Mikel Arteta hails Arsenal starlets after heavy win over Molde

‘They want to make the difference’: Mikel Arteta hails Arsenal youngsters and praises their ‘real personality’ after they enjoyed starring role in heavy Europa League win over Molde

  • Arsenal tightened their grip on their Europa League group after defeating Molde 
  • Joe Willock netted and forced two own goals at the Emirates on Thursday night 
  • Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka also enjoyed standout performances in the clash
  • Boss Mikel Arteta lavished praise on his most inexperienced squad members 

Mikel Arteta has saluted the efforts of his Arsenal youngsters after the emphatic Europa League victory against Molde on Thursday.

Joe Willock, 21, starred at the Emirates and scored, with Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka also handed the chance to impress on the European stage once again.

The result saw a nervy Arsenal tighten their grip on the group and edge ever closer to qualification, and boss Arteta was full of praise for the more inexperienced members of his ranks. 

Joe Willock enjoyed a starring role in Arsenal’s heavy Europa League victory against Molde

Boss Mikel Arteta has saluted the ‘real personality’ of the younger players in his Arsenal squad

He told BT Sport: ‘It was really important for us to win tonight and go top of the group. 

‘We had a convincing victory and the boys tried to go for them from the first minute. We went a goal behind but it was about the reaction, we created lot of chances.

‘If they did not score the own goals, we had players there for the tap in. We could sustain attacks and we did not want to let them run on the counter because they are a threat.

Willock helped force two own goals from Molde and was also netted with a strike of his own

‘I really like the approach that the younger players are having for each game, they want to make the difference, they are playing with a lot of personality.

‘Joe Willock could have scored more, he created a goal and a good performance. Keep doing what he is doing consistently and his chance will arrive (in the Premier League).’

Willock earned the man of the match award at the end of the clash and caught the eye in the centre of midfield. 

The highly-rated 21-year-old midfielder drove forward and forced two own goals from Molde, before rounding off a memorable display with a fine effort of his own. 

Eddie Nketiah was another starlet to feature in the win at the Emirates on Thursday evening

The Arsenal academy graduate collected a pass from Nicolas Pepe, who also found the target, and smashed high into the net. 

Pepe scored his goal at the end of a flowing move kickstarted by Willock in a deeper position, with substitute Saka crossing for his team-mate to pounce. 

The scoreline could have become even more emphatic for the hosts, only for Nketiah to be left frustrated after his finish was incorrectly chalked off for offside.

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