Eddie Nketiah took up the ball, turned, and it appeared as though he had the Bodo/Glimt defence in his hands.
The Arsenal striker would carry the ball approximately 20 yards and shoot from distance, but it demonstrated how far the 23-year-old has gone in six months.
He’s gone from being a lightweight on the outskirts of the squad, seemingly on his way out the door, to bursting past defenders with the new body he’s managed to build over the summer.
It’s the most obvious improvement in his game, and it’s not the first time he’s demonstrated it.
His appearance in Arsenal’s Saturday Night Football win against Fulham in August, which helped the Gunners breeze past a tenacious Fulham team, provided an early look of his eye-catching new power.
But, while Nketiah has one new advantage, he still needs to work on another. His poacher’s goal was expertly struck, but more missed opportunities mean Gabriel Jesus won’t remain under pressure in the Arsenal striker race.
Nketiah attempted and failed to square to Gabriel Martinelli in the first half. After the break, he converted a similar chance after a wonderful slide-through pass from Martin Odegaard.
“You have to look at what you have done – great. But what can you do better?” said Arteta about Nketiah after the game.
If Nketiah can’t convert those extra chances, it’s unlikely he’ll have more chances in the Premier League than Jesus. And if those minutes do not come, then he can’t develop in the way he would like to.
Gunners have depth
Arsenal has a tough month ahead of them in October. Nine games in 29 days, with four of the last six on the road.
But what will surprise Mikel Arteta is that eight changes can be done while the results and performances remain consistent.
Arsenal has barely had to shift out of second gear against Tottenham and Bodo/Glimt, which is the ideal preparation for a big game against Liverpool this weekend.
With the exception of Cedric Soares, who had only recently returned from injury, every available member of the first-team squad is utilised, demonstrating Arteta’s depth.
Last season, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney were both deemed irreplaceable but are now struggling to show that Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko should be dropped as full-backs, meaning they can be used to keep the Europa League levels high.
Injuries will eventually come up on Arsenal, but on Thursday’s showing these second-string players showed they can step up to the mark.