May 24, 2024

EPL: Nketiah Bags Hat-trick As Arsenal Maul Sheffield United

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By Sportgister

Arsenal were ruthless Saturday thrashing Sheffield United 5-0 with Eddie Nketiah accounting for three of the goals. The result saw Mikel Arteta’s side move back within two points of Premier League leaders Tottenham.

 

Nketiah, leading the line in place of the injured Gabriel Jesus, converted the opener coolly from Declan Rice’s cross in the first half then capitalised on a Wes Foderingham error to slam home a close-range second soon after the break

 

The 24-year-old saved his best until last, however, sealing his treble with a stunning long-range effort driven into the top corner after collecting Emile Smith Rowe’s pass 25 yards from goal.

 

Arsenal rammed home their advantage when Fabio Vieira won and converted a late penalty and fellow substitute Takehiro Tomiyasu poked home his first goal for the club following a corner in stoppage time, but the afternoon belonged to Nketiah.

 

Nketiah’s performance, having not scored in his previous nine appearances, was an exhibition in ruthlessness and helped Arsenal maintain their unbeaten start to the season in style, moving them up to second place and piling more misery on bottom side Sheffield United, who remain winless, with one point from 10 games.

 

Before their second-half collapse, Sheffield United offered stubborn resistance, doubling up effectively on Saka, Arsenal’s captain for the day with Martin Odegaard benched, as the hosts struggled to break them down in the opening 25 minutes.

 

 

But it all changed with the opening goal, when Rice, outstanding in midfield, picked out Nketiah with a low cross. The 24-year-old took the ball away from Aaron Trusty with a deft first touch before slotting a clinical finish into the bottom corner.

 

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta benched skipper Martin Odegaard and handed a rare start to Emile Smith Rowe. Jakub Kiwior came in for Gabriel Magalhaes.

 

Sheffield United made two changes, with Rhian Brewster replacing the injured Oli McBurnie and Anis Ben Slimane also starting.

 

The goal came from Arsenal’s first shot on target and helped Arteta’s side find their flow, with Gabriel Martinelli a persistent source of danger as his powerful effort from Saka’s pass inside the box forced Foderingham into an athletic save.

 

Arsenal were in complete control at that point and Nketiah’s second arrived shortly after half-time as Foderingham palmed Saka’s inswinging corner into the danger area and the striker punished the error ruthlessly, firing a first-time finish high into the net.

 

 

Nketiah’s first two goals showed his poaching instincts but his third demonstrated he can do it from long-distance too as he collected Smith Rowe’s pass, turned, and launched a stunning drive back across Foderingham and into the top corner.

 

Arsenal continued to pour forward, with Ben White drawing a save from Foderingham and Tomiyasu firing narrowly wide, and their fourth goal arrived after a lengthy VAR check, with Oliver Norwood eventually penalised for a foul on Vieira just inside the box.

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