Arsenal second eleven proves too strong

Arsenal started with an unusual front combination – Willian, Nketiah and Pepe. Kolasinac and Maitland Niles were wing backs with Willock and Ceballos in the middle; and Xhaka, Luiz and Mustafi as a back three.

Leno was in goal not Runarssson.

These games are great opportunities for squad integration and experience for the younger players.

Eikram and Hussain were ex-Man United youth players.

Willock drove on and passed dangerously across the area and Nketiah just missed a connection.

Pepe drove on and set up a good pass see Nketiah’s run ending in a shot which was going wide.

Maitland Niles crossed to Willock on a third man run.

Mid-way through the half, Arsenal lost it to a goal kick. Nketiah couldn’t compete in midfield and it went from Eikram to Ellingson who fired it into the bottom corner. Arsenal were not set, after losing possession.

Pepe crossed and Willock reached but couldn’t direct it – summing up the first half hour

Willian sent in a couple of good crosses.

On 42 Pepe found space in the area and sent it low across the area Willock had run offside but Nketiah who wasn’t knocked it into the net. It was chalked off by the officials. The third time in four matches that Arsenal have had a good goal chalked off by erroneous decisions.

Just before half-time, Willian sent Xhaka on a break-away and sent it to Nketiah who crossed and Haugen knocked it into his own net, with Willock close behind.

Molde pressed higher at the start of the second. Arsenal stretched the pitch.

Ceballos broke forward and sent Kolasinac into the area.

Willock sent in an outswinger, Linde parried to Kolasinac with an empty goal, and Kolasinac sent it way over the bar when a tap-in would have been easier.

Arsenal dominated pressing Molde into their final third.

On 61 Willock exchanged passes with Willian and then Xhaka who lobbed it into the area. Willock’s drive saw him reach it first and crossed it – with Sinyan knocking it into the net for Molde’s second own goal.

Soon after, Saka drove down the left and crossed low to the on-rushing Pepe who fired it first time into the net.

Molde’s resolve was broken

And Pepe passed to Willock in the area – and he fired it home.

Willock said: “It was a tough game – they started sharp. We stuck to the game plan and came out on top.

On the goal, he said: “Nico passed, and I didn’t want to miss.”

Mikel Arteta said: “It was important to win and go top of the group. It was about reaction and being patient.

“We got in good spaces in a lot of occasions. We improved combinations in final third. I liked the approach of the young players.”

Arsenal: Leno,  Maitland-Niles (Substituted for Cédric Soares), Mustafi, David Luiz (Booked at 58), Kolasinac, Xhaka (Substituted for Tierney at 80), Ceballos (Substituted for Elneny at 80), Willian (Substituted for Saka at 63 Booked at 77), Willock, Pépé, Nketiah

Molde: Linde, Wingo, Bjørnbak,  Gregersen (Substituted for Sinyan at 45), Haugen, Aursnes, Hussain, Ellingsen (Substituted for Moström at 86), Wolff Eikrem (Substituted for Brynhildsen at 74), Bolly (Substituted for Knudtzon at 63) Omoijuanfo (Substituted for James at 74)