Manager Mikel Arteta has been disappointed with Arsenal’s goalscoring form in the English Premier League but the same cannot be said about the Europa League, with 16 goals netted after putting four past Rapid Vienna at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night.
Three players of Nigerian descent were included in their respective team’s matchday squads – Folarin Balogun and Miguel Azeez for the Gunners and Austria U21 international Kelvin Arase who started for the visitors.
Alexandre Lacazette got Arsenal going at minute 10 with a belter from 30 yards, Pablo Mari, returning to the side after six months out, scored his first European goal with a lovely flick of the head into the far corner, before Edward Nketiah finished off a fantastic team goal in the 44th minute, nodding home after his initial effort was saved.
Rapid Vienna hit back two minutes into the second half, Kitagawa finding a way to fire home after Kolasinac blocked two efforts on the line.
In the 66th minute, the three-goal cushion was restored for the Gunners thanks to Smith Rowe.
Nine minutes from time, Arteta used his fifth and final substitute to send on Balogun for his third appearance as a substitute in the Europa League, a change that saw Azeez rooted to the bench for the entirety of the game.
The 19-year-old, on the volley, came close to grabbing a goal but could not force his effort on target two minutes into injury time.