Ostersunds 0-3 Arsenal: Gunners outclass Swedish opposition with convincing win

Arsenal cruised to victory in Sweden as their round of 32 tie with Ostersunds seems to be over before the reverse leg at the Emirates

Ostersunds 0-3 Arsenal: Gunners outclass Swedish opposition with convincing win
Arsenal celebrate 3-0 victory over Ostersunds
Ostersunds FK
0 3
Ostersunds FK: Keita; Mukiibi, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren (Bergqvidst, min 72); Edwards, Mensah, Nouri (Tekie, min 45), Sema; Ghoddos, Abdullahi Gero (Hopcutt, min 45)
Arsenal: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Müstafi, Monreal (Kolasinac, min 72); Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Ozil, Mkhitaryan (Nelson, min 84), Iwobi; Welbeck (Nketiah, min 83)
SCORE: 0-1, min.13, Monreal. 0-2, min. 24, Papagiannopoulos OG. 0-3, min. 58, Ozil.
REFEREE: Fernandez Borbalan (ESP).
INCIDENTS: Europa League round of 32 fixture between Ostersunds FK and Arsenal at the Jamkraft Arena

Arsenal won convincingly in Sweden, putting three past round of 32 opponents, Ostersunds.

Goals from Nacho Monreal, Mesut Ozil and a Sotiris Papagiannopoulos own goal, saw the Gunners cruise to victory in the first leg of their European tie.

Arsenal start on the front foot

The tone was set early for the game, as the home side were happy to sit in and welcome the Arsenal attacks, looking to hit them on the break when in possession.

A few early chances went a begging for Arsene Wenger’s side, though the Gunners broke the deadlock on 13 minutes, as Ostersunds goalkeeper Aly Keita failed to collect a driven Alex Iwobi shot, that left Arsenal full-back Monreal a tap in just six yards from goal.

Ostersunds continued to struggle and very rarely managed to get the ball out of their own half, welcoming wave-after-wave of Arsenal attacks.

The North-London side continued to enjoy themselves on the artificial pitch, and their dominance again paid off in the 24th minute, as the Swedish side failed to play out from the back allowing Henrikh Mkhitaryan to collect the ball in the opposition box. The Armenian’s whipped cross was turned in via a Papagiannopoulos own goal.


Ostersunds find their feet

A first chance came for Ostersunds just minutes after conceding, as Saman Ghoddos rifled a volley from the edge of the box, that forced David Ospina to tip over the bar. It seemed as though it took going down two goals to finally start playing.

From then on, Graham Potter's side continued to impress as they managed to sustain longer periods of possession and test Arsenal’s defence - it was a much more even contest.

Two chances late in the second half kept Ostersunds on the front foot, as Ghoddos fired just wide of the post, though a goal would have put the underdogs right back into the round of 32 tie.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan had the last chance of the half as his curling effort sailed wide right of the post, and the teams headed into the changing rooms with the Gunners two goals to the good.


Ozil kills the tie

Though Potter’s side came out the brighter of the two teams, having made two subs from his initial starting 11, it was Arsenal who were first to strike in the second half

The game was put to bed in the 58th minute as Ozil’s left footed strike from inside the box proved too powerful for Keita, who couldn’t deny the German international.

Mkhitaryan picked up his second assist of the game as he found the German inside the box.

Arsenal in control

Arsenal began to turn it on after going three goals up, dominating possession and wearing away a depleted Ostersunds outfit.

With just over ten minutes to go, it was clear that Arsenal were happy to sit deep in their own half in order to shut out the game.

This mentality allowed Ostersunds to come forward with relative ease, however the Swedish side never really looked like scoring.

Having been in complete control, Wenger gave opportunites to academy graduates Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah a chance to shine with just under 10 minutes left on the clock.


Late penalty miss for Ostersunds

It was the Swedish side with the last action of the match as Arsenal full back Hector Bellerin illegally brought down Tesfaldet Tekie inside the box to give Potter’s side a chance to score a consolation.

However, Ospina came out the victor as Tom Pettersson placed the ball with no conviction into the hands of the Colombian international goalkeeper.

With that penalty miss the game was concluded, and Arsenal will return to the Emirates with a huge advantage, looking extremely likely to progress into the next stage.