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Watch Full Highlight: Molde 0-3 Arsenal



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Nicolas Pepe showed the positive side of his game as he bounced back by scoring the opener to help Mikel Arteta’s side defeat Molde and secure qualification to the Uefa Europa League knockout stages.

The Ivorian kept his place in Arsenal’s side despite being criticised by head coach Mikel Arteta following his red card in the goalless draw at Leeds United over last weekend.

Fast-forward four days and the club-record signing made amends by shining as the north London side won 3-0 in Norway with teenage forward Folarin Balogun grabbing his first senior goal after Reiss Nelson had doubled the lead.

The result mean Mikel Arteta’s men are through to the round of 32 and can assure themselves top spot in the Group B with a positive result at home to Rapid Vienna next week – a game which will see 2,000 supporters return to the Emirates Stadium for the first time since March.

Reiss Nelson had a decent early chance only to see his strike well saved but it was the hosts who were then scratching their heads as to how they passed up a fine opportunity to take the lead.

Defender Sheriff Sinyan only needed to turn in a cross when free at the back post but managed to divert it across goal and into the grateful hands of goalkeeper Alex Runarsson.

Nicolas Pepe had looked lively from the off and fired wideafter running at the Molde defence as the sides went in level at the interval.

Arsenal lost David Luiz to injury at the break, the Brazilian replaced in defence by Rob Holding – but it was at the other end of the pitch were Mikel Arteta’s men looked much sharper.

A superb Nicolas Pepe strike cannoned back off the crossbar as the north London club came closer and closer to taking the lead.

Moments later the 25-year-old winger opened the scoring, controlling a cross at the back post and curling a strike out of the reach of Andreas Linde.

Forward Eddie Nketiah then bundled in from close range but was flagged offside before Reiss Nelson popped up six yards out to steer home Joe Willock’s cross and put Gunners further clear.

The win would be wrapped up by Folarin Balogun, the 19-year-old scoring his first Arsenal goal just 37 seconds into his second senior appearance as Linde failed to deal with his strike from Smith Rowe’s pass.

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