Bodo/Glimt coach Kjetil Knutsen paid tribute to the ‘world-class’ Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus following Thursday’s 3-0 defeat to Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League group-stages, speaking to Dagbladet.
Two of Arteta’s most trusted lieutenants only played the final half hour at the Emirates.
But they were sure to leave a lasting impression, Jesus dancing through the Bodo backline before setting up Fabio Vieira’s late goal while Odegaard pulled the strings with his trademark laser-guided passes, nearly setting up Eddie Nketiah’s second of the night with one defence-splitting through-ball.
“During the break we talked about how we were a bit passive,” Knutsen reflects at full-time. “We kept the ball and did not take advantage of the spaces we had. In the second half, we looked a lot more like we should.
“But they are not kind to us when they bring on Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard. Then we meet quality. It’s world class, quite simply.”
ARSENAL BEAT BODO/GLIMT 3-0 IN UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE
Arsenal have now won nine of their first 10 games this term in all competitions. Nketiah showcased his poacher’s instincts with a superb reaction finish to give the Gunners an early lead against a Bodo/Glimt side who destroyed Roma and Celtic just last term. Fabio Vieira then set up Rob Holding with a wonderful left-footed cross. The Portugal playmaker added a third late on, locating the top corner after Jesus worked his miracles on the flank.
“A very good team,” adds defender Brede Moe. “The best we have faced, I think. We were a little affected, myself included.”
On a night full of positives, Kieran Tierney offered a timely reminder of his qualities with a rip-roaring performance on the left-hand side; showing signs of adapting to the inverted full-back role Arteta is attempting to introduce in North London. It was the Scot who inadvertently set up Nketiah’s opener, rattling the post with a thumping shot.
Granit Xhaka, meanwhile, once again performed with a quiet authority in the centre of the park, with Albert Sambi Lokonga impressing behind him.