Arsenal 5-1 Sunderland: Hat-trick hero Nketiah sends Gunners through to EFL Cup semi-finals

By Sports Desk December 21, 2021

Eddie Nketiah was the hat-trick hero as Arsenal marched through to the EFL Cup semi-finals after a comprehensive 5-1 win over Sunderland.

The young striker continued his impressive record in the competition, with a trio of poacher's finishes taking his tally to 10 goals in nine appearances.

Nicolas Pepe was also on target in the 27th minute for Mikel Arteta's side, who secured their first appearance in the last four since 2017-18, with the win capped off by teenager Charlie Patino.

The Gunners did concede their first goal of this season's EFL Cup courtesy of a neat Nathan Broadhead finish, but it proved a mere consolation for the League One outfit.

With 43 places separating the sides in the English football pyramid, Arsenal nearly broke the deadlock in the 12th minute; Nuno Tavares' attempted centre deflecting onto the crossbar off Elliot Embleton.

But the hosts took the lead five minutes later. Lee Burge could only parry Rob Holding's header from a Cedric corner, and Nketiah was on hand to scramble home the rebound.

Folarin Balogun went close before the Gunners doubled their advantage; Pepe playing a neat one-two with Cedric and his shot deflected in off Callum Doyle.

Sunderland responded well and halved the deficit following a quick counter that culminated in Embleton releasing the in-form Broadhead, who neatly lifted over the advancing Bernd Leno for his fifth goal in four games.

However, Arsenal restored their two-goal buffer within four minutes of the restart, Nketiah producing tremendous movement to turn home Tavares' cross at the near post.

And the striker completed his hat-trick in exquisite fashion nine minutes later, as he delightfully back-heeled Pepe's centre past a helpless Burge.

Patino put the icing on the cake in stoppage time when the youngster marked his senior debut with a neat first-time finish from Pepe's centre.

Related items

  • Don’t judge me on winning titles, says Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino Don’t judge me on winning titles, says Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino

    Mauricio Pochettino has urged Chelsea supporters not to judge him on whether or not his team lifts the Carabao Cup at Wembley on Sunday.

    Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool stand in the way of a first trophy since co-owner Todd Boehly bought the club in May 2022 and began a radical overhaul.

    The Argentinian is also aiming to win silverware for the first time in England, having been runner-up in this competition to his current club in 2015 while in charge of Tottenham.

    And he pointed to the example of his opposite number on Sunday as a coach who enjoyed a strong reputation even before his first trophy win.

    Klopp defeated Pochettino’s Spurs in the 2019 Champions League final almost four years into his Anfield reign, having missed out on the previous year’s Premier League title by a single point to Manchester City.

    “I think it’s not going to increase my popularity or the way the fans are going to see us,” said Pochettino on his team’s prospects on Sunday.

    “Klopp was good before he arrived at Liverpool. He had three or four years that he didn’t win. Now he’s won the Champions League and the Premier League.

    “I don’t judge a coach or coaching staff for winning titles. It’s about being competitive and winning, but there are too many factors that influence.

    “If you have good player, you should be close to winning. Maybe everyone will say you’re the best coach in the world. But everyone knows it’s not like this.

    “The thing is to be in the right moment, in the right club that trusts in you with the tools and the possibility to win.

    “Some fans will say you’re not good because you didn’t win. For me, it’s not the way to judge a coaching staff.”

    Chelsea’s indifferent season has taken on a new complexion after three impressive away performances.

    Consecutive 3-1 wins at Aston Villa in the FA Cup and Crystal Palace in the league were followed by a fine 1-1 draw against champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium a week ago.

    Prior to that, the team were booed off by supporters at the end of their most recent home fixture, a 4-2 loss to Wolves at Stamford Bridge, days after they were thrashed 4-1 at Anfield.

    Pochettino believes that, regardless of Sunday’s result, he is already held in high esteem in England.

    “I feel the respect from the football people in this country,” he said. “I really appreciate it, because after five years in Spain and then in France, I feel the competition here – the Premier League, the fans, how people live football.

    “It’s a perfect organisation to enjoy my job. It’s my passion to be involved in the game that we love.

    “But we want to win because we are very competitive. We want to win because of the people that trust in us, like the owners, the sporting directors, the fans.

    “After 11 years here, we feel the respect. That is the most important thing.”

  • Alexis Mac Allister hopes to land another exhibit for his proposed ‘museum’ Alexis Mac Allister hopes to land another exhibit for his proposed ‘museum’

    Liverpool midfielder Alexis Mac Allister looks at his World Cup winner’s medal every day and hopes to be able to add one from the Carabao Cup to his collection.

    The Argentina international intends to build a trophy room at his home and while his victory alongside Lionel Messi in Qatar will take pride of place his first silverware for the club he joined in the summer would still mean a lot to him.

    “It will be my first final with Liverpool and first opportunity to win something so it is going to be something very special for me and the team,” he said.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Alexis Mac Allister (@alemacallister)

    “I look at it (his World Cup winner’s medal) every single day. That is what it means to me and to the country as well.

    “It is the biggest game ever for a football player so it is something that I am really proud of and hopefully next week the Carabao Cup medal can be something I will look at as well.

    “My plan is to one day create a little museum at home. I have a replica of the World Cup, the medal and some more trophies – all in a safe place for now – and my plan is to be able to have a place for them where I can always see them.

    “When I signed for this club I said I wanted to win trophies, that is what every player wants and that is what I want.

    “The World Cup helped me to realise that I really want to win more trophies so it is a big opportunity.”

    Mac Allister will come up against former Brighton team-mate Moises Caicedo at Wembley.

    The Ecuador international was long-destined for Chelsea but haggling over his transfer fee allowed Liverpool the opportunity to hijack the deal and although their £111million bid was accepted the player held out for a move to Stamford Bridge, which he eventually got for a British record fee of £115m.

    As a result Caicedo was booed during last month’s 4-1 defeat at Anfield and while there is no such animosity between the ex-team-mates Mac Allister joked Caicedo’s decision to reject Liverpool was annoying.

    “I spoke a little with him. Maybe he hurt me a little bit with what happened in the summer – but is completely fine,” he added.

    “It is a personal decision. He is an amazing player and a really good guy and I wish him well.”

  • Thomas Tuchel insists he will give everything to Bayern ahead of his summer exit Thomas Tuchel insists he will give everything to Bayern ahead of his summer exit

    Thomas Tuchel insists he will give everything to Bayern Munich ahead of his departure in the summer and hopes the decision over his future allows the team to play with “freedom”.

    Tuchel has been unable to arrest a downturn in form, and speculation over his position came to a head this week when the club announced he would be leaving at the end of the current campaign.

    Saturday’s game against RB Leipzig will be his first in charge since the news became public, with Bayern looking to end a three-game losing streak following losses to title rivals Bayer Leverkusen, Lazio and Bochum.

    And while there is a possibility Tuchel could be seen as a lame duck coach over the coming months, he thinks the removal of uncertainty over his role could spark an upturn.

    “I view it professionally and unemotionally. It’s a professional sport at the highest level,” he said of his shortened reign.

    “There aren’t guilty individuals. I don’t think I’m the only problem, but I have responsibility. Now we have a new situation, it’s resolved, which hopefully makes it clear and brings freedom.

    “This job only works if I give 100 per cent of myself. I have a very high professional expectation of myself and that’s completely dedicated to Bayern Munich until the end of the season. We have aims: we’re going for the maximum in the league and won’t give up until it’s over. In the Champions League we still have a second leg (against Lazio), so we are playing for maximum success.”

    Tuchel resisted the temptation to divert blame away from himself and on to his players, but accepted the performance levels on matchday had been falling consistently short of expectations.

    “The management know my analysis, which is also very self-critical. But it’s definitely not an analysis for the public,” he said.

    “I’m not personally disappointed in the players. We have high standards, that won’t change. I’ve never had the feeling that there’s a big problem but there is a glaring discrepancy between the way we’re training and the way we’re playing. We’ve trained at a good level but that’s no guarantee that we’ll produce a good performance.”

    Injuries have upset Bayern’s rhythm this term and they continue to be stretched, with Dayot Upamecano suspended and an injury list that contains Kingsley Coman, Sacha Boey, Noussair Mazraoui, Bouna Sarr, Serge Gnabry and Alphonso Davies.

    Leipzig have proved tricky opponents in recent times, taking two draws and two wins from their last four games against Bayern.

    Dani Olmo bagged a hat-trick when his side romped to a 3-0 win in the Super Cup final last August, a memory that still burns bright with the Spaniard.

    “I would say it was a perfect game from all of us and for me individually to score three goals in Munich, in the Allianz, and to be able to win a trophy,” he said.

    “It was for sure one of my best performances but we have to keep going because football never stops and now we have another chance. Bayern is always the opponent that motivates us. It’s always special.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.