Nicolas Pepe put his red card against Leeds United behind him with the opening goal against Molde as Arsenal secured their place in the last 32 of the Europa League.
The Ivory Coast forward curled a powerful strike into the top corner after a difficult week following his dismissal at Elland Road.
Reiss Nelson doubled the Gunners’ lead shortly after with a tap-in from close range as Arsenal progressed to the knockout stage with two games to spare.
Substitute Folarin Balogun, 19, scored with his first touch to cement victory for Mikel Arteta’s side in Norway.
The North London side have won all four games in Group B and scored 12 goals in the process, displaying a consistency that is in contrast to their Premier League campaign.
After a bright but fruitless first half, £72m signing Pepe finally found the net for the Gunners in a style befitting his high price tag.
A lovely cushioned touch set the 25-year-old up to fire home past goalkeeper Andreas Linde and put Arsenal on their way to last 32.
The Gunners quickly increased their advantage when Nelson, Arsenal’s best player along with Pepe, tapped home after a good pass into the box by Joe Willock.
A comfortable win was completed when Balogun swivelled in the penalty area and fired home a low strike to cap off a positive performance by Arteta’s side.
With qualification to the knockout stage secured, the focal point for Arsenal in Europe will be the return of a small number of supporters to Emirates Stadium for the tie against Rapid Vienna on 3 December.
The club tweeted before the game in Norway: “It’s been a long nine long months without our fans. And our matches simply haven’t been the same. So we’re delighted to confirm we’ll be safely welcoming 2,000 fans back to Emirates Stadium for next week’s #UEL fixture.”
More to follow.
- 6GregersenSubstituted forKnudtzonat 85′minutes
- 3RisaSubstituted forHolmgren Pedersenat 82′minutes
- 16HussainSubstituted forBollyat 61′minutes
- 7Wolff EikremSubstituted forBrynhildsenat 81′minutes
- 10JamesSubstituted forOmoijuanfoat 61′minutes
- 27Holmgren Pedersen
- 17Cédric Soares
- 23David LuizSubstituted forHoldingat 45′minutes
- 28WillockSubstituted forTierneyat 75′minutes
- 34XhakaSubstituted forCeballosat 62′minutes
- 9LacazetteSubstituted forSmith Roweat 75′minutes
- 30NketiahSubstituted forBalogunat 82′minutes
- 32Smith Rowe
Match ends, Molde 0, Arsenal 3.
Second Half ends, Molde 0, Arsenal 3.
Attempt blocked. Nicolas Pépé (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Dani Ceballos.
Offside, Arsenal. Cédric Soares tries a through ball, but Folarin Balogun is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Fredrik Aursnes (Molde) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Henry Wingo.
Substitution, Molde. Erling Knudtzon replaces Stian Rode Gregersen.
Foul by Folarin Balogun (Arsenal).
Stian Rode Gregersen (Molde) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Molde 0, Arsenal 3. Folarin Balogun (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Emile Smith Rowe.
Substitution, Arsenal. Folarin Balogun replaces Eddie Nketiah.
Substitution, Molde. Marcus Holmgren Pedersen replaces Birk Risa.
Substitution, Molde. Ola Brynhildsen replaces Magnus Wolff Eikrem.
Foul by Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal).
Sheriff Sinyan (Molde) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Mathis Bolly (Molde) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Fredrik Aursnes.
Substitution, Arsenal. Kieran Tierney replaces Joseph Willock.
Substitution, Arsenal. Emile Smith Rowe replaces Alexandre Lacazette.
Joseph Willock (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Stian Rode Gregersen (Molde).
Attempt missed. Rob Holding (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Nicolas Pépé with a cross following a corner.
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