MICHAEL ADUBATO - Friday, November 6, 2020
Henry Wingo went the distance for Molde as they fell to Arsenal while Richard Ledezma came off the bench late for PSV Eindhoven in Europa League action.
Arsenal 4-1 Molde
The Norwegian champions headed to London to take on Arsenal in this Europa League game, with both teams having won their first two games against Dundalk and Rapid Vienna. American Wingo started the game in the right-back position for Molde and went the distance in a game where Molde got off to the better start but ended up shooting themselves in the foot due to a pair of own goals.
Twenty-two minutes in, the visitors stunned their hosts when a long-range shot from Martin Ellingsen that was brilliantly hit easily beat Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal. It was the German keepers own doing as he tried to play the ball long, it came right back and he was caught out of position for the shot.
Arsenal thought they had equalized minutes before the half but Joe Willock's shot went in and the linesman's flag went up for offside. Although he was not the one offside and the goal should have counted. VAR is not being used in the group stages of the competition. This turned out to be Arsenal's best play in the first half until a minute later when they equalized.
A minute into stoppage time, Arsenal got back into the game with a freaky goal. From Molde's corner kick, Arsenal collected the ball and charged down the other end. Granit Xhaka played in Willock, who centered for Eddie Nketiah. The youngster fought defender for the ball but in the end, it was Kristoffer Haugen who got the vital touch which equated to an own goal.
Arsenal should have scored five minutes after the restart when Willock got off a shot that Andreas Linde got a palm to but it fell to Sead Kolašinac, but the Bosnian missed from four yards out, hitting it over the bar.
Since they were having trouble scoring, Molde helped out again and scored another own goal. This time it was from defender Sheriff Sinyan, who had just gotten onto the field as a sub. Three minutes later however the Gunners were able to score on their own when Buyako Saka centered the ball into the box from the left-wing and Nicolas Pepe met it perfectly to make the score 3-1.
In the 87th minute, Willock missed a great opportunity but made up for it a minute later when Mohammed Elneny played the ball to Pepe, who found Willock and the young Englishmen made no mistake this time.
The loss leaves the Norwegians second in the group with three more games left to play.
Richard Ledezma came off the bench for PSV in the 83rd minute as his Dutch team fell 4-1 to Greek side PAOK Thessaloniki.
Jordan Siebatcheu started on the bench for Young Boys for their game against CSKA Sofia but got to come on for 20 minutes in the team's 3-0 victory.
Tim Weah was an unused sub as Lille traveled to Italy and beat AC Milan 3-0 in their own backyard.