Arsenal avoided any undue alarms as they cruised to a 3-0 Europa League win over Swedish minnows Ostersunds.
Arsene Wenger’s men emerged in sub-zero temperatures at the Jamtkraft Arena and there was little prospect of the contest warming up after defensive errors from the hosts gifted a 13th-minute opener to Nacho Monreal.
Sotirios Papagiannopoulos’ own goal compounded matters for Ostersunds and their English coach Graham Potter and, although their performance improved, Mesut Ozil marked his first appearance in the Europa League this season with a third in the 58th minute.
A run to the last-32 featuring wins over the likes of Galatasaray and Hertha Berlin has seen Ostersunds’ produce a modern footballing fairytale in the Europa League this season.
They will need something altogether more fantastical to turn the tie around at Emirates Stadium next week – even more so after Tom Pettersson had a stoppage-time penalty saved, Hector Bellerin having needlessly hauled down substitute Tesfaldet Tekie.