Arsenal winners and losers as Gunners secure Europa League progression vs Molde

Arsenal will compete in the Europa League after Christmas having already secured the spot in the knockout stages.

The Gunners made it four wins out of four in the competition as a young team won 3-0 at Molde.

After a dull first half, Arsenal opened the scoring five minutes into the second as Nicolas Pepe curled home.

Reiss Nelson doubled the lead a few minutes later as he tapped home from Joe Willock’s excellent low cross.

Folarin Balogun grabbed his first Gunners goal seconds after coming on late on with Daily Star Sport picking out some winners and losers from Mikel Arteta ’s side.

Winners

Alex Runarsson

The summer signing was given his chance in goal and impressed when called upon.

Arteta is unlikely to give the Icelandic shot-stopper a chance in the Premier League unless Bernd Leno gets injured.

Though performances like this give the boss something to think about, especially when you consider just how congested the fixture list is this season.

  • Arsenal misfit William Saliba willing to take 'financial sacrifice' to secure exit

Nicolas Pepe

The Ivorian was sent off against Leeds in the Premier League at the weekend and clearly wanted to make amends.

He looked energetic and enthusiastic in the first half and got the goal he so desperately craved early in the second.

Just moments after crashing the bar from long range, he found the top corner with a lovely curling effort from inside the box.

  • Granit Xhaka forced to deny reports of clash with Kieran Tierney after Arsenal's draw at Leeds

Folarin Balogun

The 19-year-old scored his first Arsenal goal with just his second touch after coming off the bench.

It wasn’t the best of connections from inside the box, but they all count and it’s a moment the youngster will never forget.

He’s bound to get more opportunities now Arsenal have qualified for the next stages.

  • Arsenal will be first to welcome back fans after Mikel Arteta’s desperate admission

Losers

David Luiz

The Brazilian looked shaky at the back and took a blow late in the first half.

It saw him substituted at the break and both player and manager will be hoping it is nothing serious for the former Chelsea and PSG man.

Luiz had missed the last couple of Premier League matches having struggled with a hamstring injury and will not want to spend more time on the sidelines.

Get the latest transfer news straight into your inbox!

Want to be on the ball with all of the latest football news?

Well then sign up for the brilliant new Daily Star Sport email newsletter!

From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox.

How do you sign up?

It only takes a matter of seconds.

Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article and hit 'subscribe'.

And that's it, job done. You'll receive an email with all of the top news stories every single morning.

You can find out more information on our email newsletter on this link here.

Alexandre Lacazette

Given the captain’s armband, the Frenchman struggled for the Gunners.

Rarely found himself in the box as the Arsenal youngsters took centre stage, it may have been a better idea for Arteta to rest Lacazette.

With the packed December schedule coming, the poor performance would not have done the forward’s confidence any good.

Source: Read Full Article