Arsenal reached the Carabao Cup semi-finals after beating Sunderland 5-1 thanks to a hat-trick from Edward Nketiah.
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Nketia opened the scoring against the first-team team at the Emirates Stadium in the 17th minute, and he reacted faster to a losing ball after a combination of goalkeeper Lee Berg and American player Linden Gotch headed Rob Holding from a corner kick.
Arsenal doubled their lead within 10 minutes when Nicolas Pepe, in his first match in any competition since the previous round against Leeds, exchanged passes with Cedric Soares before sweeping home via a swerve.
Four minutes later, Sunderland cut the difference in half with a goal on the counter-attack. Elliot Embleton played Nathan Broadhead behind Arsenal’s defense and the 23-year-old delivered a smart touch on forward Bernd Leno.
Nketia regained the advantage of the two goals, as he cut a low ball from Nuno Tavares in the 49th minute, then hit the back heel to make the score 4-1 after Pepe Diner Hume’s shot and a low cross pass.
“This competition is where I started,” said Nketia. “I will do my best when I am asked to play.”
Nketia, who has not yet agreed to any contract, said, “I am desperate to play football. All I can do is keep working hard. She will work to solve the problem. As long as I play for Arsenal, I will do my best.” extension.
A positive evening for Arteta was completed when substitute 18-year-old Charlie Patino, making his team debut, sent another Pepe low cross.
Sunderland, who were relegated from the Premier League in 2017, were encouraged by 5,000 fans from the North East and coach Lee Johnson said he was pleased they had had such good periods in the game.
“The bigger picture for us is the learning experience,” he said. “Now they know the standard. When you feel the quality of the opponent, you learn a lot. Arsenal were great.”