EFL Cup: Eddie Nketiah’s hat-trick against Sunderland sends Arsenal to semi-finals


Eddie Nketiah netted a hat-trick as Arsenal beat League One club Sunderland 5-1 at the Emirates on Tuesday to secure a place in the League Cup semi-final.

Mikel Arteta has pivoted his squad but always fielded a formation strong enough to ensure his team progress comfortably through the bottom four.

Nketiah, 22, who has not started in the Premier League this season, gave the Gunners the advantage over the Third Division club, jumping from close range after Rob Holding’s header from a corner was parried by Sunderland goalkeeper Lee Burge. .

Nicolas Pepe doubled the lead with a deflected shot after a good job from Cedric Soares, but Sunderland brought in a goal with a nice finish from Nathan Broadhead, who lifted the ball over advancing Bernd Leno.

Nketiah restored the two-goal advantage, capturing a low ball from Nuno Tavares in the 49th minute, then produced a cheeky heel to make it 4-1 after Pepe crushed Dener Hume and delivered a low cross.

The forward, whose Arsenal contract expires in June, has scored 10 goals in nine career League Cup appearances.

“This competition is where I started. I will do my best every time I am asked to play, ”said Nketiah.

“I am desperate to play football. All I can do is keep working hard. It will work out on its own. As long as I play for Arsenal I will give my all, ”said Nketiah, who has yet to agree to a contract extension.

A positive evening for Arteta’s side ended when 18-year-old substitute Charlie Patino, making his senior debut, converted another low cross from Pepe.

Sunderland, who was relegated from the Premier League in 2017, was cheered on by 5,000 North East fans and manager Lee Johnson said he was happy they had periods of good play in the game.

“The learning experience is the biggest picture for us. Now they know the standard. When you feel the quality of the opposition, you learn a lot more. Arsenal have been fantastic, ”he said.

In the other three quarter-finals on Wednesday, Tottenham will face West Ham United, Liverpool will host Leicester City while Chelsea will be at Brentford.


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