Goals from Eddie Nketiah, Rob Holding, and Fábio Vieira were more than justified after Arsenal put in another customary dominant performance as the growing trend this season from Arteta’s men has emerged; we are going to play our way.
Bodø manager Kjetil Knutsen was adamant that his side was intent on coming to the Emirates and being far more positive than Tottenham in Spurs’ recent North London Derby loss against Arsenal, but the credible Norwegian outfit could not get anything going on their travels after they were seen off in dominant fashion.
Hale End academy product Eddie Nketiah continued to lead the line for Arsenal on the continent and added another goal to his CV, his twelfth strike in his last fifteen appearances for the north London giants in all competitions.
Rob Holding’s by way of a Fábio Vieira assist added a souvenir to the English defender’s season to date thus far, but summer signing Vieira was perhaps the star performer tonight after his display was proof positive that Arteta and Edu were justified in securing his services from FC Porto.
The Portuguese youth international added the bookend to Arsenal’s performance when he fired home from close range after second-half substitute Gabriel Jesus danced through the Bodø defense in the box before squaring to an open Vieira who roofed his effort into the net from close range.
That result sees the Gunners climb to the top of Group A despite PSV Eindhoven’s demolition job over FC Zürich (5-1) and sets up a home-and-home clash between the two with top spot on the line, with Bodø fully capable of rebounding against the Swiss outfit for their own back-to-back pair of fixtures as the next two match days could go on to define the entire group picture in preparation for the knockout stage.
With Arsenal set to clash against Liverpool at the weekend, it is worth noting that the Gunners have secured nine wins in their first ten fixtures in all competitions for just the third time in the club’s illustrious history, standing alongside their efforts dating back to 1903-04 and 2007-08.
In what has traditionally been a fixture that Liverpool has enjoyed overall in recent years, their could be a new scriptwriter this season if Arsenal remain in the mood.
Arsenal Player Ratings
GK: Matt Turner (7) - A good performance from the American international keeper who made a cadre of top-class saves while offering up supporting evidence to suggest he is good enough to be at the Premier League club.
RB: Takehiro Tomiyasu (7) - Calm and collected from Tomiyasu who looks ready to push for his starting place in Arteta’s preferred XI after Ben White has done superbly in his stead. An intriguing battle for minutes that could benefit the club.
CB: Rob Holding (7.5) - A goal for the English center-back tonight after he put in a good shift commensurate with what you’d expect from him; more than good enough to start on the continent while still offering depth in the heart of the defense.
CB: Gabriel Magalhães (7) - Relatively quiet from the Brazilian overall but he still comported himself well when called upon. Solid, and did not need to be much else.
LB: Kieran Tierney (7) - Unlucky to not score a goal after his well-struck effort smashed against the far post before Nketiah turned in the rebound smartly. A good performance tonight that deserved a goal.
DM: Sambi Lokonga (6.5) - Okay from the Belgian international but is still well off the pace of Thomas Partey and cannot offer the same commanding presence despite credible technical attributes.
CM: Fábio Vieira (8.5) - A sublime outing for the summer signing and Portuguese youth international, with a goal and an assist justifiable after he showed that his summer capture was justified. Look for him to push for more minutes off the back of this.
CM: Granit Xhaka (7) - Despite finding his way into the referee’s book, Xhaka was as solid as ever tonight in what continues to be his best run of form in an Arsenal shirt in a role he is more accustomed to.
RW: Marquinhos (6) - Marquinhos has done well to remain at the club and not be sent out on loan after impressing Mikel Arteta but was well off the boil tonight in his decision-making ability while looking passive when taking players on.
LW: Gabriel Martinelli (7) - Another credible outing by the Brazilian winger who still is one of Arsenal’s dangermen even when he doesn’t score or turn provider due to his movement on and off the ball and ability to drive play.
CF: Eddie Nketiah (7) - A goal for Nketiah once again in the Europa League as he continues to bring the goods in leading the line for Arteta on the continent. Remains valued despite the arrival of Gabriel Jesus.
Sub: Gabriel Jesus (7.5) - He may not have gotten the nod tonight with Liverpool at the weekend, but Gabriel Jesus’ 30-minute cameo was on par with the rest of his season. An assist tonight after a dazzling run gives him five goals and four assists in ten appearances.
Sub: Martin Ødegaard (6.5) - Involved in quite a few passages of play but there was no end product from the Norwegian this evening against a cadre of his countrymen, but there did not have to be. The weekend is the goal for him.
Sub: Bukayo Saka (6) - A bit of a stroll in the park for Saka tonight who got some minutes into his legs ahead of the weekend clash with Liverpool but lacked any real contribution. Nothing to be read into, though.
Sub: Ben White (6) - His 20-minutes at the end in replacing Tierney points to the Scottish international starting against Liverpool but also equally the same could be said for him. Minutes today only to keep him fighting-fit.
Sub: Reiss Nelson (6) - Given a chance off the bench as he looks to fight for his Arsenal career but it remains clear his future likely lies elsewhere outside of the Emirates.
Bodø/Glimt Player Ratings
GK: Nikita Haikin (6)
RB: Brice Wenbamgomo (6)
CB: Marius Lode (7)
CB: Brede Moe (6)
LB: Alfons Sampsted (6)
DM: Patrick Berg (6.5)
CM: Hugo Vetlesen (6)
CM: Ulrik Saltnes (6)
RW: Joel Mvuka (6.5)
LW: Amahl Pellegrino (6.5)
CF: Runar Espejord (6)
Sub: Ola Solbakken (6)
Sub: Albert Grønbæk (6)
Sub: Marius Hølbråten (6)
Sub: Morten Konradsen (6)
Sub: Lars-Jørgen Salvensen (6)