Arsenal ensured qualification for the knockout stages of the Europa League after a 3-0 win over Molde in Norway this evening.

The first half was pretty dull, but the Gunners were better in the second. Nicolas Pepe opened the scoring from a Joe Willock cross; the midfielder got his second assist with a pinpoint cross for Reiss Nelson; and substitute Folarin Balogun scored his first ever Arsenal goal thanks to good work from Kieran Tierney and Emile Smith Rowe.

It means Mikel Arteta can use the last two games to give the kids a real run-out, if that’s what he wants, and the result will restore a bit of confidence ahead of Sunday’s game against Wolves.

Read the Molde 0-3 match report and see the goals here

Molde 0-3 Arsenal – 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.

guest
93 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jack

I know we need to be positive after a win but what’s up with Laca?! He looked knackered, couldn’t control the ball and after a while just a bit disinterested

Gordy

He’s not a number 10, we have a number ten earning/getting more in a week than most of us get in lots of years twiddling his thumbs.Why for God’s sake?

Dave

Gordy, you’re boring. Not everything is to do with Ozil.

ClockEndRider

Because he’s a malingering waster more happy talking a good game than performing?

Alex

Sorry but one assist every 4 PL games would be more productive than what we have.

Anders Limpar

Fortnite.

Johnny 4 Hats

The way Laca moves reminds me of Dean Windass when he had that last season in the prem at Bradford.

Arsenalista

More like Dean Asswind

William

He has been found out and can’t be arsed enough to fight back. Imagine being a top flight player ( let’s not even say playing for a Top6 team) that can’t see out 90 minutes without having a fucking cardiac arrest

Laurence

I think in the second half he just got pissed off at being in great positions and being ignored. I’d say none of the senior players looked super excited by the game (Pepe apart, and coz he had some making up to do!)

Artetas Assistant

It’s his spirit. We Humans are body and spirit and his spirit is very unfit even though his repeated selection suggests that his body is fit (today was Mikel trying to play his first choice striker into form).

Artetas Assistant

Plus I’m not sure he’s honest to himself, or he already gave up and actually trying his best not to leave his transfer fee near Zero when he leaves. I can respect that second possibility , The guy needs help.

Artitty

Credit where credits due, pepe worked his ass off tonight.

High gooner

Pepe only scores beautiful goals

JACK

Pepe only scores against Europa level teams. Let me see him do that against Liverpool, Man city, any top 6 teams. He disappears. Again this is his level that’s why he looked world class in France because 60% to 70% of the teams in French league are not up to premier league level. I don’t think Pepe is a premier league level player. Change my mind

Jules

Glad Pepe had a good game. Sometimes he’s really smart with his feet and how he creates space using his pace and dribbling ability. Other times I think he’s a bit predictable and takes too long on the ball. I still think something great can come of him though. I think Reiss deserves a shot these next few games in Pepes absence – I’d certainly rather see him than Willian. Good win!

Vinay

No no no, Lacazette same rating as Eddie who missed a sitter and missed the ball as he tried to back heel it towards the goal and couldn’t control the ball for him to have a decent chance, Lacazette was involved in the pepe goal with his back flick. He lost the ball a few times but he linked up well with Nelson, nice one two’s. Come on, stop this agenda

Gooner44

Agreed. In the first half Lacazette helped knit together play in opposition box well. Some nice one two’s with Reiss Nelson (which Reiss should have done better with).

Got the ball out to Pepè alot on the right. Had a good effort saved in second half and tracked back well without the usual annoying giving away of fouls he usually does.

And I’m typing this as someone who wants Lacazette sold. We need to move on from him but to give him a 5 reeks of agenda. Call it how it is.

Vinay

Respect that you can be objective and see something good even if you want him gone, not many can do that haha, respect.

William

A 29 year old player should have slightly higher standards than a limited academy striker …

Dave

I’m not a fan of down rating strikers for missing. I’d rather a striker got into good positions and missed than was uninvolved.

Vinay

Didn’t I just say Lacazette was involved in the first goal, and also also had a shot that was well saved. Also that is the exact reason why Lacazette is scapegoated by so many fans.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

You must have loved Chamakh and Adebayor

Bush Hill Gooner

I think we need to stop making excuses about Lacazette. We need to be aiming higher. Seems like a nice guy, but he’s simply an average mid table striker who has been in decline for a while. Remember we’re Arsenal. If we want to complete At the top we need better than Lacazette.

Vinay

Mid table, are you mad? he got 32 goal contributions where he was voted player of the season, that wasn’t long ago you know, how can someone lose that much ability in such a short time. A lot of stuff has happened since then, our attack has been shoddy for a long time under emery we let in 25 plus shots a game retreating like their lives depend on it and under Arteta we play atb on top of 2 defensive midfielders because our defenders are terrible and our midfield is so charitable in allowing the opposition through it. How… Read more »

Vinay

Not to mention he got a injury which affected his pace and agility

FMT

Finally! Someone said it as it is! We are not THAT Arsenal anymore!

Cechmate

Just because we are not the club that we used to be doesn’t mean we have to be the club that we are now always, we can always aspire to be more.

We don’t have to measure everything with where we are now, we should rather look at where we want to be and measure against that!

Vinay

I agree with what you are saying but that’s not the main point here mate, it’s just the case of me being tired of seeing the abuse that Lacazette gets from most of our fans, a hell of a lot is unwarranted like he is a midtable level striker or an old poke at his name calling him Lackofthreat. On top of that I cannot believe that there are this many. it shows how reactionary people are and also it displays a case of memory loss. He was still superb this time last year on the back of a very… Read more »

Cechmate

I always thought Giroud was under appreciated by our fan base and that Laca was inferior to Giroud, so I for one, am not surprised at the stick Laca’s getting. Unfortunately for him, our style of play suits Giroud better than him – hold up play and so many crosses from Tierney, Saka & Bellerin to head, but that’s not Laca’s fault. I don’t think Laca is as bad a player as a lot of our fans make him out to be, but I think he is unhappy with his role and is demotivated and that is showing in his… Read more »

fmikael

Kinda agree with you there mate.

Vinay

Giroud missed so many chances too lol, imagine him trying to trying to do that in a team that barely creates anything, Lacazette is a much better player who scores very good goals and scores in important games, Giroud relies on service a lot more, compare the players the Giroud had around him to Lacazette, and the attacking system that Giroud had under Wenger. Laca had a season with 32 goal contributions without a prime Mesut, a Cazorla, a Wilshere and an Alexis Sanchez

LEFT08

If you want to compete at the top you need better than Kroenke. So, don’t hold your breath even if Laca goes.

Public Elneny

They were both horrendous, but Eddie at least managed to be horrendous in more threatening positions. Laca was setting up opposition counterattacks from basic layoffs

Vinay

Are you listening to yourself? He should have scored 2 or 3 today, he missed the header, he tried to backheal the and missed the ball and then his touch let him down to set him up for a decent chance. Lacazette was involved in the first goal, do you just ignore any good thing he does or what, plus he had a nice one two with Nelson for a decent half chance, also he set players on the counter too a few times, he wasn’t horrendous, at least he added some value

Balogunner

I agree Vinay. It is called wishful blindness they follow blindly blog’s opinion. Laca was very interesting in this new position. Off course he is not going to be in as many position as Eddie. It is because he is playing behind him. I believe he is gonna make this nimber 10 position his.

fmikael

Yup …It was obvious he was instructed to play behind Nketiah and IMO he did not do too badly last night in terms of his link up play…There are one or two moments like when Pepe was putting in those crosses I wished he got into the box instead of maintaining his position, but IMHO, for overall display, the blog’s lower rating for him was a bit too harsh.

dave

The rating for Lacazette seems way way too harsh considering he was quite key to our improved play around the box

Vinay

It’s almost become the new trend to ignore any good thing he does and make it look like the world is going to end with every mistake that he makes.

Tombo

I liked the almost 442 style. Auba would benefit from this setup

LEFT08

We need to invest in proper wingers for 442 to work properly. I’d love to see us play it again though.

Frank Bascombe

Proper wingers? FFS.

Crash Fistfight

I thought it was more of a 4-2-3-1 with Lacazette the middle of the 3.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Molde players names are all “To follow”?

Dizzle

Although not a very good performance, didn’t think Laca was that bad at all. He did the hard dirty work playing in what looked like a quasi-second striker role. Played some really neat pre-assist type passes. Again, not great but not as bad as others are making his performance out to be today. Allowed Eddie to push forward more as the striker and gave Pepe (who was excellent going forward and tracking back and pressing full energy for 90+ minutes) more freedom from what I could tell.

LEFT08

Don’t forget this is Molde. Crap opposition, never near the level we should be playing.

Dizzle

Yet Molde is second in the group and in the same competition. No need to belittle the opposition to in turn try to belittle Arsenal’s (and individual) performances. It’s still a European competition, regardless of “lesser”, “equal”, or “greater” competition to what the Arsenal should be playing. Take the match for what it was and the individual performances for what they were. Molde likely played with their strongest first team squad and Arsenal didn’t. Big clubs have lost to “lesser” opposition than Molde before.

fmikael

It doesn’t matter what opposition… This was a rating for individual performance against Molde, so it should solely be judged on the player’s display on the pitch last night, irrespective of age, experience or seniority. Otherwise bias/favouritism will start to come into play.

LEFT08

This keeper we bought is really rubbish. Nketiah will never make it at Arsenal. Willock has my full backing, we need to put faith in him. Well done Balogun. Laca must improve fast or be sold. Good to see a 442 formation after many years.

Public Elneny

There is very little to go on with Runarsson tbf. But yeah I don’t have a particularly great feeling from him either

I don’t really see much way back for Laca. His legs have just gone, and his confidence, first touch and finishing with it. We’ll be lucky if an interesting enough team comes in for him next summer to convince him to not just see out the last year of his contract here

Boxman

This “keeper weve bought” has only played 2 matches, has managed to keep a clean sheet in both and, other than a few iffy passes, hasnt really done anything wrong, so if after spending next to nothing on him and him being our backup goalkeeper, ill take him. Also “nketiah wont make it at this club” based on what, hos scoring this season? If so then aubameyang shouldnt either as, if you hadnt noticed, they have the same number of goals scored in all competitions as eachother, or are you perhaps basing it on his international feats such as being… Read more »

LEFT08

I’m going to throw toxic right back in your face. It took you 1000 words full of sarcasm to just say you disagree. Learn to be respectful of different opinions.

Boxman

My guy you werent sharing an opinion, you were trying to state facts with no backing behind them. You said a guy whos played twice for us is rubbish when we have nothing to go on and a 21 year old who most of the time plays quite well has no future at this club. I wasnt calling you toxic, i was calling you a toxic fan, as in the sort of fan who, if he doesnt see a ronaldo performance from every player starts calling for peoples heads, dont try and throw this around just coz you know youre… Read more »

Boxman

Also, yes i used sarcastic language, but within that sarcasm were genuine facts brought in to prove my point, i wasnt just being sarcastic to disagree with you, i was being sarcastic to prove how stupid you sounded by throwing out “facts” with no proof

Frank Bascombe

Even toxic ones? I don’t think so. You’re a moron mate.

LEFT08

Fuck off you stupid cunt

Boxman

Aww, has little baby been proven wrong so has to start calling people rude words to feel better?

Don Cazorleone

Internet 1 – 0 Humanity

Kratos

Jsyk you said the switch above bernd leno whilst its runnarson

Cultured Determination

bologan. one of the best young talents the world has ever seen. will be the next thierry who will outscore haaland.

RedandWhite

We’ve found Pepes level. What a player he could be in Norway

SarcasmB0t

We’ve found your level too. What a cunt you can be on the internet.

Tim

So he makes a joke about Pepe (one that is not abusive or distasteful) and you call him a cunt?

I think your reaction says more about you than him tbh.

East

To be fair he did okay today against Molde, but his game is so one dimensional. You get the feeling Andre Santos could keep him in his pocket.

There’s quality their, but it’s only been shown against Molde and Dundalk… hope I’m proved wrong but he is a premier league flop at this point.

LEFT08

Spot on. He has one move, cutting inside and shooting on his left. That is all. And hia shota always get blocked or he is dispossesed before he can get a look in. Mediocre.

Cazorla's Heir

Just going to point out that Robben made a career from that move

Crash Fistfight

To be fair, Arjen Robben made a career out of that one move. Maybe Pepe just needs to get better at it?

heihaci

a win is a win but this a Fc Molde

bob

Indeed. Molde, our opposition, who we beat.

Does that upset you somehow?

Henrik

Yes this is Molde but considering the super-slow attacking tactics we are using I am really glad that we have many promising youngsters along with Pepe who can get passed players. Without these players individual skill we can’t create anything. MOTM Pepe today, important after a tough weekend, if Pepe doesn’t become a success at Arsenal I’m afraid its a huge failure as a club, the potential is definetely there.

.

Arteta-tinted Glasses

Just goes to show that Pepe has the best chance to deliver if he is allowed to roam a bit from the left. When there is structure on the other side in the form of Nelson, it works. But not with Auba. Isn’t there a way we can have Auba through the middle and Nelson/Willian on the left so that Pepe and Auba can both play?

Arteta-tinted Glasses

meant roam from the right*

Jim wall

Team v wolves. 4-4-2.
Leno
Bell holding. Gab Tierney

Nelson. Partey. Elneney. Saka

Bologna. Auba

meaner

Eddie Nketiah thinks he is a super star. Losing the ball and ran back half heartedly. Opponent almost scored from it if Louis didn’t block it.

Vonnie

Some right miseries in our fanbase, call it out when it’s bad, but why are so many still dissatisfied after watching a young team play an enjoyable game, on a plastic pitch against a decent Norwegian team. There’s no pleasing some people.

Zenithreptile

You said it. If it makes folks that miserable, find a hobby.

Ordnance Dave

Willock again the difference maker in the Europa League. Balogun with a seriously composed goal. Nelson > Willian.
Up the Hale End!

Vinay

Pepe was absolutely superb, he took the game by the scruff of the neck and dominated, which is what my expectations were for him, just needs to release the ball a second earlier though. Nelson great too, I think he deserves some more premier league minutes now and well taken goal by Balogan. I hope he signs and even if it doesn’t work out we can sell him for something atleast

Dave

Sorry, but can we start playing Balogun instead of Eddie? the later haven’t put the world on fire, and while a young player with some potential, I haven’t seen much about him that make me think he is going to be amazing for us. Remind me a bit of Danny Welbeck.

Also, super glad to see ESR, might bring some creativity that we so badly need

Other than that, not an amazing game by any means, but is a win and I’ll take it gladly.

Crash Fistfight

I’m probably bonkers, but I miss Dat Guy Welbz. I’d like him as an option off the bench.

ODB

Pretty sure Balogun scored with his 2nd touch… 🤷🏿‍♂️

Charles OJ

Almost a first touch 🙂

Balogunner

I thought Laca was very interesting as a number 10. Not everything came through and was a bit wasteful at time in a new position but the first goal came from him with a subtil deviation to play willock free, it would have been Ozil doing that pass everyone will be calling him genius. A few very clever other passes and combinations with the front 3. I believe that could be his position. A 7 for me today. Blog is absolutely biased when it comes to him. Eddie was piss poor, he is so weak technically.

Corona X

0/10: Arteta’s decision to put Tierney on. Why? We didn’t need him. He certainly didn’t need minutes. Why introduce him on this rubbish pitch?

Goonerink

he gave amn a chance at cm.

i didnt think it was the right time though.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Love to see Pepes stats. His passing was terrible, he was tackled relatively easily too often and he passed up the chance to put his teammates in because he is way too selfish.

But I guess you score a goal and all is somehow forgiven.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Funny even his own teammates made a mention of how selfish he was 😂

Adnan

Good win. Won the FA Cup to get into Europa, will win Europa to get in champions league.

Arsenalnut

I think this was the first game in which Pepe was given a chance to thrive. He was often on the end of through balls in space and facing only one defender. He can do a lot of damage when this happens. He probably should have had more impact on the scoreboard but its nice to see us not handcuffing him. Normally, when he receives a pass, two or more defenders are giving, or about to give him, their undivided attention. Let’s keep it up, eh. I thought Alex R’s passing was pin point if a bit adventurous. I’d just… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

Yeah, of all the things you could point out as being dicey, I thought his passing was bottom of the list. Other than one pass in which he put Holding under pressure (the goalkeeper shouldn’t have been passed the ball in the first place) I didn’t see any dodgy passing from him.

The things that would worry me about him are him air-kicking a clearance and just how spindly he looks (not that he had a great deal to do other than saving the shot that should have been a goal in the first half).

Malaysian gunner

So Pepe scored a brilliant goal. However
Molde, are not at the same level as the lower tier epl club,with due respect.
Wolbes will be a different proposition and have the players to hurt Arsenal.
Beat Wolves and we will take it from there