Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit a hat-trick to help troubled Arsenal win first game of the season in a 6-0 rout of West Bromwich Albion in the Carabao Cup second round on Wednesday.
Aubameyang was able to make his first start this season after recovering from the coronavirus and he scored Arsenal’s first two goals of the campaign. He then acrobatically set up Nicolas Pepe for the third, with Bukayo Saka slotting in the Gunners’ fourth.
The Gabon forward completed his treble just after the hour and Alexandre Lacazette added the sixth.
The win could have been even bigger too, with Martin Odegaard hitting the outside of the post from a tight angle and Pepe striking the bar with a chip.
West Brom fielded six debutants, five of them teenagers, but showed spirit right to the end on what was a difficult night for them.
This win won’t buy Mikel Arteta much breathing space however as this weekend they face a daunting trip to Premier League champions Manchester City, where he worked as Pep Guardiola‘s assistant before joining Arsenal.
Losing to City would pile more pressure on Arteta, who has pleaded with Arsenal’s fans to back the team during a difficult period he describes as “unprecedented” in the club’s history.
“We know what we will face on the weekend will be different game,” Arteta said.
“I don’t know what will happen in the transfer window. A few days to go. Some exits are planned.”
Amid reports former Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte is being lined up to replace Arteta if results don’t improve in the next five games, he desperately needed a morale-boosting victory against Albion.
There was no lack of support for Arteta from Arsenal’s sizeable support in the midlands and, for once, his players delivered as well.