EUROPA LEAGUE – Arsenal 4-0 Standard Liege: Gunners run riot to pick up thumping win
PUBLISHED: 21:52 03 October 2019 | UPDATED: 21:52 03 October 2019
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Gabriel Martinelli scored twice as Arsenal youngsters shone in an impressive 4-0 victory over Standard Liege in the Europa League at the Emirates on Thursday night.
Gabriel Matinelli scored a quick fire double, heading in on 13 minutes before adding a second just two minutes later, with Joe Willock's neat finish making it 3-0 just 21 minutes in.
Dani Ceballos got the fourth with 57 minutes as he turned Martinelli's cross into the net to cap off the scoring on a brilliant night of attacking football at the Emirates.
Unai Emery made 10 changes from the team that drew 1-1 with Manchester United on Monday, with Lucas Torreira keeping his starting place.
Starts were given to youngsters Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Gabriel Martinelli, while Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin - captaining Arsenal for the first time - stepped up their returns from injury.
Willock nearly had a chance with just six minutes played when Martinelli pinched the ball off a Liege defender and fed the midfielder through, but he couldn't get it out of his feet.
The away side had their first chance when Kostas Laifis beat Emiliano Martinez to a corner, but he could only head wide.
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Arsenal punished that miss on 13 minutes, as they took the lead through Martinelli's superb header.
Shkodran Mustafi sprayed a brilliant ball out to Nelson on the left who found Tierney. His delivery into the area was on the money, as the Brazilian glanced his effort across the goalkeeper and into the far corner.
The 18-year-old's night got even better just two minutes later as he doubled the home side's lead, beating Zinho Vanheusden to the ball in the box, moving it back onto his right foot and curling into the net
The Gunners were running riot, with most of the chances coming down the left through Tierney and Nelson.
It was the latter who played a key role in making it 3-0 on 21 minutes, when he cut inside and had his shot blocked, but it fell to Willock who turned the ball home as the Belgian side struggled to contain Arsenal's lightning quick attacks.
Liege managed to get a grip on the game for the rest of the half as the score stayed the same till the break, despite big shouts for a penalty when goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic collided with Nelson.
It didn't take long for Emery's men to add a fourth after the break, with Martinelli at the heart of things, clipping the ball into the six-yard box for Ceballos to bundle home on 57 minutes.
Arsenal continued to press forward, but they couldn't find a fifth as they cruised to victory, moving them three points clear at the top of Group F on a night that showed just how good they can be.