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Arsenal 4-0 Standard Liege: Martinelli scores twice in Europa League four-goal stroll

By Joe Wright

London, October 4: Arsenal made it six points from a possible six in the Europa League this season with a 4-0 victory over Standard Liege on Thursday.

Gabriel Martinelli scored twice in quick succession before Joe Willock added a third in a clinical first 22 minutes from Unai Emery's side.

Dani Ceballos netted his first goal for the club in the second half to cap a routine win for the Gunners, who are already looking a solid bet to reach the next round.

In his first start in Europe for the club, Kieran Tierney crossed for Martinelli to glance in a fine opening goal with only 13 minutes played.

Just 131 seconds later, Martinelli became the youngest Arsenal player to score twice in a European match, turning onto his right foot after collecting Reiss Nelson's cross and drilling a shot beyond Vanja Milinkovic-Savic.

Standard's wretched start was compounded six minutes later, as Willock buried a low shot into the net from 12 yards out after the visitors failed to clear their lines.

Standard still managed to threaten Arsenal when they broke forward, with Aleksandar Boljevic's crosses from the right causing some concern and Emiliano Martinez parrying a shot from Nicolas Gavory.

Any lingering resistance was broken 57 minutes in, though, when Martinelli clipped a cross towards the middle of the goal and Ceballos arrived to prod the ball over the line.

Substitute Nicolas Pepe saw a late effort blocked before Hector Bellerin fired the rebound over the crossbar, and Ceballos was denied a second by a good Milinkovic-Savic save, offering a slight reprieve to a Standard side who were otherwise well beaten.

What does it mean? Martinelli has Arsenal marching towards knockouts

Last season's beaten finalists are top of Group F with six points from two games and look to be heading for the last 32 with minimal fuss.

Given their indifferent form in the league, it might be time for Martinelli, who has four goals from two games in the Europa League and EFL Cup this season, to start getting more regular run-outs.

Willock a weapon in the making

Martinelli took his goals clinically, but it was Willock who most impressed for the Gunners, linking midfield to attack confidently and playing a part in nearly all their best attacking moves.

Vanheusden, we have a problem

Zinho Vanheusden was linked with Arsenal before completing a permanent move to Standard from Inter this year, and he certainly did his best to help the Gunners with his positioning for all three first-half goals.

What's next?

Arsenal host Vitoria SC on matchday three on October 24, but next up is a Premier League game at home to Bournemouth on Sunday.

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Story first published: Friday, October 4, 2019, 2:30 [IST]
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