Aubameyang hits hat-trick as Arsenal bash Baggies
Gunners score six against West Brom in Carabao Cup to earn manager Mikel Arteta a much-needed victory
25 August, 2021 — By Steve Barnett
Aubameyang marked his return to Arsenal’s starting line-up by scoring a hat-trick
Carabao Cup Second Round
WEST BROM 0
ARSENAL 6 (Aubameyang 17, 45, 62, Pepe 45+1, Saka 50, Lacazette 69)
THE indignity of entering the Carabao Cup in the second round was somewhat overshadowed this evening (Wednesday) as Arsenal got their season up and running by thrashing a young West Bromwich Albion side.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang marked his return to the starting line-up by scoring a hat-trick, while Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette also all found the back of the net against the Baggies at the Hawthorns.
The clinical manner in which Arsenal secured the thumping 6-0 win will no doubt take the headlines, instead of the fact that Mikel Arteta’s side were only playing in the competition at such an early stage because of their failure to qualify for Europe this season.
As fate would have it, the fixture actually proved a blessing for the north Londoners as it gave them the perfect opportunity to shake off the back-to-back defeats they have suffered in the Premier League.
Having got back on the scoresheet Aubameyang insisted that Arsenal’s poor results so far this season have nothing to do with a lack of commitment from the players.
“I’m happy we won this game. It’s good to build the confidence of the team,” he said. “The commitment of every player is always there 100 per cent. We try our best to give the fans what they want.
“This hopefully can give us something to build our confidence for the next games. We had to work hard and keep pushing. We still have 36 games left so we will give our best for a good season.”
Having recovered from Covid Aubameyang produced shades of his best – albeit only against West Brom’s Under-23s.
The striker reacted quickest to open the scoring from close range on 17 minutes after Saka’s original shot was only parried by the keeper.
He displayed his goal-getting instincts again just before the break, this time turning the ball into the net after Pepe had hit the post.
Aubameyang then turned provider, perhaps unintentionally. Seeing his first shot saved, the forward acrobatically sent the ball across goal, where it fell to Pepe who slid in to finish. Considering Aubameyang was on a hat-trick, it’s hard to believe that he wasn’t going for goal.
Saka got his name on the scoresheet within minutes of the restart, finishing with aplomb following a fine flick from Martin Odegaard.
Aubameyang then produced the finish of the night to complete his hat-trick, picking the ball up on the left before curling a shot into the top corner.
Lacazette then came off the bench to open his account for the season with a low drive after good work from Pepe.
The victory over the Championship side could have been even bigger, too, with Odegaard hitting the outside of the post from a tight angle and Pepe striking the bar with a chip.
But in the end Arteta was more than happy with what he saw as the Gunners were rewarded for their efforts with a home time against League One side AFC Wimbledon in the next round.
“This is a tough place to come,” said Arteta. “To score six goals away from home and keep a clean sheet is really good. The attitude the team had from the beginning was also good.
“We were disappointed not to win the two games in the league. When you lose the most important thing is to win the next match to get some confidence. And we did that.”
West Brom: Palmer, Shotton, Kipre, Taylor (Richards, 82), Ingram, Snodgrass (King, 74), De Castro, Reach, Fellows, Zahore (Faal, 65), Gardner-Hickman
Substitutes not used: Cann, Delaney, Malcolm, Tulloch
Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tavares, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac, Elneny, Xhaka (Lacazette, 67), Odegaard (Maitland-Niles, 61), Pepe, Saka, Aubameyang (Martinelli, 76)
Substitutes not used: Leno, Mari, Smith Rowe, Sambi Lokonga