We overcame testing conditions in the Arctic to claim a dogged 1-0 win and maintain our 100 per cent record in the Europa League Group A.
Bukayo Saka’s first half goal proved enough to take the points, and although it was by no means a classic performance, Mikel Arteta will be happy with the points after making seven changes to his starting line-up.
And to put the result into perspective, the Norwegian champions had won each of their last 14 home games in European competition prior to this, including a 6-1 win over Roma this time last year.
It edges us closer to qualification from the group stage, with three matches left.
Saka’s scrappy opener
The Aspmyra Stadion was a sea of yellow shirts, and the 10,000 or so fans packed inside were creating a fantastic atmosphere at kick off after a firework show to start proceedings.
We soon set about silencing the locals though, and tried to quickly get to grips with the artificial playing surface.
Saka had the first chance, lifting the ball over the keeper from a very narrow angle, but not finding the target.
At the other end a dangerous low cross by Amahl Pellegrino eluded everyone as it skidded across the face of our goal.
There were few clear chances though until Saka gave us the lead midway through the half. He swapped passes with Sambi Lokonga then found the net from inside the area after his initial shot ricocheted back off the covering defender, into Saka and past the keeper.
It was a scrappy goal, but it served to spark us into action. Saka and Nketiah both shot wide soon afterwards as we began to dominate possession.
Bodo miss their chances
Bodo appeared to have a great chance to equalise when Pellegrino raced through from the halfway line. His shot was never troubling Matt Turner, but the referee saw an infringement in the build-up anyway.
Early in the second half Pellegrino got behind our defence again, only for Turner to make a smart save low down. This one would have counted, it was a good chance, but our keeper was equal to it.
Ola Solbakken was next to try his luck, shifting onto his left foot just outside the area and curling a shot inches over the bar.
Then Runar Espejord should really have done better when the ball dropped to him in front of goal. He leant back though and saw his effort sail over.
Closing out the win
Mikel Arteta responded by sending on Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli and we wrestled back control.
The Bodo fans never let up in the stands, and their players didn’t on the pitch either, ensuring we had to battle to the final whistle for the points.
But it was the few hundred intrepid Arsenal supporters who had made the journey into the Arctic Circle – who had earlier been singing ‘Where’s your famous Northern Lights?’- who were happiest at the final whistle.
What it means
We’re back in Premier League action on Sunday, away to Leeds United, before the Europa League campaign resumes at the Emirates next Thursday – with the rearranged clash against PSV Eindhoven.
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