Arsenal continue their perfect Europa League start after a 3 – 0 win against Qarabag in Azerbaijan on Thursday.

Arsenal made the ideal start in Baku when captain Nacho Monreal jumped high to meet a Mohamed Elneny corner and his goal-bound header was diverted in through Sokratis‘ touch at the 4th minute which marked the Greek’s first goal since joining the club this summer.

Youngster Emil Smith-Rowe made his first start in the Europa League and could have doubled the Gunners’ lead on the 18th minute but he could not stretch enough to convert Sead Kolasinac‘s brilliant cross. The chances were created perfectly for Arsenal but none of them were converted. 

Danny Welbeck glanced a free header wide from another Elneny corner three minutes later, but the Gunners’ hesitation to put the match to bed invited pressure from Qarabag.

Mahir Madatov drew Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno into action for the first time with a near-post drive before the half-hour, and the German was called again at the 39th minute to save Filip Ozobic‘s powerful shot. Qarabag captain Medvedev lashed another effort under Leno and placed the ball in the back of the net within four minutes of the restart, but the offside flag came to Arsenal’s rescue.

At the 52nd minute, Arsenal’s score sheet was doubled as Alex Iwobi fed Smith-Rowe and the youngster displayed great composure to slot his first Arsenal goal through the legs of Vagner. Eighteen-year-old Emile Smith Rowe marked his second Arsenal start for the senior team.

Qarabag pushed for a path back into the game but suffered from a lack of quality in the final third. Any hopes of a comeback were destroyed when Matteo Guendouzi netted a fine goal at bottom left-hand corner after a great Alexandre Lacazette led counter on the 79th minute.

There was still time for Leno to produce another fine save, this time to tip Zoubir‘s shot over the bar. Goalkeeper Bernd Leno was exceptional as he made a multitude of great saves during the game to earn his second clean sheet for the Gunners.

With Sokratis, Smith-Rowe and Matteo Guendouzi all getting on the scoresheet for Arsenal, all three scorers netted their first competitive goals for the club in the game.

With 8 straight wins in all competitions to the Gunners this season, they return to the Premier League on 7th October, Sunday to face newly-promoted side Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Also read: Arsenal 2 – 0 Watford | Premier League 2018/19


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