Arsenal recorded a 5-0 thrashing of Nottingham Forest at The Emirates Stadium on Tuesday evening, as they progressed to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
Arsenal started the game brightly, with young forward Gabriel Martinelli looking a real threat going forward for Unai Emery’s men.
The Gunners had the first real chance of the game when Martinelli was fouled on the edge of the penalty area. Reiss Nelson could only see his penalty strike the bottom of the post, with Arijanet Muric beaten in the Forest goal.
Emery’s side then started to dominate the game, with Mustafi and Torreira both wasting good chances to open the scoring on the night.
Nottingham Forest did threaten though, with Brennan Johnson’s through ball being narrowly overhit, with Emiliano Martinez being alert to the danger.
Nelson continued to be a nuisance for the Forest defence, as his quick feet saw him ride two challenges, before firing towards goal, in an effort which Muric was equal to in between the sticks.
Arsenal’s persistence paid off though as Gabriel Martinelli opened the scoring after 31 minutes.
Callum Chambers’ expertly-weighted cross presented the young Brazilian with an opportunity that he simply couldn’t miss, and he headed home his first competitive goal of the season.
The Gunners then had a golden-opportunity to double that lead shortly after, as an excellent run from Kieran Tierney saw the Scotsman find Mesut Ozil, who saw his effort blocked by a resilient Forest defensive line.
The game fizzled out towards the end of the first-half, although Arsenal had a good chance to find that second goal to give themselves breathing space, as Smith Rowe’s header from point-blank rage was well-saved by Muric again.
That proved to be the last contribution that Smith Rowe would make in the game, as he suffered an injury during that chance, which saw him stretchered off and replaced by in-form Bukayo Saka.
Forest were showing more intent going forward early into the second-half, despite not having a recognised striker on the pitch to start with. Albert Adomah was being used as a makeshift forward on the night.
Joao Carvalho spurned a good opportunity to level the tie, as he blazed his shot over the bar from distance as the travelling support started to believe they could snatch an equaliser.
Forest’s best chance of the game came on the hour mark, when Albert Adomah raced clear with the Reds four on four, but delayed his pass too long, before seeing it cut out by Lucas Torreira – much to the frustration of the visiting supporters.
They were almost made to pay for their missed opportunities though, as Joe Willock headed wide from inside the six-yard area, after great work from Bukayo Saka.
Rob Holding took the captains armband as Mesut Ozil was replaced by Dani Ceballos. The returning centre-half didn’t take long to make an impact with the armband as well, as he headed home from a corner to double Arsenal’s lead on the night.
Hector Bellerin was soon introduced as a second-half substitute and he made an instant impact as well, as his perfectly-weighted cross found Joe Willock, who fired home Arsenal’s third of the night to all but seal the win for the Gunners.
The Gunners weren’t finished there though, as good work from Dani Ceballos saw him find Callum Chambers, who had his cross turned in by Nelson, who thoroughly deserved his goal on the night.
Martinelli then netted from distance to add some gloss on the win deep into injury-time, as the Gunners eased past the Championship side.
Unai Emery has been given a welcome selection dilemma heading into their Premier League game against Manchester United, with the likes of Kieran Tierney and Gabriel Martinelli both putting in impressive performances.
Nottingham Forest will turn their attention to their promotion bid in the Championship, when they take on Stoke City on Friday evening, where they’ll be hoping to extend their unbeaten run in their league campaign.