Nicolas Pepe scores a beauty as Arsenal ease past Irish minnows

Date published: Thursday 29th October 2020 9:50

Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock

Arsenal eased to a 3-0 Europa League win over Dundalk, as their almost entirely fresh XI made light of their Group B opponents at Emirates Stadium, with Nicolas Pepe scoring the pick of the bunch.

Mikel Arteta opted to make 10 changes to his side from the one that lost at home to Leicester on Sunday.

Summer signing Alex Runarsson was handed his debut, while Sead Kolasinac was deployed at centre-back alongside Shkodran Mustafi.

Granit Xhaka captained the side and Eddie Nketiah was named in attack, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Willian and Alexandre Lacazette all among the substitutes.

The Gunners did their best to make early inroads on the visitors’ goal. However, they were finding the League of Ireland side a tough nut to crack.

However, the breakthrough eventually arrived three minutes before half-time, courtesy of Nketiah.

The England U21 striker tucked home from point-blank range after Dundalk goalkeeper Gary Rogers failed to punch clear a corner.

The lead was doubled just moments later, Joe Willock this time finishing well as Arsenal hit the visitors on the break.

The goals continued flow and it became 3-0 shortly after the restart. The goal came via the right foot of Pepe, who found the top corner from outside the area with a sweet strike.

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Gunners utilise squad strength

The Gunners brought on Willian and Dani Ceballos on the hour. Twelve minutes later there were two more changes with highly-rated youngster Folarin Balogun and Kieran Tierney entering the fray.

And former Celtic full-back Tierney came close to adding a fourth. That’s after he blasted over following nice link-up play between Balogun and Reiss Nelson.

Nelson was the next to try his luck and he curled an effort just wide.

The winger impressed throughout and can consider himself unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet, having caught the eye.

However, there were to be no more goals as the Gunners eased to a routine win over their Irish visitors.


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