Sunday’s disgrace is Thursday’s saving of face. At Elland Road, Nicolas Pépé had cracked under the pressure of a rare Premier League start and incurred his manager’s wrath with an idiotic red card. In Molde he was given an immediate chance to confirm he had learned his lesson and, knowing he would be under the harshest of spotlights, this time mastered the occasion perfectly.

Pépé scored a fine opener for Arsenal during a turbo-charged start to the second half that quickly brought another goal for Reiss Nelson. It was a deserved reward from a performance in which he appeared to heed Mikel Arteta’s pre-match exhortation that his long-term future is completely in his own hands, and vindication for those who see an immense talent beneath sometimes wayward levels of application. Arsenal secured early qualification from Group B into the bargain and, when the highly rated striker Folarin Balogun spun and added a third within moments of arriving as a substitute late on, a satisfying night on Molde’s tricky artificial pitch was sealed.

Related: Europa League: Molde v Arsenal, Braga v Leicester, Sparta Prague v Celtic and more – live!

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