside me, sang “If I could Bjornbak time” every time the fella was mentioned.

She also asked if the opposition played in blue because they were called mould.

Yeah. She did good tonight. Had a much better game than Willian.

viegunner

I shoukd have been suspicious of Willian after his first performance just like Mkhitaryan back then. Hope he’ll bjornbak time and find his form again

RedHotHornBloer

Sign her up!

Jackstoneygunner

PEPE was our worst player until the goal, after the goal he improved BUT wow was he totally garbage before that

Rich

Pepe from an attacking sense reminds me of Alexis:

One footed
Infuriating at times
Plenty of end product
Match winner
High risk, high reward

Andy

Alexis was the best player in the premier league when at arsenal.. not a good comparison at the moment Pepe has way way less impact on games and let’s not forget this was a B level opposition no disrespect to mould

fmikael

For a season yes, he was the best in PREM..26 goals 10 assists and was like an energizer bunny when tracking back to recover the ball. Sadly he gradually faded thereafter.

sancho

Pepe wish he was half the player Alexis was for us. I stick to my prediction since I saw first time playing for us : he will end up at Bordeaux or Le Havre in 2-3 yrs. Average at best.

goonshow

Other than the stonker he scored with his right… er, just last week?

ClockEndRider

people who downvote this are dead inside!

Johnny 4 Hats

People probably just don’t believe that someone agreed to be Mrs Johnny 4 Hats on account of me being an occasional arsehole.

I’m actually lovely in real life. You’d all like me very much. I get all my arseholeness out on this site so I’m purged for my day to day reality.

Anonymarse

I like to purge my arsehole

Fireman Sam

Easy enough. Just sit and push.

Anonymarse

There are detailed instructions here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defecation

Arseman

Treasure her. And give her one of your hats. She deserves at least one hat-off for that performance

RedandWhite

1) If you watch Xhaka, Leno’s decision to kick long was made by Xhaka telling Leno to go long. Don’t think you can blame him for that

2) I think Willock could be the player to give some creativity in midfield. Best player on the pitch tonight

Martin

To blame Xhaka for the goal is a joke. How about Leno not saving it as he should have done. Another Leno masterclass

Jackstoneygunner

Willock I like but his hunger to get on the score sheet caused him to make some poor selfish decisions in the box. I noticed this with Nketiah too. Its okay to be hungry and want to score but sometimes when a lay off is the better choice than going for goal yourself the best players know when to make the right decision that benefits the team. good he got his goal in the end but he still has a lot to improve and learn. NKETIAH honestly I don’t see a future for Nketiah at arsenal he lacks the fundamentals… Read more »

J&J

How about either Leno uses his own eyes instead of hammering it away or goes long to Willian who is completely free or out wide for Pepe to chase (who is also free)?

Oregoon

Yes, not right down the middle of the pitch where their defender is a head taller than Eddie.

Wilfred

Lenosexuals finding new ways to blame literally anyone else for Leno’s deficiencies

A Different George

Oh, no! Is this going to be a continuing stupid fucking controversy? Please no.

GeoffRey Hurstmaker

The defender that scored the first own goal was pulling on Willock’s shirt just outside the box. Willock probably would have gotten there first otherwise. If he could just be a bit tidier on the ball and not have the occasional mental lapse, I think he could solve some of our problems transitioning from the middle to final third and provide the Ramsey-like runs from midfield into the box.

TomH

tbf Leno could only go long every Arsenal player was marked in and around the box. There was no choice but to punt it.
Leno’s mistake was not concentrating for when it came back to us quickly. Luiz being miles away from the scorer didnt help.

Crash Fistfight

I think we should just expect to concede every time the goalkeeper kicks it long from now on.

PJ_Londonish

Pepe has super nova talent. He needs a run of games, you can see it bubbling underneath the surface.

Jackstoneygunner

PEPE is garbage. I hope we can get 40m for him next summer

Frank Bascombe

If he’s garbage and we can get 40 mil for him, what does that make you?

goonshow

Just been watching US election coverage and you could fit right into Trump’s press squad with that sweepingly misinformed comment. Never let the facts get in the way of a good rant, hey? Facts like… that Pepe has been played in a marginalised position? that the team has been evolving tactical period that – as clearly acknowledged by most who know football – starved him of any real supply? that our midfield has lacked ANY creative incision for most of his time with us – the balls on which his pace and guile would thrive? that on every one of… Read more »

CarlosLA

Pepe cannot play the wide winger role Arteta is trying to force him into. Out there, he slows play down and turns the ball over far too much. That he can’t successfully take on Molde and Dundalk defenders tells you all you need to know.

If he can be redeemed, it will be allowing him to play more of a free inside role where his job is to get into dangerous central positions. Perhaps a 442 with he and Auba upfront in the box… with Willock arriving late. Might be some goals in that.

TomH

Pepe is not forced into the wide winger role, that position was and is his position. The trouble for him is the PL have better quality opposition than France and his potency in France has diminished in the PL because of the better opposition.
Worth trying him elsewhere though, centrally…see if he can show more consistency.

CarlosLA

What you are saying is not really rebuttal. Sure PL defenders are better on average than France… but Dundalk and Molde defenders? Hardly.

Based on highlights (admittedly… didn’t see him play in France… just YouTube), he scored a lot of penalties and by “finishing” in the box. Yes he played winger, but more inverted. He’s just rubbish out wide.

Crash Fistfight

Why not try him in the false 9 role? Laca’s first touch is like a trampoline and it’s not like he’s that prolific.

Daveo

Willock was brilliant again. Adds another dimension. Needs to start on Sunday at # alongside Mo’-partey and Saka-Auba-Pepe.

Tanned arse

That’s exactly as I’d play it. However we know it’ll be laca and willian

Le me

Considering formations are never rigid in terms of play. The third midfielder mostly chosen are Saka and AMN. It looks like Arteta expects that third midfielder to be hugging the left side of the pitch (play mostly on the touchline). So I doubt whether Willock can do that.

Goonerink

for me, if we are playing willock or an attacking midfielder he needs to play the false 9/10 role laca played with auba and another as split strikers.

Longfellow

Oh Pepe what are we to do with you?! Feel for him…!

Johnny 4 Hats

Pepe is to players what Solskjær is to managers.

Just when you write him off for the final time, he does something to make you reconsider.

Martin

Why? He was excellent tonight

Redgibb

Haaaaaaahahahaha

Jackstoneygunner

You need prescription glasses even Steven wonder can see PEPE was Shyte tonight and to be fair has been a 4/10 since he’s signed for us. HE NEEDS TO GO NNEXT SUMMER.

Frank Bascombe

Tell you what mate, fuck right off.

Tanned arse

Play him more inside? Each time he got it out wide….Nothing. Inside, 1 goal 1 assist. Another assist for a wrongfully disallowed goal. This guy always delivers when he’s in those areas and plain average when he’s not.

goonshow

100% – see my reply to Jackstoneeeee-whoever, above.

TrackieBreh

He reminds me of Henry whilst at Juve- flashes of brilliance, good pace, dribbling and finishing but not the hardest worker, best defender or best at hugging the touchline. He only became player he did when Wenger brought him inside. Pepe may not hit those heights but see similarities between the 2 and wonder if better at 9 than on wing… but then same could be said of Auba

WheresReissNelson

Ok but he is not dribbling. And never using his pace. The 2 attributes i was most looking forward to when we signed him. But he scores and gets his assists. Good for him and hope it containerskip but compare him to Henry is like comparing Gervinho to Robert Pires.

Alex

I can feel for many on this planet but not for a guy who accepted to value 80 M € and offers nothing special. Saw Lille game tonight… they surely don’t miss him.

Tomaury Bischfeld

We’ll he couldn’t reject his valuation could he? “No, no really, I’m not worth that much Raul, please, don’t do it, keep your money, you’re making a mistake”

Still love Wenger

Pointless comment and you have posted it on other threads and articles, his price has nothing to do with it!
If he cost 10 mil would he be a better or worse player?
personally I like him and think he can offer more than Willian, who was a free, so is he better?

goonshow

God, what a mindlessly flawed remark!

Supergirlfootballer

I feel like he’s the new Iwobi – some moments of brilliance but most of the time I’m in despair! A lot of ‘Bambi on ice’ moments, where it looks like he’s never heard of the word football, let alone kicked a ball, and then beautifully hit wonderstrikes like tonight’s goal! 😅

Charles OJ

Please its disrespectful to compare Pepe to Iwobi. Iwobi was miles ahead a better dribbler and had better football IQ than Pepe. We took 72 Million and threw it down the drain. That’s what we did and that’s why Kroenke held the purse strings tighter this past summer. If I were him, I would do the same. 72 Million burnt like that!! Thats gonna hurt.

goonshow

I’m still waiting for Iwobi to win either a tackle or a header duel?
Oh ,hang on… he’s gone to Everton! I hadn’t noticed.

Frank

Anyone else think the commentators on BT are awful? They could barely string a coherent sentence together between them and when they did it was utter rubbish. Apart from that solid enough win in the end and encouraging signs from Willock.

Ordnance Dave

My personal favourite, when Willock swiveled and shot wide:
“He’s trying to be too precise”
Gotta love it.

Tomaury Bischfeld

They were awful but I was too busy being happy that they weren’t Steve McManaman to care.

Sean

My personal highlights-
On the opening goal they scored from about 30 yards out- “Breaks to him, and he’s not gonna miss from there.”

On Kolasinac’s miss- “He’s gotta be scoring from there!” Then about five seconds later “I just think it came to him too quickly. He wasn’t ready for it!”

Seems to be that the job requirement for landing a commentary role on bt sport is to be pretty awful at commentary.

Dave

Carney also claimed Nketiah was offside

RedHotHornBloer

Elneny, Partey, Willock now our best midfield three (unless we choose to start Saka in a ‘creative’ capacity).

Charles OJ

I agree 100%

Bobbo

That Xhaka rating and comment is amazing!

TOGooner

I have to say, I’m just as surprised by Gabriel’s quality this season as I am of Willian’s lack thereof.

Jace

I think ceballos should start games..
Dude is too brilliant

Jace

He’s better than Elneny..
Any how u lot choose to see it..
He’s a level above Elneny. .

Play ur Elneny partey nd we LL be struggling to create again…
How soon u ve forgotten the brilliant ceballos

Public Elneny

Just play the one in form

Runzac

Gimme some of that jace Jace

Samgunz

Dani was the best player on the pitch 2nd half, was a bit puzzled when got subbed, wouldn’t be surprised if he starts next game. Watch the 2nd half again haters. He was making it happen more than anyone

Redgibb

I’m sorry but Pepe is an absolute shambles in general. Poor guy

Alex

“Poor”…

Dizzle

A good goal and an assist (should’ve been two). Hardly call him “shambles in general.” Things don’t always come off within a game but he has produced at times when more experienced (and premier league worn) “world class” players haven’t. Let the boy develop.

Dave

I thought he did well to keep his head up and recover from an awful start.

He was fine as soon as he moved left.

goonshow

Trooday Dizz – many of the same voices who bemoan our lack of creative spark or player-beating ability on this forum, continually berate Pepe for ‘losing possession’ or trying something ridiculous… He is a mercurial potential game-breaker – most of his goals are scored, against the odds, in a flash of brilliance: that split second drag-over and no-backlift bullet (off his ‘wrong’ foot) just last week is a perfect example. We need some of that crazy ability in this team – Mik just needs to sort out how and where best to use it: and I have great faith in… Read more »

goonshow

‘troodat’ (in the words of Hank Moodey)

goonshow

Thx Charles

Samgunz

“Mik just needs to sort out how and where best to use it”
I’d say it’s more like for how long and when, otherwise i agree completely, he’s got wild talent, needs to be tamed, could be lethal when refined.

Tanned arse

Nice to see willock really trying to make these minutes count. Will only become more commanding and formidable as he grows and becomes physically stronger. Power with an understanding of when how to support attacking plays in dangerous areas

Tanned arse

Thought danI looked decent tonight. Front footed and tried to drive things on. Made xhaka look ponderous and pointless. Then elneny came on and made them both look like novices.

Charles OJ

Pepe is finished. That’s all I gotta say. Where was Nelson???

onenil

He did finish well.

Charles OJ

Yeah he did finish well. But as a starter in our First 11, he’s done. Arteta even knows it. That’s why he played the full 90 mins today. He’ll be benched against Aston Villa and onwards in important Premier League matches. Willock, Nelson, Martinelli, Saka are miles ahead of Pepe. He’s just becoming another Ozil. We better sell next summer and forget we ever bought him so that we don’t have another prolonged Ozil situation in our hands.

goonshow

Perhaps you could send us the link to your ‘inside’ track interview with Arteta, since you seem to know exactly how he feels about specific players?
Or better still – keep this sort of misdirected, baseless speculation to yourself?

Charles OJ

You seem to forget the reason we have “comments” section in blogs is for people to comment and spit their mind. Its why its the most beloved section on blog sites. If you don’t like my reasoning or what I say, you can downvote a million times to your satisfaction. The point is ..its a democratic society. I’ve been downvoted many times in the previous years in regards to Elneny, Willock, Vela, Gnabry, Ozil only to be proved right eventually. I’m just glad we have Arteta who is ruthless to drop non-performing players. Pepe didn’t play against Man U and… Read more »

A Different George

Nelson was injured. Arteta said he would have started if fit.

The Arsenal

Cant stand Willian. Hes not even shit he CHOOSES to do the bare minimum.

Jack

That Kolasinac miss, eeek! There is a reason he’s primarily playing in these games

Xhaka Kaka

For a moment there i thought Soare’s rating was Monreal and got excited

Monkey knees

I think we have to accept the flawed genius that is Nicolas Pepe. 50% of his game is mind blowing. 30% is skill. 20% is messy as hell. But, he does score and assist. I do think that he is the biggest “confidence” player we have… if he’s confident he’s awesome. If not… meh.

Arsepedant

Pepe needs a separate rating for each half, he was about a 3 in the first half and a 7 in the second.

Fergal

10/10 for the Xhaka pass to Willock on the own goal. If it was Iniesta or Xavi people wouldn’t shut up about it, it was a thing of beauty! Nobody seemed to pick up on it strangely. Overshadowed by Willock’s great game maybe.

Qwertymonster

Pepe on the left wing. I thought we improved when he switched sided with Willian. Any thoughts?

goonshow

10/10 for Granit Clydesdale Blogs… extraordinarily apt mental picture!

Charles OJ

Pepe has been a major disappointment and that is a major understatement. We seem to have fans that blindly support any player thats “expensive” regardless of how bad they are playing. Same thing with Ozil. these same “fans” now loving Elneny were the ones saying for many years that he should be sold that he wasn’t Arsenal quality. These same “fans” were saying at the beginning of the season that Willock should have been loaned out to accommodate Ozil. Our fans like to find “young” or “inexpensive” players in our squad to unnecessarily criticize so that more time is given… Read more »

goonshow

A few quick observations: Granit had some good moments but I can’t justify his selection above the exciting pairing that is so obviously now Partey with Mo’Nenny Joe could rightfully slot into that as the 3rd musketeer based on his rapid upward development atm Dani would be hard done-by if Joe were to take that forward mid role, based on last night – but it’s a pleasant dilemma to have, for a change! Pepe looks so much better in a less marginalised conventional winger’s role – perhaps with Laca’s current dip and Eddie’s inconsistency, could be worth a gamble next… Read more »

TomH

Willian worst player? My vote would be for Niles unfortunately. Followed by Nketiah. Neither of them did anything or any note.

Tierneys tescobag

Where is the rating for Artetas jacket?

Matt P

Gabriel + Partey = great signings
Pepe + Willian = crap signings

Charles OJ

I’ve said enough about Pepe on this site lol. Willan has been generally disappointing but I can see why Arteta plays him. For one he’s more measured and doesn’t lose the ball frequently. He’s most of the reason we won against Man U. He gave that pass to Bellerin for the penalty. He’s also more experienced and has a better football IQ than Pepe. I think AGE has caught up with HIM. A few years ago, he was one of the best players in the league. If Willock keeps this up, I believe he can play that right wing for… Read more »

ODB

I think there’s far too much negativity with Willian, he wasn’t a ‘4’ in my opinion. I also think he is a better option than Pepe, you’ll soon find out. Still so unconvinced by Pepe.

ODB

And I know Pepe’s scored a couple but still not worth him starting (for the first team games), in my opinion.

Charles OJ

I agree with you. Its our “fans” way of trying to put pressure on Arteta to drop Willian in favor of Pepe. Our fans have a knack for supporting expensive flops. They want these expensive players to be giving time upon time…years even to prove themselves. We did that with Ozil and where did that get us? Willan has not had a great start but against Man U ,he was crucial to our victory. Yet some fans said he had a bad game against Man U. I’ll pick Willan any day over Pepe as well. Willan brings more stability and… Read more »

ODB

‘Football IQ’ that’s it! That’s exactly what I feel Pepe lacks, at the moment anyway. You can tell he has good shooting, passing and dribbling ‘ability’ but his decision making is really off A LOT of the time.

Regarding Martinelli, I can’t wait man, even as a potential CF. I just hope his injuries wouldn’t affect his game so much and he must not be rushed into the team for this reason.

Lastly, at this point, Willock as a wide forward wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to be fair.

Tony 2

Morning chaps. For next few games I personally would like to see the following team. BL. HB. RH, GM, KT, TP, ME, JW, BS, PEA, NP (or WILLS) play 4 2 1 3. Think it would be interesting.