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Nketiah Hat-Trick Sends Arsenal Into League Cup Semi-Finals

Channels Television  
Updated December 22, 2021

Arsenal’s English striker Eddie Nketiah (R) with the match-ball celebrates with Arsenal’s English midfielder Charlie Patino (L) on the pitch after the English League Cup quarter-final football match between Arsenal and Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 21, 2021. Arsenal won the game 5-1. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Eddie Nketiah scored a hat-trick as a much-changed Arsenal marched into the League Cup semi-finals by beating Sunderland 5-1 on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old striker is out of contract at the end of the season and gave potential suitors in the January transfer window a reminder of his predatory prowess in front of goal.

Nicolas Pepe and Charlie Patino on his debut were also on target for the Gunners as the match went ahead at the Emirates without any restrictions on crowd numbers despite London mayor Sadiq Khan declaring a “major incident” in the English capital due to spiralling coronavirus infection numbers.

Arsenal were one of just eight sides in Premier League action last weekend as the wave of Covid cases caused by the new Omicron variant decimated the English football calendar.

READ ALSO: Arsenal Thrash Leeds To Tighten Grip On Fourth Place

Mikel Arteta made nine changes from the side that thrashed Leeds 4-1, but Arsenal were never in danger of suffering an upset.

Nketiah opened the scoring on 17 minutes as he bundled the ball home from close range after Rob Holding’s header was parried by Sunderland goalkeeper Lee Burge.

Pepe remains Arsenal’s record signing, but has been dropped down the pecking order this season due to the form of youngsters Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli.

The Ivorian took his rare chance to shine as he exchanged passes with Cedric Soares before seeing his strike deflected past the helpless Burge.

Nathan Broadhead pulled a goal back for League One Sunderland before half-time.

But Nketiah quickly restored Arsenal’s two-goal advantage five minutes into the second half, flicking in a Nuno Tavares cross at the near post.

Nketiah completed his hat-trick in impressive fashion soon afterward as he backheeled Pepe’s cross beyond Burge.


Arsenal’s English midfielder Charlie Patino (2nd R) celebrates with teammates after scoring their fifth goal on his debut during the English League Cup quarter-final football match between Arsenal and Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 21, 2021.  Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Arteta then handed the highly-rated Patino his debut 10 minutes from time.

And the 18-year-old rounded off the scoring when he slotted home another Pepe pass.

The other three quarter-finals take place on Wednesday as Tottenham host West Ham, Liverpool take on Leicester and Chelsea face Brentford.

AFP