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Mohamed Elneny says Arsenal’s convincing away win against Ostersund sends a message to their continental rivals as they embark on a Europa League run that could lead back to the Champions League. Nacho Monreal’s early effort, an own goal and Mesut Ozil’s first strike of the European campaign were enough to see off their Swedish […]

Kelechi NwakaliAfter enjoying an impressive season on loan with MVV Maastricht, it was anticipated that Arsenal youngster Kelechi Nwakali would push on to greater heights this campaign. It didn’t quite turn out like that in the first half of the campaign as the Nigerian midfielder endured a frustrating time in the top tier of Dutch football […]

Arsenal kicked off the first 25 minutes clearly on the front foot and not only owned nearly 82% of the possession but also forced Östersunds into 3 errors, managed to get off 10 shots, and scored 2 goals. Arsenal dominated touches and passes in the first 25 minutes by 81% to 17%: Arsenal also managed […]

Hector Bellerin recently spoke at the Oxford Union, which is, according to them, the world’s most prestigious debating society, with an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford. He spoke about his career, life as a footballer, his fashion sense, Catalan independence and much more. It’s a very interesting watch, check it […]

After Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Ostersund, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Danny Welbeck faced the BT Sport cameras. Here’s what they had to say… On the result…  DW: “The pitch was a bit hard, we knew it was going to be a bit difficult. With the players that they’ve got they like to keep the ball and […]

• Midfielder sets up two of Arsenal goals in easy 3-0 away win• ‘We have to focus on every game to ensure more success’

Arsène Wenger left Sweden with a comfortable 3-0 lead from the first leg of their Europa League tie, insistent that he will take next week’s return game seriously. Under the circumstances it would be understandable if Wenger chose to rest a reasonable number of his squad for the return game next Thursday as Arsenal will meet Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final three days later. “We won in a comfortable way and I will try to win the game again,” Wenger said of the second leg.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan echoed those sentiments as Arsenal are increasingly sending out the message that they intend to give the Europa League their full commitment now that they are in the knockout stages and within clear sight of the last 16. “We have to focus on every game regardless of this result to ensure more success,” said the midfielder. “Even with the League Cup final, I think we have to play with the same team and win at home.”

Related: Mesut Özil strike seals Europa League win for Arsenal at Östersund

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Arsenal’s European ambitions warmed up in freezing Östersund. Arsène Wenger’s attitude has shifted from B-list reserve teams to in-it-to-win-it sharpness now that this competition has reached the knock-out rounds. A fully motivated, high-spec team did enough damage to put one frosty foot into the next round before the return leg in London next week.

Arsenal meant business from the moment they boarded their flight to northern Sweden with a strong squad, with only those at risk of injury left at home. The sight of Mesut Özil celebrating a goal in what was his first performance in Europe’s bridesmaid tournament since he played for Werder Bremen seven years ago summed up how Arsenal were determined to do this properly and not take any progress for granted.

Related: Neymar wilts in Madrid as superclub tie descends into Disneyfied dystopia | Jonathan Wilson

Related: Dire football and great trips – Arsenal fans on life in the Europa League

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Östersund were their own worst enemy as Arsenal recorded an easy win.

7.52pm GMT

And that’s that. An uneventful match. Ostersund didn’t really turn up, while Arsenal did what they had to do in the professional style. The Gunners are as good as through to the last 16, though there’s a dream visit to the Emirates for the Swedes to come next week.

7.50pm GMT

90 min +2: Pettersson sidefoots towards the bottom left. It’s not hit with any venom. Ospina smothers. That’s in keeping with the rest of Ostersund’s performance.

7.49pm GMT

90 min +1: Ghoddas slips a fine pass down the inside-left channel for Tekie. Bellerin, caught on the wrong side, brings his man down. Just inside the area. The referee points to the spot.

7.48pm GMT

90 min: This non-event will last for two extra minutes.

7.46pm GMT

88 min: Mustafi plays a loose ball out of defence, allowing Hopcutt a shot at goal from 25 yards. It sails harmlessly over the bar.

7.44pm GMT

86 min: Nelson is robbed by Edwards in the centre circle. For a brief second, it looks as though Arsenal may be punished, it’s a two-on-two situation. but Edwards loses possession himself, and there goes that.

7.42pm GMT

84 min: Bellerin forces a corner down the right. Before it can be taken, Mkhitaryan is replaced by Nelson. And then the corner’s played all the way back to Ospina. It’s safe to say this won’t be a game to remember.

7.41pm GMT

83 min: Nketiah comes on for the out-of-sorts Welbeck.

7.39pm GMT

81 min: Welbeck keeps a loose ball in play down the left, and with everyone else having stopped, makes for the penalty area. He bobbles a weak effort across Keita and out to the right of goal.

7.38pm GMT

80 min: Iwobi sends Kolasinac scampering down the right. Kolasinac reaches the byline but his pullback is directionless.

7.36pm GMT

78 min: Tekie sashays in from the right but can’t quite work space to shoot. Arsenal clear. The atmosphere is full-on testimonial right now.

7.34pm GMT

75 min: Iwobi drives down the right. The hosts are backtracking in panic, but Iwobi decides to check back. A shame, because there’s nothing else going on.

7.31pm GMT

73 min: Monreal is replaced by Kolasinac, while Widgren makes way for Bergqvist.

7.30pm GMT

71 min: Arsenal play some pretty triangles all across the front of the Ostersund box. The ball is teed up for Welbeck, just inside the area on the left. For some reason he turns down the chance to shoot, laying off for Monreal instead. Monreal needs no encouragement, and pearls a low effort towards the bottom right. Mkhitaryan, of all people, gets in the way.

7.27pm GMT

69 min: Some possession for Ostersund in the Arsenal half. But the visitors are holding their shape and there’s no way through, so it’s all very sterile.

7.26pm GMT

67 min: Ghoddos dribbles into the area and runs straight into Mustafi. He’s not getting a penalty kick. In the midfield, Papagioannopoulos slams Ozil to the ground; you’ve seen yellow cards flashed for that, but this referee is very much hands off tonight.

7.25pm GMT

66 min: Ghoddos is super-lively. He very nearly strips the ball from Chambers to tear clear down the left, but the Arsenal man recovers his poise and the danger is over.

7.23pm GMT

64 min: Ghoddos diddles Mustafi with a gorgeous trick while tight on the right-hand touchline. But he doesn’t have the jets to get clear once it’s done, and the Arsenal defender recovers.

7.21pm GMT

62 min: A lull, and a sense that both sides would like to turn it in right now. There’s not a lot of exciting football being played.

7.19pm GMT

60 min: That’s kept the Arsenal fans warm; they’re giving it plenty right now. The home fans haven’t had a lot to sing about. Ostersund have been their own worst enemy at the back.

7.17pm GMT

Ghoddos is half-bundled over by Mustafi just inside the Arsenal box. You’ve seen them given, but the referee doesn’t think there’s much in it. Arsenal go straight up the other end and twist the knife. Ozil exchanges passes with Mkhitaryan down the inside-left channel. He’s in the area and squeezes a shot through the dismal Keita. Once again, the keeper should have done better. The ball bobbles slowly, painfully over the line.

7.15pm GMT

57 min: Ozil slips Elneny in down the right. Elneny slams a low cross into the centre. Keita mishandles once again, but thankfully for the home side, Papagiannopoulos is on hand to mop up.

7.13pm GMT

55 min: Ghoddos tries to send Edwards free in the box with a cute flick down the inside-left channel. But there’s too much juice on the ball, and out it flies for a goal kick. Good idea, though.

7.12pm GMT

54 min: Sema twists and turns down the left. He’s got the better of Bellerin, but Elneny comes across to block the ball out for a corner before Sema can cause more serious trouble for Arsenal. Again the set piece is a waste of time, but this is a big improvement by Ostersund.

7.11pm GMT

53 min: Ghoddos cuts in from the left and slips a pass to Tekie, who in turn shuttles on for Mensah. A shot from distance is deflected out for a corner; nothing comes from the set piece. But that’s good from the home side, who have obviously been told that another slow start to a half is simply not on.

7.09pm GMT

51 min: Hopcutt is sent scampering into space down the left with Arsenal slightly light at the back. The sub has options inside, but instead plays a reverse pass down the left to nobody in particular. It rolls out apologetically for a goal kick.

7.07pm GMT

49 min: Sema threatens to burst clear down the right but his close control lets him down at the end of a bright and determined run. He’s been lively tonight, along with the excellent Ghoddos.

7.05pm GMT

47 min: Space for Monreal down the left. His cross is headed clear by Pettersson, under not much pressure from Welbeck.

7.03pm GMT

And we’re off again! Ostersund ring the changes: Nouri and Gero have been replaced by Tekie and Hopcutt.

6.50pm GMT

Half-time entertainment: The latest episode of Football Weekly Extra has dropped, for your leisure and pleasure.

Related: English sides excel, Ronaldo's wane and the failing PSG project - Football Weekly Extra

6.49pm GMT

Mkhitaryan tries to curl one into the top right from the edge of the Ostersund box. It’s over, and that’s that for the first half. The hosts didn’t turn up for the first half hour, allowing Arsenal to plunder a couple of precious away goals. They’ve been better since, though the damage has been done.

6.46pm GMT

44 min: Mukiibi and Edwards both have chances to shoot from the edge of the Arsenal box, but both dither. Opportunities to work Ospina spurned.

6.44pm GMT

42 min: Sema curls the free kick hard at goal. But it’s straight at Ospina, who gathers. Arsenal soon give up possession again. The lively Ghoddos dribbles down the middle of the park before sending a low belter inches wide of the bottom left. Ospina was a bit flat-footed there, it’s not certain that he’d have got to the ball had the shot been on target.

6.43pm GMT

41 min: Gero is upended by Maitland-Niles, just to the right of the Arsenal D. It’s a needless foul because Gero was going nowhere. It’s also a very dangerous place to concede a free kick.

6.42pm GMT

40 min: Welbeck drives at Ostersund again, down the left wing. He’s got Iwobi on the overlap, but opts to dribble inside instead. He has the ball taken off his toe by Papagiannopoulos. Iwobi’s not particularly happy with the way that panned out.

6.41pm GMT

39 min: So having said that, Iwobi and Welbeck open Arsenal up down the left with some crisp passing. The flag goes up for offside to save the day for the hosts.

6.40pm GMT

38 min: Ostersund knock it hither and yon at the back. They’re not going anywhere but they’ve steadied the ship and are growing in confidence.

6.38pm GMT

36 min: Edwards shoots from distance. The ball’s deflected, and for a second looks as though it’s going to fox Ospina, flying on a hysterical curve towards the top left. But the keeper reads the flight well and there’s no real drama.

6.37pm GMT

35 min: Arsenal have been a bit passive for the last few minutes. They try to step it up again, but Bellerin and Mkhitaryan’s move down the right breaks down quickly enough.

6.35pm GMT

33 min: Ghoddos spins Maitland-Niles in the midfield and leaves the Arsenal man sprawling on the artificial turf. He storms towards the box and attempts to thread one into the bottom left from 20 yards. That’s a highly decent effort that Ospina does very well to claim.

6.33pm GMT

31 min: Gero romps down the left and attempts an elaborate and very ambitious curler into the top right from a long way out. It’s not a great effort, but at least the hosts have snapped out of their early torpor / stage fright.

6.32pm GMT

30 min: The corner comes to nothing, but that’s so much better from the home side, who perhaps have been embarrassed into action.

6.31pm GMT

29 min: And wow! Ostersund have finally woken up all right! More space for Widgren down the left. He enters the Arsenal box and pulls back for Ghoddos, who unleashes a screamer towards the top right from the edge of the box. Ospina tips over acrobatically. Great football all round.

6.30pm GMT

28 min: Ostersund attack! Space for Widgren down the left. He reaches the byline and crosses deep. Gero rises and sends the softest of headers goalwards from ten yards. Ospina gathers easily. It’s not much, but it’s something.

6.28pm GMT

26 min: Arsenal keep on pressing. Bellerin, Iwobi and Mkhitaryan are enjoying the run of this right wing. Some pretty triangles and Mkhitaryan bursts into the area. He looks to whip a shot across Keita but there’s no meat in the effort and Keita claims.

6.27pm GMT

Bellerin tears down the right. Pettersson intercepts his cross by the near post, but only hacks a couple of yards upfield. Mkhitaryan takes up possession and crosses again. The ball pings off Papagiannopoulos and into the bottom left. Arsenal’s second, and it’s another defensive calamity.

6.24pm GMT

22 min: Ozil plays a preposterous square pass deep in his own half. Ghoddos nearly latches onto it. He’s inches away from breaking through, but Chambers steps in to save the day. The nearest the home team have come to generating some excitement for their fans. It’s their off season, and doesn’t it look that way right now.

6.22pm GMT

20 min: Keita prepares to take a goal kick, but feels his hamstring and calls for the trainer. A pause in proceedings. The keeper will be OK to continue for now.

6.20pm GMT

18 min: Arsenal have already had eight attempts at goal. Ostersund have barely got into the opposition half.

6.18pm GMT

16 min: Mkhitaryan looks for the top left from 25 yards. Keita does well to palm the riser away from goal. The hosts look very nervous, and Arsenal clearly smell the fear.

6.17pm GMT

15 min: Arsenal continue to probe. A bit of space for Welbeck in the area. For a second it looks as though he’ll shift the ball to the left and shoot, but can’t quite shape his body to shoot.

6.16pm GMT

The ball’s worked to Iwobi, to the right of goal. He shoots. Keita should gather, but he spills, and Monreal is on hand to slam the rebound into the bottom right. It’s fair to say this has been coming, though it’s a goal all of Ostersund’s own making.

6.15pm GMT

12 min: Mkhitaryan tries to release Bellerin down the right with a sliderule pass. The ball goes straight out of play. But Keita plays a dreadful ball upfield. Ozil intercepts and tees up Mkhitaryan, who shoots low and hard. Papagiannopoulos slides in to block brilliantly, saving a certain goal. It’s a corner.

6.12pm GMT

10 min: Arsenal continue to press and probe. A lot going on down the right. Eventually the ball is teed up for Mkhitaryan, just inside the area. But he can’t quite get a shot away on the turn. It’s not quite taken off yet, this match, but Arsenal will be happy enough with the way it’s going.

6.10pm GMT

8 min: Welbeck dribbles into the box from the left but can’t sort his feet out to shoot. Arsenal keep Ostersund pressed back. Iwobi, out on the right, chips into the middle. Welbeck, six yards out, has to score, but somehow his header goes straight off to the right. That’s a poor miss.

6.09pm GMT

6 min: It’s all Arsenal early on. Ozil nearly breaks into the box down the inside-right channel, but can’t control, never mind get a shot away. Then suddenly Ostersund show their teeth for the first time. Mensah tears with speed down the left, and he goes over a late slide by Mustafi. That looks like a free kick and a booking, but the referee doesn’t think there’s contact and gives a throw to Arsenal. A bit odd.

6.05pm GMT

4 min: Ozil, Iwobi and Bellerin take turns to probe down the right. Eventually Iwobi curls one in, hoping to find the head of Welbeck, but Keita is out quickly to claim.

6.04pm GMT

2 min: Arsenal dominate the early possession. A bit of space for Bellerin down the right. He hooks a cross into the box. Papagiannopoulos heads clear. A bright, fast-paced start. Nobody fancies hanging around in these conditions.

6.02pm GMT

A small block of ice falls out of the referee’s whistle. A naked flame is applied to it. It melts, and goes “peeeeeeep”. We’re off! The hosts get the ball rolling, and knock it around the back a bit. But they soon give up possession to Arsenal, whose defenders have a turn themselves.

5.59pm GMT

The teams are out! It’s minus three at the Jamtkraft Arena, positively balmy seeing temperatures can sometimes drop as low as minus 20. It is only 200 miles from the Arctic Circle after all. Though we haven’t taken any wind chill into consideration. Eek. Ostersunds aren’t in their usual Milanese red and black; they sport second-choice white while Arsenal wear third-choice black with pink trim. We’ll be off in a minute!

5.52pm GMT

Graham Potter speaks! “We finished domestically in December. Since then we’ve been preparing for this game. In football sometimes opportunities don’t come around at a perfect time, but we’ve done our best and we’re no mugs. Clearly we’re playing against a team from a higher level, so we have to adapt to their quality. Any slight advantage we hope we can use, but we have to play well, we can’t rely on external factors. Tack!”

5.40pm GMT

Arsene Wenger speaks! “We want to do well in all competitions. We can recover after this game, so we can focus on the competition. We will have to play to feet, fewer long balls behind, technical accuracy becomes important, because it is quicker than a normal pitch. Our opponents are used to that, so hopefully we do not need too much time to adapt. There is no other way to play on a plastic pitch, and they do it well. They are technical, quality players from all over the world. This is a good lesson in humility, we don’t take for granted that we always play in the Champions League, we have to fight our way back.”

5.35pm GMT

More pre-match reading: Arsenal’s fans have been enjoying this season’s Europa League adventure. This is their story. Let’s hope they’ve all wrapped up warm tonight.

Related: Dire football and great trips – Arsenal fans on life in the Europa League

5.20pm GMT

Pre-match reading: Here’s our man Liam Rosenior on how Östersund’s English manager has got a small Swedish club punching above its weight.

Related: Graham Potter’s human touch performs miracles at Östersund | Liam Rosenior

5.15pm GMT

Ostersund make two changes to the side that earned a 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin last December. Gabriel Somi and Fouad Bachirou have left for the New England Revolution and Malmo respectively, so Dennis Widgren and Samuel Mensah come in their stead.

Arsenal name a strong side, though that still means five changes to the team named for the north London derby last weekend. Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Jack Wilshere, Granit Xhaka and the cup-tied Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s places are taken by David Ospina, Calum Chambers, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck.

5.09pm GMT

Ostersund: Keita, Mukiibi, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren, Edwards, Nouri, Mensah, Sema, Ghoddos, Gero.Subs: Andersson, Tekie, Bergqvist, Hopcutt, Aiesh, Sundberg, Islamovic.

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Chambers, Mustafi, Monreal, Iwobi, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Welbeck.Subs: Macey, Holding, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Nelson, Nketiah, Willock.

1.56pm GMT

Östersunds Fotbollsklubb was founded on 31 October 1996. Thirty days previously, Arsene Wenger had been formally installed as the new manager of Arsenal. Yes, this is quite the romantic match-up.

On the one hand, it’s a pure David versus Goliath fixture. Arsenal are one of the biggest clubs in Europe, from one of the biggest cities in the world. They’ve won the Fairs Cup and Cup Winners Cup, 13 English titles in a division they’ve graced since 1919, and a record 13 FA Cups as well. Östersund by contrast hail from a city of 50,000 people; they only reached the top flight of Swedish football for the first time two years ago; one Swedish cup is the sum total of their roll of honour.

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Goodness knows, the Fiver isn’t trying to downplay Liverpool’s performance in Big Cup on Wednesday. A five-goal haul away in Europe – as part of a show featuring quick breaks, top-corner rakes, back flicks and a juggling act so dainty it would make Lionel Messi look like Charles ‘Charlie’ Charles – is nothing to be sniffed at. But look at it from a Porto perspective: they were comprehensively overpowered by a midfield consisting of Jordan Henderson, gingerly feeling his way back from injury, James Milner, 63, and Georginio Wijnaldum, strolling around with an insouciance so thoroughly Dutch he may as well have been taking occasional sips from a long glass of Advocaat while absent-mindedly picking at a speciality cookie. Maybe a few more shuttle runs in training, that might be an idea. Sérgio Conceição can have that one for free.

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As Arsène Wenger’s side prepare to face Sweden’s Östersund, three supporters assess the highs and lows of being part of Europe’s ‘other’ competition

I was actually really looking forward to being in the Europa League. It’s about as first world as problems get, but the annual trips to Munich and Barcelona had become a little dull. Plus, Arsenal stand a much better chance of winning the Europa League than they do the Champions League.

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