Match ends, Arsenal 5, Sheffield United 0.
Eddie Nketiah scored his first Premier League hat-trick as Arsenal extended their unbeaten start to the season with victory over Sheffield United at Emirates Stadium.
He opened the scoring with a deft touch and swivelled finish after Declan Rice’s threaded ball caught out the United defence.
Nketiah’s thumping effort into the roof of the net increased Arsenal’s lead against bottom-of-the-table United.
A sensational strike from 25 yards completed a perfect afternoon for the England forward Nketiah, who has five league goals this season, all of which have come at home.
Fabio Vieira scored a late penalty after the video assistant referee (VAR) adjudged Oliver Norwood to have fouled him inside the area.
Takehiro Tomiyasu got on the end of a flick from Mohamed Elneny and poked home from a corner in stoppage time.
Victory lifted Arsenal up to second in the table, two points behind north London rivals Tottenham.
The Gunners are unbeaten in 19 home games against United in all competitions since 1971.
Once they got in front, it seemed there would only be one outcome.
United keeper Wes Foderingham saved fierce efforts from Gabriel Martinelli and Ben White as Arsenal asserted their dominance.
Nketiah steps up with Jesus absent
Nketiah came into the starting line-up in place of Gabriel Jesus, who injured a hamstring in the midweek Champions League win against Sevilla, and took his opportunity with both hands.
He was alert to Rice’s pass, taking a brilliant touch to wrongfoot Auston Trusty and fire home.
Foderingham flapped at a corner from Bukayo Saka and Nketiah pounced to slam in a half-volley from close range.
The confidence on display from Nketiah seemed to increase with each finish, culminating in a superb third.
A lay-off from Emile Smith Rowe, making his first start of the season, gave Nketiah time and space to blast into the top corner. With less than an hour played, the match ball had been secured.
Nketiah let Vieira take the penalty, sacrificing the chance to become only the third Arsenal player to score four goals in a Premier League match after Andrey Arshavin and Thierry Henry.
Saka was captain in Martin Odegaard’s absence and, when he was substituted, he passed the armband to Nketiah, who captained Arsenal for the first time.
Jesus could only applaud in the stands as he watched Nketiah put in an accomplished display up front.
Blades come up short again
United did well to keep Arsenal at bay for the opening half an hour, but the defence wilted and left gaps open as Mikel Arteta’s side grew in confidence.
The Blades had just two shots in the match, neither of which were on target.
Gustavo Hamer tried a spectacular effort from the halfway line but it sailed out for a goal kick as United’s lack of attacking threat was laid bare.
After Nketiah’s hat-trick, it appeared as if Arsenal were happy with their lot, but two late lapses in concentration proved costly for United.
Norwood gave away a poor penalty and then Tomiyasu was allowed to ghost past the United defence to complete the thrashing.
United have lost nine of their 10 league matches this season – the worst start by any side to a Premier League season – and have a goal difference of minus 18.
- 4WhiteSubstituted forTomiyasuat 66′minutes
- 41RiceSubstituted forElnenyat 89′minutes
- 10Smith RoweSubstituted forFábio Vieiraat 73′minutes
- 7SakaSubstituted forNelsonat 73′minutes
- 11MartinelliSubstituted forTrossardat 66′minutes
- 21Fábio Vieira
- 20BogleBooked at 70minsSubstituted forBaldockat 71′minutes
- 28McAteeSubstituted forFleckat 71′minutes
- 21de Souza Costa
- 16NorwoodBooked at 87mins
- 25Ben SlimaneSubstituted forOsbornat 59′minutesBooked at 60mins
- 8HamerSubstituted forOnéat 83′minutes
- 7BrewsterSubstituted forArcherat 59′minutes
- Tim Robinson
Second Half ends, Arsenal 5, Sheffield United 0.
Attempt missed. Kai Havertz (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Oleksandr Zinchenko with a through ball.
Goal! Arsenal 5, Sheffield United 0. Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner following a corner.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Vinicius Souza.
Attempt blocked. Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kai Havertz.
Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Reiss Nelson.
Foul by Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal).
George Baldock (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Arsenal. Mohamed Elneny replaces Declan Rice.
Goal! Arsenal 4, Sheffield United 0. Fábio Vieira (Arsenal) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the centre of the goal.
Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
VAR Decision: Penalty Arsenal.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match because of an injury Fábio Vieira (Arsenal).
Penalty Arsenal. Fábio Vieira draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United) after a foul in the penalty area.
Substitution, Sheffield United. Ryan Oné replaces Gustavo Hamer.
Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Auston Trusty (Sheffield United).
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