Arsenal, with two games to spare, could secure a place in the last 32 of the competition with victory in the return fixture in Norway on 26 November. Arteta has now seen his side win three successive games in all competitions since they were undone by Leicester’s counter-attack last month. Despite falling behind, Arsenal were able to brush aside their opponents without the need to bring on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette or Thomas Partey. Arteta was all smiles at the end, fist-bumping Willock on the pitch after the full-time whistle, the 21-year-old pushing his claims for a first Premier League start of the season with a performance full of hunger and desire.
The Gunners had fallen behind after failing to close down Ellingsen, whose excellent strike had Molde dreaming of one of the greatest results in their history. It was the wake-up call the hosts needed, Arteta’s side playing with a higher intensity after equalising. Arsenal’s future looks in good hands, Nketiah also impressing with his speed and work-rate while substitute Saka played a highly-intelligent pass to pick out Pepe for his goal. Mikel Arteta called for the introduction of the video assistant referee in Europa League group games despite Arsenal running out comfortable winners against Molde.
The Gunners reached the halfway point of Group B with a 100% winning record courtesy of a solid victory. But it could have been more as Eddie Nketiah had what looked like a legal goal ruled out for offside after Nicolas Pepe’s pass, with Molde leading 1-0. Unlike the Champions League, VAR is not being used in the group stages of the Europa League.