Edward Nketiah provides three goals, as Arsenal brush Sunderland aside 5-1, to race into the EFL Cup semi-finals!
Arsenal have made the EFL Cup semi-finals after beating Sunderland 5-1, courtesy of a hat-trick by English striker, Edward Nketiah.
Nketiah broke the deadlock against the League One side at Emirates Stadium, just after the quarter-hour mark. The 22-year-old reacted quickest to a loose ball, after a combination of goalkeeper, Lee Burge, and U.S. international, Lynden Gooch, foiled Rob Holding’s nodded effort from a corner.
The Gunners doubled their advantage ten minutes later, when Nicolas Pepe, making his first start in any competition since the round of 16 against Leeds United, played a one-two with Cedric Soares, before smashing home via a deflection.
However, Sunderland pulled one back with a goal on the counter-attack on 31 minutes. Elliott Embleton played a beautiful through-ball, in behind the Arsenal defence to Nathan Broadhead, and the 23-year-old lifted a deft finish over the onrushing Bernd Leno.
Nketiah restored the two goal lead, clipping in a low ball from Nuno Tavares in the 49th minute, and then coming up with an impudent backheel finish to make it 4-1, from Pepe’s low cross.
“This competition is the place I’ve been getting starts. I’ll do my best whenever I’m asked to play,” said Nketiah..
A fine evening for Arteta’s outfit was capped when 18-year-old substitute, Charlie Patino, making his senior debut, netted after another low cross from Pepe.
Sunderland were roared on by 5,000 supporters from the North East and manager Lee Johnson said that he was pleased they had decent spells in the game.
“The bigger picture for us is the learning experience. Now they know the standard. When you feel the quality of the opposition you learn so much more. Arsenal were fantastic,” the Black Cats manager said.