A fresh-faced Arsenal lifted spirits at the Emirates with a 4-0 victory over Standard Liege in group F of the Europa League. Gabriel Martinelli scored twice and set up the fourth goal for Dani Ceballos while Joe Willock got the third as Unai Emery’s side blitzed the Belgian team. Martinelli will deservedly get the plaudits but there were encouraging performances for Arsenal all over the pitch.
Only Lucas Torreira remained from the XI who ground out the grim 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Monday and this display could not have been more different. Even accounting for the paucity of the opposition, Arsenal went about their job with impressive vigour.
Martinelli was flanked up front by Reiss Nelson on the left and Ainsley Maitland-Niles on the right. Nelson menaced Liege right from the start, shooting over the bar in the early stages. The 19-year-old struck up an immediate understanding with the excellent Kieran Tierney and the first three goals came down their flank.
Martinelli showed his promise with two goals in the 5-0 victory over Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup and before the match Emery suggested that the 18-year-old was more suited to playing out wide than leading the line. The Brazilian looked as if he was trying to prove his manager wrong.
In the 13th minute Nelson collected a long clearance, held the ball up to allow for Tierney to overlap and then rolled a pass down the line for the full back. The Scot arrowed in an early cross and Martinelli glanced a superb header into the net.