Arsenal defeated Dundalk 3-0 in their UEFA Europa League Group B encounter on Thursday at the Emirates Stadium. As a result of their latest victory, the Gunners are now leading the group standings with six points from two games.
Dundalk, on the other hand, has lost both their matches so far in this year's European competition. They were able to hold Arsenal for most of the first half as it took 33 minutes for the English side to take their first shot on target. In the 42nd minute, Eddie Nketiah broke the deadlock and helped the hosts take the lead.
Two minutes later, Joe Willock netted his team's second. Before half-time, Arsenal were 2-0 up. Just a minute into the second half, the Gunners' £72 million signing, Nicolas Pepe, scored the final goal of the match. The Premier League side looked more dominant during the remaining minutes of the game, but couldn't convert any of their chances into further goals.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is impressed by the way his squad members played on Thursday.
According to BBC, he said, "We gave a chance to a lot of players who haven't played many minutes this season and it is something really positive because they showed they are well-prepared, they are at it, and they are ready when we need them. They are always in the frame to play. It is not if we lose or win, it is what they bring to the team."
Iceland goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson made his Arsenal debut on Thursday, as he played behind a makeshift central defence. Runarsson signed with the Gunners from Dijon earlier this summer. It is understood that three of Arsenal's centre-backs are currently injured. The list of injured players includes David Luiz. The other two players are not registered for the ongoing Europa League.
This meant that Shkodran Mustafi, who made his first start for the Gunners since July, played in the back alongside Granit Xhaka and Sead Kolasinac. Kolasinac, on the other hand, is generally a left-back. However, he has played in the centre several times in the past.
Arsenal's defence had a quiet day, as Dundalk could only produce two touches in the hosts' box. This was the first time that Arsenal played any side from the Republic of Ireland. Meanwhile, Dundalk created history by becoming the first team in the last 10 years of the Europa League to not commit any foul in a game.