The Gunners continued on their unbeaten run in the Europa League with a 4-2 victory over Dundalk on Friday morning (AEDT).
After the loss to Tottenham at the weekend, Mikel Arteta as expected rang the changes for this one and as expected, there was a youthful look to our side.
Calum Chamber was given a rare start, as was Ainsley Maitland Niles and promising youngster Emile Smith Rowe.
Arsenal controlled the match from the outset, and they were rewarded just 12 minutes in when Eddie Nketiah pounced on a loose ball and then ran into the box and cleverly clipped his shot over the Dundalk keeper to give Arsenal a deserved lead.
Just six minutes later, Mo Elneny has a moment to remember as it seems he only scores screamers. He picked the ball up outside the box, took a touch and hammered his shot into the top corner, and gave us a 2-0 lead with less than 20 minutes gone.
Dundalk managed to get a goal back when Jordan Flores smashed his shot past Alex Runarsson and his side grew into the game. They nearly took the lead before halftime however luckily for us, Calum Chambers got in the way of the shot.
The second half was rather placid until the 77th minute when substitute Florin Balogun was involved with great hold up play as he laid off a neat pass to Joe Willock who again found the net in Europe to give us a 3-1 lead.
With 10 minutes remaining Balogun was again involved. Nicolas Pepe slid through a nice pass to Balogun who hit his shot first time and it nestled into the far corner to put a stamp on his impressive performance.
Dundalk managed to get their second goal five minutes from time when Sean Hoare saw his header go past Runarsson as what was only a consolation.
So Arsenal won all six of their group games and cruised into the next stage of the competition.
My Takeaways Maitland Niles and Smith Rowe link up is a joy to watch
Both operating on the same side, and they showed numerous times their ability to get in behind the Dundalk defence with neat one-touch passes. Maitland Niles should be extremely close to breaking into the first team and with another performance like this it is easy to see why. Smith Rowe had a decent night with his first start of the season. He was quick and decisive with the ball and gave us something different in the final third.
Cedric was solid in defence
Rarely gets a chance at Premier League level, however, has played most of our Europa League games, and tonight he put in another good shift. His crossing was a feature as he regularly got forward and put dangerous balls into the box.
Florin Balogun impressed again
Another great substitute performance from the young striker. He only played half an hour, but he impressed with a well-taken goal and a neat assist for Joe Willock. Not quite ready for the Premier League but he is sure putting pressure on Eddie Nketiah with these types of performances.
Mo Elneny gives our midfield something different
Now I am not saying he is the answer, however, he does give us something different in the middle of the park. He does the simple things well and always looks for a forward pass, something that can not be said for others. Doing himself no harm with another solid outing in the Gunners midfield tonight.
It was a relatively easy night for Arsenal however they did not have it all their way as Dundalk found the back of the net twice tonight. Up next is Burnley and it is shaping up as a huge match in Arsenal’s season.