Arsenal comfortably progressed to the third round of the Carabao Cup with an emphatic 6-0 victory over a second-string West Bromwich Albion side.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s third Arsenal hat-trick and one each for Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette handed the Gunners their first win of the season to ease some of the pressure on manager Mikel Arteta.
West Brom, despite their inexperience, started the stronger team with 18-year-old forward Tom Fellows firing the first warning shot of the match in the 11th minute, but debutant Aaron Ramsdale was able to parry away.
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The Baggies continued to work hard and press high up the pitch, but Arsenal took the lead with their first shot on target. In the 17th minute, Aubameyang reacted first to tap home from point-blank range after Saka’s low driven strike was parried into his path by Alex Palmer.
Arsenal grew into the match and extended their lead just before half-time. Pepe exposed West Brom’s high line and fired a shot off the woodwork which Aubameyang tapped in for his second of the night.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-1 with Bukayo Saka during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns on August 25, 2021

Image credit: Getty Images

First-half injury-time began and West Brom continued to press, but Arsenal scored a quick third on the break. Saka fed the ball to Aubameyang whose attempted finish bounced off Palmer. Aubameyang, on his 150th Arsenal appearance, improvised with an overhead kick pass that landed to Pepe to give the north London club a very healthy lead.
Arsenal’s fourth came almost straight after half-time. Saka played a clever one-two with Martin Odegaard, who neatly backheeled the ball to the England international to slot away. Aubameyang sealed his hat-trick shortly the hour mark with a curled finish into the top corner.
Lacazette showed no signs of rustiness coming off the bench. In the 70th minute, he powered his first-time effort into the bottom corner to put Arsenal six up.

TALKING POINT – TOUGHER TESTS TO COME

Considering the value of Arsenal’s starting XI was estimated to be around £261m compared to West Brom’s £10m, Mikel Arteta’s side simply had to produce a strong performance after their poor start to the season. They did so in style with West Brom repeatedly making the same error of playing too high a defensive line.
But trickier games lie ahead for the Gunners who now face Manchester City on Saturday knowing they need to get at least a point next to their name. Tonight’s game was a bit too easy an audition.

MAN OF THE MATCH – PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG

Aubameyang showed his class against a West Brom side who could not cope with his pace.
In his first start of the season, he showed exactly why he has been sorely missed by putting in an impressive display.

PLAYER RATINGS

West Brom: Palmer (6), Kipre (4), Shotton (5), Taylor (5), Ingram (5), Snodgrass (5), Reach (5), De Castro (4), Gardner-Hickman (5), Fellows (5), Zohore (5)
Subs: Faal (5), King (N/A), Richards (N/A)
Arsenal: Ramsdale (6), Chambers (5), Holding (6), Kolasinac (5), Tavares (5), Elneny (6), Xhaka (5), Pepe (7), Odegaard (6), Saka (8), Aubameyang (9)
Subs: Maitland-Niles (5), Lacazette (7), Martinelli (N/A)

KEY MOMENTS

17' - GOAL! Arsenal lead through Aubameyang and at last this season they have a goal! Saka crosses into the box and West Brom fail to clear their lines. Saka works his way into the box and fires a powerful shot on goal which Palmer parries away. But Aubameyang - on his 150th appearance for Arsenal - is there to tap it in. The Gunners lead!
44' - GOAL! Aubameyang scores again! Pepe's shot from outside the box strikes the woodwork and it comes out to the Gabon forward to tap in!
45+1' - ANOTHER GOAL! Arsenal ruthlessly expose West Brom's high line yet again! Saka feeds the ball into Aubameyang whose chip comes off Palmer. He then attempts an overhead kick on goal but it instead heads towards Pepe who can slot away! Arsenal running away with it now!
49' - GOAL! Arsenal get their fourth and it's a wonderfully worked goal! Saka plays a clever one-two with Odegaard, who backheels the ball to the England international who slots it in. He's had a great evening and Arsenal are in cruise control.
63' - GOAL! Arsenal get their fifth and it's an Aubameyang hat-trick! again on the break, he picks the ball up on the edge of the box before cutting inside and curls a delightful shot into the top corner. It's his third hat-trick for Arsenal!
70' - GOAL!! It's six and it's Lacazette who gets it! Holding's long ball finds Pepe before he picks out an onrushing Lacazette who powers his strike home first-time! No signs of rustiness at all from the Frenchman!
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