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Arsenal 4-1 Molde: Gunners player ratings as Mikel Arteta's men extend European winning run | UEFA Europa League 2020-21

Arsenal put four goals past Molde in an encouraging display in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night
Arsenal put four goals past Molde in an encouraging display in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night
ANALYST
Modified 06 Nov 2020, 08:41 IST
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Arsenal are at the top of Group B after winning their third successive match in the UEFA Europa League (UEL).

The Gunners dominated possession against their opponents, Molde, throughout the game but the deadlock was broken by the visitors' Martin Ellingsen in the 22nd minute.

The equaliser then came after Mikel Arteta's men defended a corner just before half-time. The likes of Granit Xhaka, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock hurried forward and eventually forced Molde's defender Kristoffer Haugen into gifting an own goal.

The second half was followed by multiple failed attempts to break down the visitors' defence. However, Sheriff Sinyan scored an own goal to put the Gunners in front in the 62nd minute.

Nicolas Pepe and Willock wrapped up the game for Arsenal in the 69th minute and 88th minute respectively as both scored for the second consecutive match-week in the UEL.

Here are the Arsenal player ratings from their winning encounter against Molde:


Arsenal player ratings

Bernd Leno: 5/10

Bernd Leno had little to do as his team retained possession for most parts of the game. The Arsenal goalkeeper, however, indirectly caused the first goal of the game when he opted for a long clearance of the ball, with Molde receiving it near the halfway line and turning the opportunity in their favor.

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Shkodran Mustafi: 6/10

Shkodran Mustafi started his second game of the season and made a number of vital headers to deny Molde any chances of getting the ball into the box. The German defender also had an opportunity to score from a corner but failed to put the ball into the net.

David Luiz: 6/10

Molde failed to create enough to trouble Arsenal
Molde failed to create enough to trouble Arsenal's defenders

On the night of his return to the starting eleven, David Luiz had a comfortable game at the back. The defenders could have given themselves a pat on their backs had they kept a clean sheet. Having said that, the only goal from Molde was not exactly their mistake either.

Luiz responded well whenever he was called into action and kept Arsenal in the game.

Granit Xhaka: 7/10

Right at the stroke of half-time, the Arsenal captain spearheaded his team's counter-attack as they made a dash towards Molde's keeper. His effort to hold the ball upfront paid off after his opponents were caught by surprise and were forced to give the home team their equaliser. Like most of his team-mates, the Switzerland international put up a decent performance.

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Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 5/10

In the early stages of the match, the Arsenal midfielder ran up and down the pitch and played a vital role in bringing the ball forward to the final third. However, his contribution slowly waned off, and he was subsequently replaced by Cedric Soares in the second half.

Sead Kolasinac: 5/10

It is almost unbelievable how Sead Kolasinac missed an open goal in the 54th minute. While he rarely put a foot wrong at the back, Kolasinac offered very little going forward. His crosses were either wayward or easily intercepted by his opponents.

Dani Ceballos: 7/10

Dani Ceballos was extremely influential in breaking up the visitors' play and getting his team-mates to move up the pitch. The Spaniard made crucial interceptions for Arsenal and whenever he had the ball, he passed it forward with little hesitation.

All in all, he made 11 ball recoveries and was a key player for the Gunners.

Joe Willock: 8/10

Joe Willock was one of the key creative figures during Arsenal
Joe Willock was one of the key creative figures during Arsenal's victory over Molde
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Continuing his applaudable form in the Europa League, Joe Willock was one of the chief creators within his team. The 21-year-old had a hand in both own goals that Molde scored for Arsenal, and those two goals proved to be detrimental for Erling Moe's side. To cap off a fine display, Willock scored the Gunners' fourth goal in the 88th minute to secure victory for his side.

Nicolas Pepe: 6/10

Nicolas Pepe scored Arsenal
Nicolas Pepe scored Arsenal's third goal of the night

One of Arsenal's biggest threats in the game, Nicolas Pepe was always trying to create chances by finding Willock or Nketiah in the final third, but nothing really worked. He also made a couple of good runs into Molde's penalty box. Pepe's efforts to move forward eventually reaped rewards when he slotted home to add the third goal of the night for his team.

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Eddie Nketiah: 6/10

Eddie Nketiah had two brilliant chances in the opening five minutes. The young Arsenal striker put the ball into the net in the 43rd minute but the goal was controversially ruled offside by the linesman. The 21-year-old was always eager to get the ball and had a few other chances in the game, but was unable to get on the scoresheet.

Willian: 5/10

Like Pepe, Willian tried his best to create chances for his team. However, his efforts lacked the usual accuracy and were largely futile. With hardly any significant impact in the game, Arteta brought him off in the 64th minute for Bukayo Saka.


Substitutes

Cedric Soares: 5/10

Cedric Soares barely had any influence on the match. He came on, continued what he was supposed to do at the back and saw the game through.

Bukayo Saka: 7/10

Bukayo Saka came on to make an immediate impact for Arsenal. The 19-year-old laid an assist for an unmarked Pepe, who converted the chance without any mistake. The England international is clearly a great asset for Arsenal and had two brilliant chances to extend his team's lead.

Mohamed Elneny: N/A

By the time Mohamed Elneny came on, Arsenal were already leading 3-1 in the fixture. The midfield was totally dominated by the Gunners, and Elneny had very little to do during his time on the field.

Kieran Tierney: N/A

Kieran Tierney had some defending to do in the last 10 minutes but they were routine clearances and blocks. Molde did not exert enough pressure to trouble him.

Published 06 Nov 2020, 08:41 IST
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