Arsenal turned on the style to increase its lead over Sunderland to 5-1, cutting through the Black Cats like a hot knife through butter to give Eddie Nketiah a League Cup hat trick.
Nketiah put a silky finishing touch on a brilliant team goal that saw Nicolas Pepe nutmeg a defender after the Gunners went full training exercise on their League One visitors to the Emirates Stadium.
Pepe had a goal and two assists, teenager Charlie Patino came off the bench to score, and Nuno Tavares and Cedric Soares also had assists in the win. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was again out of the 18.
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The video of Nketiah’s third goal is below, as Arsenal takes shortcuts to success as the scorer slows his run to live in the middle of a sea of Black Cats.
Sunderland had the match at 2-1 before the break when Nathan Broadhead pulled the Black Cats closer following Nketiah and Pepe goals.
Arsenal teenager Charlie Patino made his debut off the bench in the 80th minute for Emile Smith-Rowe.
Sunderland was understandably outclassed but showed good intent and football early in a match they hope can continue to build momentum toward a Championship return.
Arsenal vs Sunderland final score, stats:
Arsenal 5-1 Sunderland
Scorers: Nketiah 17′, 49′, 58′; Pepe 27′; Patino 90’+1
Shot attempts: Arsenal 19-12
Shots on goal: Arsenal 10-6
Possession: Arsenal 68-32 Sunderland
Nketiah hits a backheel for his first ever Arsenal hat trick 😲 pic.twitter.com/7y1ZpYK9iO
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 21, 2021