Test for Arsenal on an artificial surface and a refreshing display, particularly in the second half.
Test also for Pepe after his red card, and another chance for players like Willock, Maitland Niles and Nelson to push for first team starts.
4-4-2 gave Arsenal an added momentum going forward. With Pepe and Nelson dangerous on both flanks. But in the first half, the final ball was missing. Molde tried to give as good as they got with dangerous moments of their own, largely from the left.
Nelson looked bright with a one two with Maitland Niles and then a one two with Lacazette and a shot-saved by Linde.
A low cross fell to Sinyan for a tap in but he contrived to shoot straight at Runarsson at the opposite end of the goal and he pushed it away.
Pepe drove half the length of the pitch and cut in from the left and curled a shot just wide.
Most of Molde’s joy came down the left with crosses into the box.
A triangle between Pepe, Lacazette and Nketiah resulted in a tame shot.
Lacazette had space and time to shoot in the Molde area but the French forward who hasn’t netted since the third games of the season, passed to Nelson who dribbled into trouble.
Eikram found a lot of time and space centrally in front of the Arsenal area and his shot was headed over by Xhaka who was having a solid game.
Holding came on for Luiz who took a blow to the head, at the start of the second. And Arsenal seemed to have more zest, passing it forward quicker – following Arteta’s instructions.
Pepe drove in and bent it again with his left – and it hit the crossbar.
A cross came in from the Willock, killed instantly by the Ivorian, who found his range at the fourth attempt.
Maitland Niles shot from outside the area, Linde spilled it and Nketiah pounced and knocked it into the net – but it was offside.
Willock broke free on the right and sent in a wicked cross met by Nelson running in for his first European goal.
Pepe then sent in a brilliant cross but Nketiah got under it, missing a golden chance.
Ceballos came on for Xhaka on the hour.
Nketiah set up Lacazette in the area, who shot – but Linde saved. He needs a goal, badly. His general play is lacking confidence.
Tierney and Smith Rowe came on for Lacazette and Willock.
Bolly, another Ivory Coast international, tried to do a Pepe, cutting in from the left and firing just over.
And Balogan, the 19 year-old New Yorker, who nearly went to Sheffield United in the Summer, came on for Nketiah for the last ten. Tierney send in a good low cross as usual, Smith Rowe controlled it and set up the newcomer who swivelled and shot hard beating Linde for his first Arsenal senior goal.
So Arsenal qualify for the last 32, with two games to spare – and 12 goals in the group stage to date. Now to transfer some of that goal-scoring to the Premiership.
Molde: Linde, Wingo, Gregersen, Sinyan, Risa, Aursnes, Hussain, Hestad, Wolff Eikrem, Ellingsen, James
Substitutes:Moström, Craninx, Knudtzon, Christensen, Brynhildsen, Ranmark, Holmgren Pedersen, Bolly, Omoijuanfo
Arsenal: Rúnarsson, Cédric Soares, Mustafi, David Luiz, Maitland-Niles, Pépé, Willock, Xhaka, Nelson, Lacazette, Nketiah.
Substitutes: Bellerín, Tierney, Ceballos, Holding, Smith Rowe, Macey, Balogun, Cottrell, Hein, Azeez