Arsenal unleash their next big thing and Nketiah grabs hat-trick in Carabao Cup romp

Arsenal, Carabao Cup, featured, football, Sunderland

A first senior hat-trick for Eddie Nketiah and goal for Gunners wonderboy Charlie Patino on debut guided Arsenal to a 5-1 victory over Socceroos defender Bailey Wright’s Sunderland and into the semi-finals of the League Cup.

Back-up striker Nketiah has reportedly turned down a new deal at the Emirates Stadium and is out of contract in the summer but shone in the win in which 18-year-old substitute Patino scored the fifth.

Nketiah opened the scoring before Nicolas Pepe doubled the lead, while the in-form Nathan Broadhead scored his sixth goal in six games to pull one back for the Black Cats before the break.

Any threat of a shock was extinguished within 13 minutes of the second half as Nketiah provided two smart finishes and Patino – who had gone viral earlier this year with an insane solo goal against Manchester United in under 23s – came off the bench to add the gloss with a late fifth.

The deadlock was broken soon on 17 minutes as Rob Holding’s header was well-saved by Lee Burge, only for Nketiah to knee home the rebound from close range.

Pepe, the club-record signing given a rare start by Arteta, doubled the lead 10 minutes later when he exchanged passes with Cedric Soares before his strike deflected past the helpless Burge.

Sunderland hit back on the counter-attack, and it was Broadhead that coolly finished for the visitors to half the arrears.

Bernd Leno was then forced into a low save to keep Arsenal ahead as the third-tier Sunderland ended the half on top – although they did lose Broadhead to injury before the interval.

Socceroo Bailey Wright and his fellow Black Cats defenders could do little after the restart to prevent the rout, as two flicked finishes in the 49th and 58th minutes from Nketiah settled the contest.

The first from a Nuno Tavares cross and the second after some superb work from Pepe – who impressed on his return.

Arteta was able to hand a first-team debut to highly-rated midfielder Patino for the final 10 minutes — the England Under-19 international replacing fellow academy graduate Emile Smith Rowe — and he capped off his cameo when he slid in to convert another Pepe assist.

It’s another encouraging result for Arsenal, who are fourth in the Premier League.

The League Cup semi-final line-up will be decided on Wednesday when Chelsea go to Brentford, Liverpool play Leicester and Tottenham host West Ham.



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