Arsenal 3-0 AFC Wimbledon: Eddie Nketiah’s spike helps Gunners reach Carabao Cup fourth round

Nick Wright

Comment and Analysis @nicholaspwright

Report and highlights of the goals of Alexandre Lacazette, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah that helped Arsenal beat AFC Wimbledon 3-0 at Emirates Stadium; Mikel Arteta made 10 changes before Sunday’s clash with Tottenham

Eddie Nketiah’s superb move helped Arsenal to a 3-0 win over AFC Wimbledon at Emirates Stadium in the Carabao Cup quarter-final stage against Leeds United.

Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring for the much-changed Gunners when he converted from the penalty spot after Gabriel Martinelli was brought down (10).

Arsenal had to wait to extend their lead, the visitors from League One defended resolutely, but substitute Emile Smith Rowe finally came home with a fumble (77) before Nketiah’s moment of inspiration capped the victory (80 ).

Cedric Soares’s cut was slightly behind the forward, but he quickly adjusted his feet to throw the ball past AFC Wimbledon goalkeeper Nik Tzanev using the heel of his right boot.

The victory, Arsenal’s third in a row in all competitions, ensures the Gunners maintain their momentum ahead of the North London derby against Tottenham, live on Sky Sports on Sunday.

How Arsenal made it to the fourth round
Mikel Arteta made 10 changes from Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Burnley on Saturday, and Thomas Partey was the only player to keep his place on the team, as other team members had a chance to impress.

One player who seemed eager to seize his opportunity was Martinelli. The Brazilian was a threat on Arsenal’s right wing and used his pace to earn the penalty early after grabbing onto Nketiah’s pass.

Lacazette, wearing the captain’s armband for what was his first start to the season, coldly converted the shot, found the bottom corner and sent Tzanev down the wrong path in the process.

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot
Image:Alexandre Lacazette celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot

Arsenal dominated possession but didn’t create another significant opening until much later in the half, when Martinelli again launched the visitors’ offside trap, this time with a pass from Lacazette, only for Tzanev to run out of the way. his line and away from the goal.

Tzanev nearly cost his team a goal shortly after that when he pushed an uncomfortable high ball over the crossbar and back into the six-yard box. He fell to Nketiah a few feet away, however, he couldn’t force it.

Partey enjoyed a productive midfield outing as he continued to improve his fitness following his return from an ankle injury, and was next to approach when Tzanev pushed his upward momentum above the bar shortly before the hour mark. .

That turned out to be his last contribution from the game, the Ghanaian retiring with Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham in mind, and his replacement, Smith Rowe, would score Arsenal’s second.

Emile Smith Rowe came off the bench to score Arsenal's second goal
Image:Emile Smith Rowe came off the bench to score Arsenal’s second goal

Before that, Nuno Tavares, the hosts’ impressive left-back, hit the post with a downward header from a Martinelli cross.

Many of the hometown fans were growing increasingly frustrated at the time as their team struggled to turn their dominance into goals, but Smith Rowe was soon joined on the field by Bukayo Saka, who teamed up with Lacazette to prepare Smith Rowe for his second.

Nketiah then made the Emirates Stadium erupt in celebration for the third time with his ingenious finish, and Arsenal came close to extending their lead even further in the final stages, with Saka shooting narrowly and then seeing another well-saved effort by Tzanev.

By then, however, they had done enough. His focus is now on Sunday’s North London derby.

Arteta: Fans made it special

Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah (left, facing) celebrates with team-mates after scoring their side's third goal of the game during the Carabao Cup third round match at the Emirates Stadium
Image:Arsenal players celebrate during the win over AFC Wimbledon

Subsequently, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said: “As long as we were 1-0 up, they were obviously still in the game and in any situation, like a ball play, you can concede a goal, so we knew we had to close the game. match. game down. We did that at the end and it seemed comfortable, but it was always a tough match.

“Having 50,000 fans at the Carabao Cup on a Wednesday night is very special and it doesn’t happen in many places. The players notice it and obviously that raises the level of demand. They made the night more special.

“They are here to support the team and they want the team to win. It is natural. They have always been with the team and now they are on a different level, and we need them at an even higher level on Sunday because we are going to need them and hopefully we can have a beautiful day together.

What’s next?

Arsenal play at home to Leeds in the next round of the Carabao Cup and the fourth round qualifiers will be played on October 26 and 27.

Before that, the Gunners resume their Premier League campaign against north London rivals Tottenham, live on Sky Sports on Sunday.

AFC Wimbledon returns to League One action with an away game against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.

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