Nketiah hat-trick fires Arsenal to 5-0 win over Sheffield United
LONDON – Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah ended his scoring drought in stunning fashion with a hat-trick in his side's 5-0 home thrashing of hapless Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday.
The 24-year-old, who made his full England debut this month, had not scored for the Gunners since August and had recently lost his place in the starting line-up.
But he found bottom club United’s overworked defence much more to his liking as he grabbed his first Arsenal hat-trick.
Nketiah, in for the injured Gabriel Jesus, broke the deadlock in the 28th minute with a fine finish after a pass by Declan Rice and made it 2-0 shortly after halftime with an emphatic strike after United keeper Wes Foderingham failed to intercept Bukayo Saka’s corner.
The best was saved until last though with Nketiah smashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner just before the hour before retrieving the ball and holding it aloft.
A Fabio Vieira penalty in the 88th minute, given by referee Tim Robinson after a VAR check following a foul on Vieira by Oliver Norwood, and a stoppage-time goal from close range by Takehiro Tomiyasu completed the rout.
Victory pushed Arsenal up to second place with 24 points from 10 games, two behind Tottenham Hotspur.
It was a familiar story for promoted Sheffield United who have managed only one point from their opening 10 games and face a long, hard winter ahead in their bid to stay up.
They failed to have an effort on target throughout the contest and the spotlight will now fall inevitably on under-pressure manager Paul Heckingbottom. – REUTERS