Comfortable Europa League victory for heavily changed arsenal

Eddie Nketiah, Rob Holding and Fabio Vieira fired Arsenal to a routine 3-0 Europa League win over Norwegian champions Bodo/Glimt.

Nketiah, who has yet to start in the Premier League this season, scored his second goal in two European games.

Then defender Holding, who has been on the pitch for just two minutes in the league this season, headed a second before Vieira racked up a late third to secure two wins from two for Mikel Arteta’s men in Group A.

Glimt had defeated Roma 6-1 in the group stage and defeated Celtic en route to the quarter-finals of last season’s Europa Conference League.

But their evening in north London did not get off to the best start when their bus got stuck on a tight bend in the narrow streets surrounding the stadium, forcing players to get out and walk the rest of the way.

But once the game started it was Arsenal who sauntered to a comfortable win.

Vieira should have put them ahead in the ninth minute after Granit Xhaka, one of three starters who also tackled Saturday’s win against Tottenham, fed the overlapping Kieran Tierney down the left.

Tierney’s cut-back found Vieira 12 yards away but the Portuguese midfielder’s shot grazed the bar.

Nketiah had already narrowly missed an early shot before scoring the goal in the 23rd minute.

Gabriel Martinelli did well to keep the ball in a crowded midfield before finally smuggling it wide to Tierney.

The full-back launched a first shot that rattled at the far post and fell on Nketiah to sweep into an unguarded net.

The save doubled Arsenal’s lead four minutes later with a header at the far post following a Vieira cross.

Xhaka nearly made the three, but his curl free-kick was overplayed by Glimt keeper Nikita Haikin.

The industrious Vieira circled a shot wide before half-time and Xhaka forced Haikin to make a fine save seconds after the restart.

Arsenal’s new reserve goalkeeper Matt Turner had been a spectator in the first half but was alert enough to parry a subtle reflex early in the second half to ward off Amahl Pellegrino’s snap.

Nketiah capitalized on a late chance before substitute Gabriel Jesus Vieira scored the goal in the 84th minute that his performance deserved to set Premier League leaders Arsenal well for Liverpool’s visit on Sunday.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/fabio-vieira-rob-holding-eddie-nketiah-europa-league-granit-xhaka-b2197406.html Comfortable Europa League victory for heavily changed arsenal

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