In the Europa League, Bukayo Saka’s bundling goal was enough to secure a 1-0 victory.
Despite making seven changes from the team that defeated Liverpool the previous weekend, we maintained our winning streak in Europe, taking three out of three in Group A.
We had to fight through some stressful moments in the second half, and Matt Turner made a couple of key saves, but we came away with all three points.
Our bitesize highlights are available above, with lengthier highlights to follow on Saturday.
Bukayo Saka’s goal made it three victories from three in the Europa League this season.
On a freezing evening in the Arctic Circle, we held our cool to put in a professional performance on a difficult surface to grind out a win that keeps us top of the group ahead of PSV Eindhoven’s visit next week.
Bukayo Saka’s first-half goal, backed by a tenacious defensive performance after the interval, kept us atop Group A, and Mikel Arteta stated he was glad to return to London with all three points despite a reduction in quality.
“It’s a tremendously tough place to come, they’ve won here the past 14 games in European play and it’s not a coincidence, we’ve seen that today,” the manager stated after the game.
“We had excellent phases in the game and bad times, especially in the second half.” We didn’t have enough consistency, and we were fortunate not to surrender a goal at times.”
He went on to say that he didn’t want to blame his performance on the artificial surface or the weather. “It makes no difference,” he continued.
“We told you you have to win every three days. When it’s snowing, raining, astroturf, the pitch isn’t nice, the game is long, and you make seven substitutions, like this. You have to find a way to win, and tonight I’m really happy because we did.”
Before tonight, our opponents had won 14 straight home games in European play, but Saka’s first-half bundling goal altered everything.
After the game, the attacker, who played with fellow academy graduates Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah, admitted that the field took some getting used to.
“It did, yeah. It was slipping over the floor pretty quickly and stuff like that. But that’s not an excuse, because many of us have grown up (on it). At Hale End, I spent a lot of time playing on astroturf pitches. So there’s no excuse, you know, we just have to play our game and go on.
“It’s a difficult location to come from, and we left with three points, So we’ll just take it and move on to Sunday.”