Saka scores as Arsenal near Europa League Knockouts

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Bukayo Saka of Arsenal is marked by Brice Wembangomo of Bodo/Glimt during the UEFA Europa League group A match between FK Bodo/Glimt and Arsenal FC at Aspmyra Stadion on October 13, 2022 in Bodo, Norway.


Arsenal took a big step towards qualifying for the Europa League knockout stage with a slender win at Bodo/Glimt.

The winner came after Bukayo Saka combined with impressive midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga and his toe-poked effort hit a defender before ricocheting back off his chin and past the helpless goalkeeper.

Bodo/Glimt came into the game with a 14-game winning streak at home in Europe and they were spurred on by a boisterous crowd, but they were guilty of missing a number of clear-cut opportunities.

Amahl Pellegrino skewed wide when through on goal in the first half, while Runar Espejord placed over when eight yards out in the second.

It was far from vintage Arsenal on the artificial pitch in Norway, as shown by the fact they had to bring on Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli after an hour, but the result, combined with the fact he was able to rest key striker Gabriel Jesus and defender Gabriel, will delight manager Mikel Arteta.

The win leaves Arsenal five points clear of third-placed Bodo/Glimt, who have played a game more because the Gunners' fixture against PSV Eindhoven last month was postponed owing to policing issues following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The rearranged match with second-placed PSV takes place next Thursday, when a win will guarantee Arsenal's progression.

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