Eddie Nketiah impresses as Arsenal outclass Bodo/Glimt

Eddie Nketiah impresses as Arsenal outclass Bodo/Glimt - PA
Eddie Nketiah impresses as Arsenal outclass Bodo/Glimt - PA
  • Nketiah scores opener after Tierney rattles the post

  • Holding heads in the second from Vieira's cross

  • Vieira scores late third after superb work from Jesus

The Europa League is often derided as a distraction for teams like Arsenal, but on nights like these it provides a valuable service. Mikel Arteta’s side are gaining momentum and each game is another opportunity to build the on-pitch connections and relationships that the Arsenal manager craves.

Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt made for an occasionally awkward opponent in north London and for Arsenal it was two long-serving, reliable figures — and an exciting new face — who ultimately made the difference.

Academy graduate Eddie Nketiah struck the first goal, once again displaying his goalscoring prowess, centre-back Rob Holding headed in the second and new signing Fabio Vieira eventually completed proceedings with a late third.

Nketiah and Holding are not the stars of this Arsenal side but Arteta will be the first to say they are vital characters in the squad. The Europa League keeps the ball rolling for these players and provides chances for others who need minutes in between Premier League matches.

Rob Holding steers his header in for Arsenal's second goal - GETTY IMAGES
Rob Holding steers his header in for Arsenal's second goal - GETTY IMAGES

The result was also important, too. The Europa League appears to be a winnable competition for Arsenal this season and it helps to top the group.

Thursday night football has never been the ultimate goal for Arsenal but these nights are always more enjoyable against an enthusiastic opponent, and they do not come much more enthusiastic than Glimt. These are the glory days for the Norwegian side and their relentless fans had packed out the away section well over an hour before kick-off.

As a measure of the significance of this tie to Glimt, consider this: the entire population of Bodo, around 50,000, could fit inside the Emirates Stadium and there would still be 10,000 seats to spare.

Not that the Norwegians were simply happy to be here. This is a serious team with a serious manager, the highly-rated Kjetil Knutsen. Last year they smashed Jose Mourinho’s Roma 6-1 in the Europa Conference League and Arsenal had to be sharp in the opening stages here.

The visitors' fans were in superb voice throughout - OFFSIDE VIA GETTY IMAGES
The visitors' fans were in superb voice throughout - OFFSIDE VIA GETTY IMAGES

For all of Glimt’s quality, though, Arteta would have expected his team to be too good for the visitors. So it proved in the first half, when Nketiah led the way with an impressively dynamic performance in attack.

The Englishman is behind Gabriel Jesus in the pecking order, but he has looked dangerous whenever he has featured. His goal, tapped in after Kieran Tierney’s fierce strike had come off the post, was a reminder of his goalscoring instinct.

“His work rate, attitude and application is just phenomenal but he’s got this natural ability to score and he does it every time,” said Arteta.

The second came just four minutes later, when Holding held off a defender and headed home from Vieira’s swirling cross. “He is a real threat,” said Arteta of Vieira. “A really intelligent player, really brave.”

To Glimt’s credit, they emerged for the second half with a new sense of purpose. Suddenly they were finding gaps in the Arsenal midfield, and it required a fine save from Matt Turner, Arsenal’s goalkeeper, to stop Amahl Pellegrino’s low strike.

Arteta’s response was to flex his managerial muscles. On came Martin Odegaard, Jesus and Bukayo Saka, and Arsenal took control again. The third goal originated from the dancing feet of Jesus, who swerved past two opponents before finding Vieira for a simple finish into an open goal.

Arsenal vs Bodo/Glimt – as it happened:

10:30 PM

That's all for this evening, thanks for joining us

We'll have coverage of England women vs United States women at Wembley tomorrow, an international friendly but one which has more than that riding on it: European champions vs world champions.

10:18 PM

Mikel Arteta speaks with BT Sport

Really happy obviously with the win. Six points now with that clean sheet.

We lacked a little bit of connections today between the players, too many simple giveaways.

There are a lot of players who haven't played a lot of minutes. You can notice that.

In the final third, we looked really dangerous. Every time we got into those positions we were a threat.

Mikel Arteta - Nick Potts/PA Wire
Mikel Arteta - Nick Potts/PA Wire

10:04 PM

Eddie Nketiah speaks with BT Sport.

A good win, nice to have a European night in front of our fans. I'm just going to try to keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully keep scoring and helping the team.

[On the return leg in Norway]: It's going to be a tough game, they've got good players on the ball, and they made it difficult for us at times,

We have to keep fighting, keep pushing.

Eddie Nketiah - Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images
Eddie Nketiah - Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

09:56 PM

Full time: Arsenal 3 Bodo/Glimt 0

The Norwegian side turned up and played the football they are known for, but Arsenal outclassed Bodo/Glimt this evening.

Nketiah opened the scoring with a great reaction goal after Tierney hit the host, Holding made it two a few minutes later after a wonderfully-placed cross, and Vieira sealed it after some magical footwork from that man Jesus.

Arsenal welcome Liverpool to the Emirates on Sunday.

Martin Oedegaard of Arsenal speaks to Marius Hoibraten of FK Bodo/Glimt - Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Martin Oedegaard of Arsenal speaks to Marius Hoibraten of FK Bodo/Glimt - Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

09:50 PM

90+2 mins: Arsenal 3 Bodo/Glimt 0

Bodo/Glimt are keeping at it. Saltnes forces a double save from Turner, with Holding clearing the deflected second save off the line.

09:47 PM

90 mins: Arsenal 3 Bodo/Glimt 0

Three minutes of added time.

09:47 PM

88 mins: Arsenal 3 Bodo/Glimt 0

Nelson stands up a good cross from the left side of the box. Vieira is at the far post, but Bodo/Glimmt react well to clear.

Fabio Vieira scores - REUTERS
Fabio Vieira scores - REUTERS

09:45 PM

GOAL! Arsenal 3 Bodo/Glimt 0 (Vieira, 84)

Vieira gets on the scoresheet!

Terrific play from Jesus: he charges up the byline, picking the ball up from Tomiyasu's throw on the left. Some quick footwork to break into the six-yard box, before spotting Vieira in space. He pulls it back to him and the Portuguese midfielder smashes that past Khaikin.

09:40 PM

81 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0

Ben White gets an overlapping run in, released by Saka, but he overruns that and it's out for a Bodo/Glimt goal kick.

Arsenal sub: Nketiah off, Nelson on.

09:37 PM

79 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0

Nketiah is played through, a ball from Odegaard timed perfectly for the Arsenal forward to run through the Bodo/Glimt defence.

Nketiah takes the shot on but it fizzes over.

09:36 PM

77 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0

A Bodo/Glimt free kick is sent in by Pellegrino, curved in behind the defensive line. Tomiyasu gets a strong head on it and Turner pounces onto the loose ball.

09:34 PM

75 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0

It looks like Saka has taken a slight knock. He's limping gingerly away from the byline. Looks like he's staying on for now.

09:31 PM

72  mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0

Pellegrino with a well-weighted pass to Saltnes. He cuts the ball to Espejord, splitting through the Arsenal defence. He then returns the ball to Saltness on his left to get a shot away... but it's a whisker wide. Turns out Espejord was just off in the build up.

09:28 PM

69 mins: Arsenal sub

Kieran Tierney is off; Ben White comes on.

It looks like Tomiyasu will switch to the other flank.

09:26 PM

A solid showing from Bodo/Glimt this second half

Joel Mvuka  - Shutterstock
Joel Mvuka - Shutterstock
Marius Lode - AFP
Marius Lode - AFP

09:22 PM

63 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0

Bodo/Glimt with some good approach play this second half, but again they've been snuffed out with an errant wide pass in the final third.

09:19 PM

Sam Dean on Nketiah

Eddie Nketiah doesn't always play for Arsenal but, when he does, he usually scores. He's a natural-born goalscorer and his record over the past year has been very good indeed. This the Englishman's 15th start since the beginning of last season, and his first-half strike was his 12th goal in those games. When Eddie plays, Eddie scores.

Eddie Nketiah - Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Eddie Nketiah - Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

09:17 PM

Martinelli

Martinelli - Action Images via Reuters
Martinelli - Action Images via Reuters

09:16 PM

57 mins: A trio of Arsenal subs

Off: Martinelli, Xhaka, Marquinhos.

On: Jesus, Odegaard, Saka.

09:15 PM

56 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0

Mvuka chases down the right flank,  but he's tackled strongly by Tierney. Arsenal try to clear, but it's back with the Bodo/Glimt midfield.

Pellegrino gets a close shot away, on-target, but Turner dives down well to keep it out. He must've seen that very late, a fair number of shirts in his way.

09:12 PM

53 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0

A bit of a slower start from Arsenal in this second half, not quite the same intensity as the first half. It's allowing Bodo/Glimt to start stringing some passes together and enter the final third.

They're growing in confidence here – Saltness the latest to get a shot away from the outside of the box.

09:10 PM

51 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0

The Arsenal defenders stand off Vetlesen as the ball is played into him from the left, onto the edge of the D. He gets a shot away, but it's a fairly easy gather for Turner in between the posts.

09:05 PM

46 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0

Martinelli weaves down the byline and pulls the ball back across to Xhaka who gets a toe-poked shot away to test Khaikin early in this second half. Solid save and a great run from Martinelli who did most of the hard work there.

09:03 PM

Second half

Here we go, 45 more to come.

08:55 PM

Holding nods in Arsenal's second

08:54 PM

The two managers

Kjetil Knutsen - AFP
Kjetil Knutsen - AFP
Mikel Arteta - PA
Mikel Arteta - PA

08:50 PM

Half time: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0

The Premier League leaders are getting the job done so far and the football is great to watch.

Nketiah reacted quickly after Tierney's shot cannoned off the post to give Arsenal the lead. Vieira then set up the second – a wonderful cross which was nodded home by Rob Holding.

It had the potential to be a difficult tie, but Arsenal are dominating at the Emirates. To Bodo/Glimt's credit, they are sticking to their philosophy and haven't tried to park the bus at all.

Rob Holding celebrates after scoring his team's second goal - AFP
Rob Holding celebrates after scoring his team's second goal - AFP

08:47 PM

45 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0   

Bodo/Glimt with a small foray into the Arsenal half, but they're unable to make anything of it.

One minute of added time to come.

08:45 PM

42 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0 

Marquinhos cuts onto his left foot from the right channel. He tries to pick out Nketiah but it's headed away. Nicely floated cross though.

Arsenal recycle the attack, Martinelli pulling the ball across from the byline on the left and picking out Vieira. He unleashes a shot and it's just wide!

08:40 PM

37 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0 

Nketiah picks the pocket of Lode. He's through on goal and opts to unselfishly square to Martinelli, but a yellow shirt is there to stop the pass in its tracks. He probably should've gone for that himself.

08:37 PM

36 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0

The corner's swung in well, Khaikin comes flapping out. Ball comes to Tomiyasu on the left side of the box and he tries to recycle it back in... but Nketiah is deemed to have fouled his man. Bodo/Glimt are off the hook.

08:36 PM

34 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0

It's laid off to Xhaka, he goes for power and it's going in but for a strong save from Khaikin. Good effort. Corner.

08:35 PM

32 mins: Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0

Arsenal win a free kick after a handball on the edge of the box following some patient buildup play.

Let's see who takes this... there's about five players discussing.

08:30 PM

GOAL! Arsenal 2 Bodo/Glimt 0 (Holding, 27)

A terrific ball from Vieira after the ball is headed back out to him following the corner. He picks Holding out who steers his header past Khaikin to double Arsenal's lead.

Rob Holding scores - Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs
Rob Holding scores - Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs
Matt Turner  - Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Matt Turner - Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

08:28 PM

26 mins: Arsenal 1 Bodo/Glimt 0

Vieira is played in well, thundering into the Bodo/Glimt box... but he goes wide and Khaikin comes out well to cover the angle. Corner.

08:26 PM

GOAL! Arsenal 1 Bodo/Glimt 0 (Nketiah, 23)

Martinelli spreads the ball to Tierney on his left after charging up the pitch on the counter. Tierney takes a touch and takes the shot on, hits the post, but Nketiah is there to put in the rebound.

A quick reaction there from the Arsenal forward after it cannoned off the woodwork.

Eddie Nketiah - REUTERS
Eddie Nketiah - REUTERS

08:23 PM

21 mins: Arsenal 0 Bodo/Glimt 0     

Martinelli floats the ball well into the Bodo/Glimt box. It comes to Marquinhos who shimmies left and right, trying to find a way through... but there's not way in.

08:21 PM

19 mins: Arsenal 0 Bodo/Glimt 0   

Xhaka gets Nketiah in that left channel, he pulls the ball across and forces Khaikin to come diving out. He can only spill it but Bodo/Glimt clear the immediate danger.

08:18 PM

15 mins: Arsenal 0 Bodo/Glimt 0   

Xhaka is picked out in the inside left-channel, a good run that. He enjoys getting ahead of the forwards like that. He puts a ball in, but it's not a very good one and it's out for a Bodo/Glimt throw on the other side.

08:14 PM

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta - Getty Images
Mikel Arteta - Getty Images

08:13 PM

Bodo/Glimt fans out in force tonight

Bodo/Glimt fans - REUTERS
Bodo/Glimt fans - REUTERS

08:12 PM

10 mins: Arsenal 0 Bodo/Glimt 0 

Tierney picks the ball up on the left and pulls it back across the box, aiming for Nketiah. but it clips off a Bodo/Glimt player, comes to Vieira who takes a touch to flick it up for himself and on his second touch fires towards goal... but it's just over the crossbar. Strongest attack so far.

08:09 PM

5 mins: Arsenal 0 Bodo/Glimt 0 

Vieira has gone down after an ankle clash. After a brief medical pause he's back on his feet. He'll run that one off.

Vieira goes down after taking a knock  - Shutterstock
Vieira goes down after taking a knock - Shutterstock

08:08 PM

5 mins: Arsenal 0 Bodo/Glimt 0

It doesn't look like Bodo/Glimt are going to sit back though. They're pressing high too. It should be quite an entertaining game if it stays like this.

08:06 PM

4 mins: Arsenal 0 Bodo/Glimt 0

Nketiah tries to curl one in from outside the box on the left-hand side. Just wide.

08:05 PM

2 mins: Arsenal 0 Bodo/Glimt 0

Arsenal have started with a high press, Nketiah charging down the keeper Khaikin and forcing him to square the ball, Sampsted then pressed in by Marquinhos. Arsenal win the ball back well, Tierney getting a cross into the box.

08:01 PM

Kick off!

Arsenal get us under way. It's the first competitive meeting between these two sides.

Germany's Harm Osmers officiates this evening.

07:58 PM

The players are out, a reminder of the teams tonight

Arsenal: Turner, Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Vieira, Sambi Lokonga, Xhaka, Alencar, Nketiah, Martinelli.

Subs: Ramsdale, White, Partey, Saka, Odegaard, Gabriel Jesus, Saliba, Cedric, Nelson, Hein, Cirjan, Smith.

Bodo/Glimt: Haikin, Wembangomo, Lode, Moe, Sampsted, Vetlesen, Berg, Saltnes, Mugisha, Espejord, Pellegrino.

Subs: Lund, Sery Larsen, Hoibraten, Amundsen, Gronbaek, Solbakken, Morten Konradsen, Hagen, Sorli, Zugelj, Salvesen.

07:57 PM

Bodo/Glimt have brought a good crowd to north London tonight

Bodoe/Glimt's supporters  - AFP
Bodoe/Glimt's supporters - AFP

07:53 PM

Warm ups

Eddie Nketiah - Getty Images Europe
Eddie Nketiah - Getty Images Europe
Arsenal's Bukayo Saka and Ben White - Action Images via Reuters
Arsenal's Bukayo Saka and Ben White - Action Images via Reuters
Bodo/Glimt's Brice Wembangomo - REUTERS
Bodo/Glimt's Brice Wembangomo - REUTERS

07:51 PM

Good to see the Bodo/Glimt players have made it...

Their bus got stuck in north London earlier... the players walked the rest of the way

07:35 PM

Sam Dean is our man at the Emirates

Another start for Gabriel Martinelli tonight. He's going to need a rest at one point. He has started every Arsenal game this season, and has only been subbed twice. He has played all but 27 minutes of the entire campaign so far.

gabriel martinelli - Marc Atkins/Getty Images
gabriel martinelli - Marc Atkins/Getty Images

07:26 PM

Mikel Arteta has forged a new Granit Xhaka

The outpouring of love for Xhaka is evidence that his relationship with the supporters has been repaired after the ugly fallout that cost him the captaincy — and almost caused him to leave the club — in 2019. In itself, that is testament to Xhaka’s own determination and resilience.

More than that, though, it is a reflection of the quality of his football this season. The main reason the fans have fallen for Xhaka again is because he is playing so well, in a team that is thriving. After all, it is easier to forget about the past when the present is so thrilling and the future feels so exciting.

Read Sam Dean's investigation of the Swiss midfielder's blossoming under his manager here. 

xhaka arteta - Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC
xhaka arteta - Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC

07:17 PM

As it stands in Group A

Arsenal sit third, behind Bodo/Glimt but the table tells a misleading story: following the cancellation of Arsenal's tie against PSV, they've only played one of their Europa League fixtures.

Spare a thought for FC Zurich: they sit bottom on zero points, and are 75 minutes through a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of PSV.

07:13 PM

With an hour to go until kick-off

Energy levels are high amongst Bodo/Glimt's travelling supporters.

07:09 PM

Bodo/Glimt's starting XI

Nikita Haikin (GK), Brice Wembangomo, Marius Lode, Brede Moe, Alfons Sampsted, Hugo Vetlesen, Patrick Berg, Ulrik Saltnes (c), Joel Mugisha Mvuka, Runar Espejord, Amahi Pellegrino

Substitutes:  Faye Lund, Sery Larsen, Hoibraten, Amundsen, Gronbaek, Konradsen, Hagen, Sorli, Zugel, Salvesen

07:06 PM

How Arsenal line up this evening

Matt Turner (GK), Takehiro Tomiyasu, Rob Holding, Gabriel, Kiernan Tierney, Fabio Vieira, Albert Lokonga, Granit Xhaka (c), Marquinkos, Edward Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli

Substitutes: Ramsdal, Hein, Soares, White, Saliba, Nelson, Cirjan, Saka, Smith, Partey Odegaard, Jesus

No change to the starting XI they fielded against FC Zurich last month.

Granit Xhaka arrives at the Emirates ahead of this evening's fixture against Bodo/Glimt - David Price/Arsenal FC
Granit Xhaka arrives at the Emirates ahead of this evening's fixture against Bodo/Glimt - David Price/Arsenal FC

05:08 PM

Good evening!

Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport's live coverage of Arsenal's Europa League Group A clash with Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt at the Emirates.

Bodo/Glimt currently top the group with four points having beaten Zurich and picked up a point against PSV. Arsenal, however, have played one game less and will go top if they win this evening.

The Norwegian side are second in the Eliteserien, 15 points off rivals Molde who look like they will win the league with just six games remaining.

Mikel Arteta's Arsenal are top of the Premier League, with 21 points after eight games. Arteta has revealed that the club are looking to nail their young stars down to long-term deals, working closely with technical director Edu.

He said: "Obviously Edu is on top of it and all the board and we will try to do things in the right way, being fair and trying to plan the best possible way and reward the players that in our opinion have a big future for the club.

"At the moment we have something to announce, we will do that.

"We will try to do the same thing and make sure that the club is always protected, that the club is always in a good position to move forward and the players are happy to be at the club."

William Saliba, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka all have two years left on their current contracts, but Arsenal are looking to tie down the trio.

Bodo/Glimt shouldn't be underestimated this evening. They beat Serie A side AS Roma twice in four matches in the Europa Conference League last season, including a 6-1 thumping, and they knocked out Celtic and AZ Alkmaar.

Arteta said on Wednesday: "We've done our homework. Obviously, we have made the players aware of the team that we are facing tomorrow, the history and what they've done in the last few years."