Even without eight regulars, Arsenal have been far too good for Bodo/Glimt. Eddie Nketiah and Rob Holding scored, Fabio Vieira hit the bar and the goalkeeper Matt Turner had the square root of bugger all to do.
44 min Xhaka’s fierce cutback evades Nketiah and runs to Vieira on the edge of the area. He takes a touch, gives the keeper the eyes and whips a shot just wide of the right-hand post.
42 min Xhaka falls over then deliberately handles the ball to stop a Bodo/Glimt break. Yellow card!
40 min “Some large footballers just look enormous,” says Kári Tulinius. “Andy Carroll, for instance, always looks like he’s standing closer to the camera than anyone else on the field. But Holding somehow looks normal sized, even though he’s just two inches shorter than Carroll. Until, that is, you put Holding next to another player. When he picked up Vieira to celebrate the goal I thought, at first, that he’d picked up a mascot.”
39 min Vieira’s deep corner is headed over by Nketiah at the far post. That wasn’t a bad chance.
38 min At the other end, Pellegrino curls well wide from 20 yards. I think that’s Bodo/Glimt’s first shot.
37 min Another chance for Nketiah, who is too unselfish for his own good. He led a two v one and tried to find Martinelli to his left when he should probably have taken the shot himself. The pass was blocked.
37 min After a nice dummy from Xhaka, Tierney pokes high and wide from the edge of the area. This is so easy for Arsenal.
35 min Vieira touches the ball off to Xhaka, whose fierce rising drive is pushed over by Haikin. It was well struck but close enough for the keeper to save relatively comfortably.
34 min The free-kick is 18.1 yards from goal, slightly to the right of centre. Xhaka, Vieira and Martinelli are over the ball…
33 min Wembangomo handles the ball just outside the area and is booked.
31 min Here’s the opening goal from Eddie Nketiah.
29 min Arsenal are in total control of this game. Bodo/Glimt have kept the ball reasonably well but they’ve done nothing in the final third.
A corner was headed back out to Vieira near the right corner of the area. He curled a gorgeous ball to the far post, where Holding lost his marker and planted an excellent header into the bottom corner. Bodo/Glimt thought Holding fouled his man, but the goal stands.
Big Rob Holding makes it two!
26 min Haikin springs from his line to make a good save from Vieira, who tried to lift the ball over the keeper from a tight angle.
25 min If it stays like this, Arsenal will move above Bodo/Glimt with a game in hand.
Martinelli beat two players in midfield and played a good pass out to Tierney on the left side of the area. He whistled a spectacular shot that thumped off the inside of the far post, and Nketiah reacted smartly to put the rebound away from 12 yards.
Eddie Nketiah gives Arsenal the lead!
20 min Nketiah, who looks bright, slides a dangerous low cross that is pushed away by the diving Halkin.
19 min Tomiyasu wafts a crossfield pass straight out of play. Arsenal are showing a few little signs of frustration.
16 min Tierney angles a penetrative pass into Xhaka on the left edge of the area, but he overhits his cross towards Nketiah.
13 min Bodo/Glimt look pretty confident in possession, and they certainly haven’t come with any bus-parking intent. It’s a decent game so far.
9 min: Vieira hits the bar! Xhaka lobbed a good ball down the left to Tierney, who rifled a low cross into the middle. Lode stretched to clear but could only give the ball to Vieira, who chested the ball down and slapped it off the top of the crossbar.
8 min Holding hoofs a crossfield pass straight out of play.
6 min Berg accidentally stands on the toes of Vieira, who slaps the ground in pain. After a bit of treatment, he’s fine to continue.
5 min Nketiah bursts forward from the halfway line, leaving Vetlesen in his slipstream. He moves to within 20 yards of goal, shifts the ball onto his right foot and floats a curler that drifts wide of the far post. A decent.
2 min Tierney’s high, hanging cross is controlled deftly by Vieira beyond the far post. He opens his body to slick a low shot that is kicked away by Wembangomo in the six-yard box.
1 min Peep peep! Arsenal kick off from left to right.
“It’s good to see Rob Holding back in the starting lineup,” says Charles Antaki. “He’s one of those players Arsenal have featured over the years who look innocent, freshfaced to the point of near goofiness – you might make a case also for the younger Theo Walcott and even maybe Emmanuel Eboué before it all went horribly wrong – but I imagine that if you ever took them on at anything competitive they would take a devilish delight at ruthlessly thrashing you.
“Anyway, good luck to him tonight; he’s not liable to break into the first team again, at least not for league games, so this is probably as good as it’s going to get.”
“Fun fact,” says Alexander Ediassen. “Bodø/Glimt midfielder Hugo Vetlesen is a lifelong Arsenal fan, and was at the Emirates as a 12-year-old seeing a game.”
I wonder if he’ll celebrate if he scores.
“Hi Rob,” says Peter Oh. “How do you say the name of the Norwegian club? ‘Bodo and or Glimt’? And which version of the home team will show up today? The Invincibles/Oh Arsenal?”
The other game in this group was an early kick-off, and PSV ran riot in Zurich. They were 5-0 up after 55 minutes before easing off. This is how Group A looks as a result.
Mikel Arteta picks the same XI that won 2-1 away to FC Zurich last month. That includes three players who started the victory over Spurs at the weekend: Gabriel, Gabriel Martinelli and Granit Xhaka.
Arsenal (4-1-2-3) Turner; Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Sambi Lokonga; Fabio Vieira, Xhaka; Marquinhos, Nketiah, Martinelli.
Substitutes: Ramsdale, Hein, White, Partey, Saka, Odegaard, Jesus, Saliba, Cedric, Nelson, Cirjan, Smith.
Bodo/Glimt (4-1-2-3) Haikin; Sampsted, Moe, Lode, Wembangomo; Berg; Vetlesen, Saltnes; Mugisha, Espejord, Pellegrino.
Substitutes: Faye Lund, Sery, Hoibraten, Amundsen, Gronbaek, Solbakken, Konradsen, Hagen, Sorli, Zugelj, Salvesen.
Referee Harm Osmers (Germany)
Hello, good evening and welcome to live coverage of the Europa League match between Arsenal and Bodo/Glimt at the Emirates. It’s another test/demonstration of Arsenal’s strength in depth, which looks far better than it did when they blew up at the end of last season. They play Liverpool on Sunday, so Mikel Arteta has rested eight of his Premier League-leading XI. The second string were good enough to beat FC Zurich in the opening game, and a win tonight would put Arsenal top of Group A with a game in hand on a couple of teams.
Bodo/Glimt are useful opponents, who famously beat Roma 6-1 in the group stages last season, but almost all of their recent success in Europe has been at home. Everyone at the Emirates is high on life right now, and Arsenal will expect to win – even with a reserve side.
Kick off 8pm.