Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta calls for VAR in Europa League group stages
LONDON - Two own goals helped Arsenal recover from falling behind to crush Molde 4-1 in Europa League Group B on Thursday, with Nicolas Pepe and Joe Willock also scoring for the Londoners.
Arsenal struggled to deal with Molde's aggressive pressing game and that led to Martin Ellingsen's opening goal as the Norwegians won the ball in midfield and he fired home a dipping shot from outside the area in the 22nd minute.
The home side equalised in first-half stoppage time after a sweeping move from a Molde corner. Eddie Nketiah whipped in a low centre from the right and Kristoffer Haugen bundled the ball into his own net.
Defender Sead Kolasinac missed a glorious chance for Arsenal, hoofing the ball over an open goal from close range, but they went ahead in the 62nd minute when Willock pulled the ball across and Sheriff Sinyan shanked it into his own net.
Pepe made it three eight minutes later with a thumping left-foot shot before Arsenal turned the tables by pressuring a Molde clearance, winning the ball and setting up Willock to score.
Arsenal top Group B on a maximum nine points from three games, three ahead of Molde. Rapid Vienna, who beat Irish side Dundalk 4-3 earlier in the evening, are third on three points.
Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said Uefa must review their decision to only introduce the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system at the knockout stage of the Europa League after his team had a goal controversially ruled out for offside.
But Arteta was left frustrated that a goal from Nketiah was ruled out, with TV replays showing he was onside.
"I don't think it makes any sense ... when we have the technology and we all believe it is the right call for everybody to do it," Arteta told reporters.
"We were complaining with the referee because we were told it was clearly onside, and obviously it's a situation that can change the game. So it's something they (Uefa) have to look at and, if possible, change it."
Arsenal return to Premier League action on Sunday when they host Aston Villa.