Arsenal cruised past AFC Wimbledon in the third round of the Carabao Cup thanks to goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah on Wednesday evening.
The Gunners opened the scoring early on, with Lacazette making no mistake from the penalty spot after the lively Gabriel Martinelli was brought down.
As you’d expect, Arsenal dominated after going ahead. Martinelli and Lacazette linked up well throughout the first 45 minutes to cause the Wimbledon defence a myriad of problems, while Thomas Partey impressed in midfield with some slick passing.
Partey continued to star at the start of the second half too, forcing Nik Tzanev into a decent save with a strike from outside of the box. Nuno Tavares then came close to doubling the home side’s lead, but headed a wonderful Martinelli cross off the post.
Arsenal finally doubled their advantage in the 78th minute through substitute Emile Smith Rowe. The midfielder poked home the second goal of the evening after some lovely build-up play.
Almost immediately from kick-off, the Gunners made it three courtesy of Eddie Nketiah. The forward backheeled a Cedric cross brilliantly into the Wimbledon goal to make the Arsenal lead even more unassailable.
Here’s how the Arsenal players rated on the night.
Bernd Leno (GK) – 5/10 – The only thing he had to deal with was Wimbledon fans shouting Aaron Ramsdale’s name at him in the second half.
Cedric Soares (RB) – 7/10 – His first non-embarrassing game of the season. He even set up a goal. Progress.
Rob Holding (CB) – 6/10 – Didn’t have a whole lot to do in truth, but headed everything clear that he needed to.
Pablo Mari (CB) – 6/10 – See above.
Nuno Tavares (LB) – 7/10 – Unlucky to be fighting with the best player at the club for a place in the starting XI, but showed that he has a bit about him against Wimbledon at least. Hit the post in the second half.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (CM) – 6/10 – Clearly wanted to prove a point on Wednesday evening. Relatively decent performance.
Thomas Partey (CM) – 7/10 – Looked very confident in the middle of the park. Promising signs for the former Atletico Madrid man who has struggled with injuries since his big money move to north London.
Albert Sambi-Lokonga (CM) – 6/10 – Just a solid player. Decent signing.
Eddie Nketiah (RW) – 7/10 – One of many in this Arsenal XI that wanted away in the summer, and showed his worth with an audacious goal in the final ten minutes.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – 8/10 – Scored the opener from the spot and Wimbledon’s defence generally couldn’t deal with his movement.
Gabriel Martinelli (LW) – 7/10 – His best performance in recent memory. Very lively, and finally looks fully fit again.
Emile Smith Rowe – 7/10 – Came on and scored almost immediately. Great player.
Bukayo Saka – 7/10 – Made an instant impact with his movement and passing.
Folarin Balogun – N/A.