Weltnachrichten – AU – Arsenal outgun Dundalk and Balogun’s success seal the perfect group stage


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Eighteen points, 20 goals, no end to the number of questions. Arsenal broke their Europa League group and took an entertaining win, which was also positively contributed by a brilliant Dundalk. Eddie Nketiah, Mohamed Elneny, Joe Willock and Folarin Balogun scored goals that, despite the light weight of the competition, continued to push for a more carefree approach to their dive campaign.

Nketiah’s early goal scored a point in both style and timing. He hasn’t started a Premier League game in more than two months and while certain aspects of his game need evolving, Arsenal’s attack has had little success since then. When Nketiah completed Andy Boyle’s attempted clearance attack and delicately broke through beyond Gary Rogers, he demonstrated the kind of aggression and decisive finish they lacked. It was hardly an unusual sequence: Nketiah showed last season that he has the form to force mistakes and had pushed Boyle into an uncomfortable foul moment before the start.

There wasn’t so much to extrapolate from what Elneny made six minutes later, but his 28-yard screamer was no less gratifying. It came after a decent job from Emile Smith Rowe, who looked sharp on the left at his first start to the season. Smith Rowe cut in and put the ball back; Elneny took a touch and ended up slapping Rogers, arching the top corner of the net and scoring his first Arsenal goal in three years.

Perhaps sight shooting would provide a solution to their domestic problems. Cédric Soares and Ainsley Maitland-Niles both appeared encouraged, forcing Rogers to direct their efforts well before the break. But the hosts had come up with a moment of their own in which Michael Duffy played Jordan Flores to overtake Alex Rúnarsson. The goalkeeper might have done better, but Flores has form for a forceful finish and was recently shortlisted for the Puskas Award for an acrobatic performance against Shamrock Rovers.

Dundalk would have equalized at halftime if Calum Chambers, another returnee from injury, hadn’t brilliantly blocked when Darragh Leahy was sure to convert. Five minutes into the second half, a more compact final pass from Duffy to one of two up-and-coming team-mates would have given a similarly promising insight.

There was a lot less between the pages now, although Smith Rowe continued to ask questions about his ability to find pockets around the box. Arteta had begun to resent the inaccuracy of his team when Balogun, who recently came on for Nketiah, held his husband back and Willock was shrewdly drilling under Rogers.

Nketiah had smiled weakly as he left. He’s probably felt more goals and may also know that Balogun offers serious competition over the long term. The 19-year-old looked confident throughout his cameo, and when Nicolas Pépé took an opportunity he took it from 12 yards with a confident finish. Sean Hoare had the last word with a smart header for Dundalk and Arsenal must now figure out how youthful vigor can pay off when it matters.

Arsenal F. . C.. . , Dundalk F. . C.. . , UEFA Europa League, Mikel Arteta, Premier League, Folarin Balogun

World news – AU – Arsenal outgun Dundalk and Balogun’s success seal the perfect group stage
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Ref: https://www.theguardian.com

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