Europa League: Nacho Monreal Scores Again As Arsenal Saunter To 3-0 Victory Over Ostersunds (Photos & Video)

Alan Duffy

16th, February 2018

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Arsenal cruised to a comfortable victory over Swedish side Ostersunds FK on Thursday, with the Gunners dealing well with both the -4c temperatures and the plastic pitch.

The Gunners started with Ainsley Maitland-Niles in central midfield while Danny Welbeck was handed the central striking role, with Alexandre Lacazette injured and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cup-tied.

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However, it was poacher supreme Nacho Monreal who would opening the scoring on 11 minutes, with the in-form defender scoring from close-range after an Alex Iwobi shot had been parried by Aly Keita in the Ostersunds goal.

Nacho now has five goals for the season with three coming in his last six appearances, but we’ll spare you the obligatory ‘crisp finishing’ pun.

Soon after, the Premier League side were 2-0 up, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s centre diverted into his own net by defender Sotirios Papagiannopoulos.

The hosts threatened to get one back after the break, with Iranian striker Saman Ghoddos impressing and forcing David Ospina into a number of saves.

At the other end, Welbeck struggled to make the most of his chance, struggling to make an impact throughout.

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Just before the hour mark, Arsenal extended their lead when Mesut Ozil fired home from a Mkhitaryan pass.

Late on, Ostersund had a chance to get on the scoresheet when Tesfaldet Tekie was fouled in the box by Hector Bellerin.

Tom Pettersson stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick only to see his effort saved by Ospina, with the Colombian becoming the first Arsenal ‘keeper to save a penalty in normal time since Lukasz Fabianski into 2014.

With the return leg next week a formality, and no FA Cup action at the weekend, Arsene Wenger can now turn his attention to the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday February 25th.

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On the other hand, Ostersunds boss Graham Potter will no doubt be looking forward to returning to his native England when his plucky side travel to the Emirates next week.