Arsenal: Turner, White, Saliba, Holding, Tierney, Sambi, Odegaard, Nelson, Saka, Vieira, Nketiah
Subs: Ramsdale, Hein, Partey, Gabriel, Martinelli, Cedric, Tomiyasu, Marquinhos, Xhaka, Edwards, Smith, Ibrahim
A solitary goal from Bukayo Saka gave Arsenal a 1-0 win over Bodo/Glimt this evening.
Mikel Arteta made changes, but started a strong side with the likes of Ben White, William Saliba and Bukayo Saka supplementing the likes of Albert Sambi Lokonga, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah.
The home side caused some early danger, getting down their left and putting in a low cross which had the Gunners defence stretching. Bodo’s possession had Arsenal looking a little unsettled, and the first attempt on goal from Arteta’s men came in the 10th minute when Sambi fired wide after some patient build-up.
It was cagey stuff, with Bodo sitting with lots of men behind the ball and a sloppiness to Arsenal’s passing which made life more difficult. But in the 24th minute, Saka provided the spark to put us ahead. The number 7 played a give and go with Sambi, ran onto the ball in the box and his shot on goal deflected off a defender then back off himself into the net. 0-1.
Saka and Nketiah both had attempts on goal but miscued their shots, before Bodo had a great chance to equalise. Pellegrino went through on goal, behind both centre-halves, and with just Turner to beat he curled his shot wide of the far post. A let off.
Saka was booked for a foul on halfway as we reached the half-hour mark, and nothing much of note happened for the rest of a low-quality first period.
There were no changes from either manager at the break, and not much changed in the game itself either. Pellegrino again had a sight of a goal, his low shot was saved comfortably enough by Turner. Nelson took a terrible shot, Tierney took a slightly less terrible one, while at the other end there was a reminder the game was finely balanced when Solbakken was allowed to shoot not far over the bar.
There was another great chance for Bodo to equalise, when Espejord shot over from 8 yards, and it prompted Arteta into making changes with Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli replacing Nelson and Saka in the 59th minute.
11 long minutes went by and the manager made two more changes, Marquinhos and Takehiro Tomiyasu coming on for White and Odegaard. Bodo again looked more likely to score, with inches the difference between a point blank chance and the ball running away from Vetlesen with just Turner to beat.
Bodo made a sub, or two? I can’t remember. It didn’t feel like it mattered. In fact, what does anything matter when you think about it? We’re all just dust in the wind, floating around on a tiny rock in a vast universe we can’t even begin to comprehend.
Thomas Partey came on for Sambi in the 85th minute, and promptly got booked. Turner had to deal with a dangerous corner in injury time, but in the end Arsenal held out for 3 points.