Arsenal downed Molde FK 4-1 in what had the makings of a close one but turned out to be a a bit of a snoozer. Joe Willock and Nicolas Pepe both had strong matches, as did Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos. Willan was underwhelming, and Sead Kolasinac was, well, himself.
And the Man of the Match goes to...Mikel Arteta’s impossibly shiny coat!
Bernd Leno - 5
Think he may have been able to do better on Molde’s goal, but he also may not have seen it until late. I also don’t want to take too much away from what was a fantastic shot. Sometimes, you just get beat. Other than that, he didn’t have much to do.
Granit Xhaka - 8
Had a great game, especially in the second half when he pushed a bit further forward. Led the break that got Arsenal’s first goal.
David Luiz - 6
Didn’t really have much to do. Maybe could have stepped out quicker on Molde’s goal, but it’s tough to fault him for not closing a guy down 30 yards from goal. Hit some nice balls over the top and through the defense, as he usually does.
Shkodran Mustafi - 5
Didn’t have any moments that I remember from today’s match.
Dani Ceballos - 8
Continues to impress with his defensive play. His passing was on point, as well. Had at least two forays forward on the ball that were threatening.
Joe Willock - 10
Did everything you could have asked of him and more. Scored a goal and created an own goal. Was a constant threat, unbalancing the defense with his runs into the area. Tackled and recovered the ball well. Definitely MOTM.
Ainsley-Maitland Niles - 5
Didn’t have much to do today. His final third passing still isn’t where you’d like it to be.
Sead Kolasinac - 2
Doesn’t have the on-ball quality to do what Mikel Arteta needs his outside players to do. Missed an absolute sitter today. That said, he gets into the right positions and gets involved in the passing, but there’s not much use in blasting cross off defenders or failing to pick guys out in the box.
Willian - 3
Another lackluster performance. Loses / gives away the ball far too much and doesn’t provide enough creativity. Showed one decent burst of pace that I didn’t know he still had, which is something, I guess.
Nicolas Pepe - 8
I feel like a goal, an assist, and a should-have-been assist is worth at least an 8. But it just doesn’t feel like Pepe had a scintillating game. Maybe that’s an issue with my assessment of him, but he makes too many mistakes and loses the ball too much for me to really feel great about most of his performances. But he’s getting it done, at least in the Europa League.
Eddie Nketiah - 7
Scored a goal that was wrongly called back, which is most of what the rating is based on. Think he had a fine, if unspectacular, match. Tough to score 4 without your striker doing at least something right, even if it’s tough to articulate exactly what that is.
Bukayo Saka - 7
Made an immediate impact when he came on, assisting on Nicolas Pepe’s goal after 5 minutes. The Arsenal attack looked better with him on the pitch.
Cedric Soares - NA
I’m honestly not sure that he even touched the ball.
Kieran Tierney - NA
Late substitute, didn’t have much to do.
Mohamed Elneny - 7
Continues to impress. Only played for 10 minute but got on the ball well and played in Joe Willock nicely for the 4th goal.