Eddie Nketiah continued his formidable form in the Carabao Cup with a clinical hat trick when Arsenal League One defeated Sunderland to secure his spot in the semifinals.

Eddie Nketiah continued his formidable form in the Carabao Cup with a clinical hat trick when Arsenal League One defeated Sunderland to secure his spot in the semifinals., football, sport
Eddie Nketiah has scored five goals in three Carabao Cup games this season

The striker turned from close range for the top scorer after Rob Holding put a header in his path and Nicolas Pepe soon doubled the hosts’ lead.

That seemed to have put the Gunners in control, except for Sunderland to strike back when Nathan Broadhead coolly drowned the onrushing Bernd Leno from Elliot Embleton’s superbly weighted pass.

But Nketiah turned a flat cross from Nuno Tavares right after the break to rebuild the lead. However, the 22-year-old saved his best to the last, flicking Pepe’s pass between his legs and over goalkeeper Lee Burge.

Arsenal’s 18-year-old debutant Charlie Patino then crowned a great night for the Gunners with fifth place in stoppage time at the Emirates Stadium.

Sunderland were competitive but although Embleton rolled into a post from distance, the visiting struggled to contain their high profile hosts and it was a comfortable win for Mikel Arteta’s men.

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Arsenal will discover their last four opponents on Wednesday when the draw to Tottenham hosts West Ham takes place.

Nketiah shines while Patino shows potential

Arteta celebrated his two-year anniversary as Arsenal boss on Monday and although he has already delivered silver in the form of the 2019-20 FA Cup, it feels like the Spaniard is starting to push his desired philosophy for the first time.

Without the distraction of European football, the Gunners are fourth in the top division and can now look forward to a cup semi-final.

Although Albert Sambi Lokonga, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers were absent after positive Covid tests and Ainsley Maitland-Niles was absent due to illness, Arteta was still able to make nine changes to the team, which defeated Leeds 4-1.

League Cup specialist Nketiah was one of those who got into the game and scored a goal performance that will have him knock on the door for more engagement with the first team.

The forward has now scored five goals in three Arsenal games but has only seen 38 minutes in the Premier League this season and has reportedly turned down a new contract. His current contract ends in the summer.

Nketiah scored all three of his goals from the six yard area as the poacher bundled the prelude with his knee, came over his marker to steer Tavares’ whipball to his second, and then added a glorious third.

Pepe took Arsenal’s runner-up in the 27th minute and finished neatly after combining with Cedric Soares on the right.

Embleton almost scored a bizarre own goal before by directing a pass onto his own crossbar, but measuring an excellent pass in Broadhead’s path to end a quick break for the Everton loaner.

This marked the first time Arsenal had conceded in the competition this season and after the restart they took control when Nketiah completed his triple in the 58th minute.

This enabled Arteta to bring in the highly rated teenage Patino, who was born during the 2003-04 Gunners’ Invincibles season, and the midfielder shot the ball in the corner of Pepes just 11 minutes after making his first appearance for the senior team.

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