Danny Welbeck took centre stage as we swept past Brentford to reach the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
The England striker soared to head home an early opener from Matteo Guendouzi’s cross after the Frenchman had collected a short corner from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
And Welbeck was then on hand to finish off a flowing team move to take his tally for the season to an impressive four goals in six games.
Our second goal was a thing of beauty. It started with goalkeeper Bernd Leno and involved Stephan Lichtsteiner, Mkhitaryan and then Alex Iwobi, who found Nacho Monreal for a square ball that Welbeck converted from close range. Glorious to watch.
Iwobi had a solid claim for a penalty turned down when Julian Jeanvier brought him down, and the one-way traffic continued unabated against a Brentford side that struggled to contain our pace and movement.
Mkhitaryan had two sights of goal and Iwobi shot narrowly over as we looked for a third, but the visitors were thrown a lifeline when Alan Judge curled a free-kick beyond Leno.
What had been a relative stroll was now a rather more anxious affair, but the introduction of Alex Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey stemmed the flow.
Monreal went close, forcing a wonderful save from Luke Daniels, but it was Lacazette who had the final word with a low finish in stoppage time.
HOW IT HAPPENED
THREE THINGS WE NOTICED
A goal to savour, Welbeck’s work ethic and Emery’s strength in depth
Unai Emery hinted that he’d rotate his squad for this game and he did precisely that.
There were nine changes in all with only Nacho Monreal - captain for the night - and Shkodran Mustafi keeping their starting places.
Rob Holding, who replaced the injured Sokratis at the weekend, came into the side, as did goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Further forward there was a chance for Emile Smith Rowe to catch the eye, with Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both rested.
We’ll find out our next opponents in the Carabao Cup when the draw is made at 9pm (UK time) on Saturday.
A matter of hours before that we’ll be back in Premier League action, when Watford are the visitors to Emirates Stadium.
DID YOU KNOW?
Here’s some standout facts and stats from our game against Brentford:
- We haven’t lost a home League Cup match against a side from outside the top-flight since a 2-1 defeat at Highbury against Walsall in November 1983 and are unbeaten in 31 matches since then (W28 D3)
- Brentford midfielder Nico Yennaris, who made four first-team appearances for us, was previously our mascot, before a game against Coventry City in September 2000
- Brentford are one of seven sides who have a positive record against us - five wins, three draws and three defeats
- We hadn’t faced Brentford since May 1947, when we won 1-0 at Griffin Park in a top-flight encounter
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