Following on from a midweek victory against Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League, Arsenal returned to Emirates Stadium on Saturday – where they would welcome a struggling Sheffield United.
ARS: Raya, White, Saliba, Kiwior, Zinchenko, Rice, Havertz, Smith-Rowe, Saka, Martinelli, Nketiah
SHU: Foderingham, Bogle, Trusty, Robinson, Thomas, Souza, Norwood, McAtee, Hamer, Slimane, Brewster
The Gunners, who are still unbeaten in the Premier League, expectedly had the majority of the possession in the first half, but the Blades held out until the half-hour mark – before Eddie Nketiah opened his account on what would be a fruitful afternoon for the young striker.
Nketiah found himself with space ten yards out and after a smart turn, slotted the ball past Foderingham and despite going into the half-time break just one goal up, Arsenal did not look back.
Five minutes into the second half, Arsenal’s lead was doubled as was Nketiah’s goal count, as the young English striker pounced on a loose ball from a corner to smash home into the top corner.
Nketiah saved his best for last though, finding the top corner again ten minutes later to complete his hat-trick with a fine effort from twenty-five yards; his fifth league goal of the season.Embed from Getty Images
For all of Arsenal’s attacking intent, the Premier League’s bottom side showed no threat whatsoever, barely setting foot inside the Gunners’ penalty area.
Fabio Vieira made it four for the home side after he won and converted a penalty after being felled by Oliver Norwood in the penalty area before Takehiro Tomiyasu scored his first Arsenal goal late in injury time to secure a thumping 5-0 win.
It gives Mikel Arteta’s side their seventh win in ten league games, keeping them two points behind league leaders Tottenham – with Manchester City three points behind them ahead of the Manchester derby on Sunday.
For Sheffield United, it goes from bad to worse. The Blades have only secured a single point from their opening ten games and with a goal difference of -22, Paul Heckingbottom has a huge task on his hands to secure United’s Premier League status.