Arsenal skated on skinny ice however survived their expedition to Norway’s a long way north. They didn’t precisely produce a spectacle within the land of aurora borealis and, in reality, Bodø/Glimt must have made them pay for a passive 2nd 1/2. Their ingenious radar used to be off for almost all of a cold evening however Bukayo Saka’s fortunate first-half objective proved enough to finish one of the vital eyecatching data at the continent. A slick, sensible house facet had received their closing 14 European video games right here and it used to be no small fulfillment for the run to in any case be punctured.
The hosts burnished their recognition as one of the vital revolutionary golf equipment, pound for pound, on this festival and it used to be simple to see why the likes of Celtic, Dinamo Zagreb and, on two events, Roma were humbled right here within the closing yr. Had Runar Espejord, their centre-forward, no longer skied an excellent probability from 8 yards simply earlier than the hour they’d have scented an extra scalp. That used to be no longer their best alternative all through a wave of intense attacking and their loud, passionate however melodious make stronger had been justified in cheering them off at full-time.
They had hardly let up all night. Bodø had noticed few events like this and it felt as though, rather aside from going through Kjetil Knutsen’s workforce, Arsenal had been up in opposition to the civic satisfaction of a complete group. Bodø/Glimt’s signature yellow and black are unmissable at each and every flip on this faraway, sexy fishing the city 50 miles throughout the arctic circle; flags flew proudly out of doors properties within the suburbs whilst, throughout the stadium, the collection of fanatics no longer dressed in a minimum of a hint in their colors will have been counted on one hand.
An MC led them thru a spread of membership anthems earlier than kick-off; the ambience, in a surroundings that introduced a refreshing antidote to the uniformity amongst lots of soccer’s fashionable citadels, used to be fiercely partisan but no longer antagonistic.
Mikel Arteta used to be merely happy his avid gamers negotiated it, in addition to the bogus floor that had irked José Mourinho after Roma’s 2nd humbling. “Not many teams do that,” he mentioned of Bodø/Glimt’s profitable streak. “We have come here as number 15 and won it. We talked about it in the last few days and that was the challenge in different conditions, in different context, making a lot of changes: find a way to win. We’ve done it.”
A win of their rescheduled tie with PSV Eindhoven subsequent Thursday would ensure Arsenal some of the height two spots in Group A. The strike that maintained their 100% document used to be a peculiar one: abnormal sufficient that it took a 2nd or two for the pocket of away fanatics, huddled within the reverse finish, to realise they’d explanation why to have a good time. Saka performed a wise one-two with Albert Sambi Lokonga however, close to the precise nook of the six-yard field, appeared to be crowded out as he shot. His effort used to be blocked via Marius Høibråten, who had slid to intrude, however smacked instantly again into him and dropped into the online. Cue an eerie silence and, in any case, acknowledgement from 120 yards away. “I think it came off my lips, it’s a nice one,” Saka mentioned.
Arsenal introduced little else in assault past a half-chance, right away after scoring, that Saka sliced off beam. Arteta had said the risk on this fixture via maintaining 4 starters from the win over Liverpool; they managed lengthy classes of the primary 1/2 however Martin Ødegaard, who closing performed right here as a 15-year-old for Strømsgodset in 2014, used to be quiet whilst William Saliba and Ben White had been stretched after the wreck.
“Football is not always fair,” mentioned the Bodø/Glimt supervisor Knutsen. “We were a little unlucky with the goal we conceded but that’s life. I’m really proud with how we raised the bar from the match at the Emirates.”
Back then they misplaced 3-0 however that by no means regarded most likely right here. Amahl Pellegrino and Ola Solbakken each got here shut in a while earlier than Espejord’s omit and the spectacular schemer Hugo Vetlesen may just no longer rather tame a thru ball that may have despatched him transparent. The slickness of the pitch in using rain didn’t assist him but it surely used to be the similar for each groups.
“You could see it was too fast for us but there are no excuses,” Arteta mentioned. He used to be proud of how Matt Turner, whose long deliberation over objective kicks in added time spoke of Arsenal’s discomfort, swept up the balls Bodø/Glimt fizzed in in the back of and described the American’s appearing as “phenomenal”.
That used to be over-egging issues, however his aid at averting a banana pores and skin on this sea of yellow used to be justified.