It was a five-goal thriller in Ireland as two goals from Arsenal’s Mohamed El Neny and Eddie Nketiah were joined by one from Dundalk’s Jordan Flores in the first half, before Arsenal pulled away with second half finishes from Joseph Willock and Folarin Balogun. A late header from Sean Hoare gave hints of a comeback but it was never to be.
✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCE
With two goals and three assists in four group game appearances this season, it’s fair to say that Willock has enjoyed his playing time in Europe. And on Thursday night against Dundalk it was no exception.
The midfielder made 16 passes into the final third over the course of the match and had the most impressive passing accuracy of any player on the pitch. If that wasn’t enough, he also added a third goal to his European tally with a wonderful low shot after beating the keeper in the second half.
With just one goal and one red card in eight Premier League games, Nicholas Pepe hasn’t had the best domestic start to the season. However, the Ivory Coast winger has thoroughly enjoyed himself in the Europa League.
Prior to Thursday’s game the 25-year-old forward had bagged three goals and two assists in just five continental games. And, unfortunately for Dundalk, he was able to add to his tally with another assist for Folarin Balogun late on in the game.
As has come to be expected from Pepe in Europe, the winger led his Arsenal team mates in dribbles and touches of the ball in the opposing box, as well as being one of the most influential players when it came to creating chances from out wide too.
❌ BAD PERFORMANCE
The 29-year-old defender was at fault for an error just before Arsenal’s first goal and picked up a yellow card for his troubles. As such, it was no surprise to see the experienced players subbed at half time.
⭐ STAR MAN
Dundalk had very little to celebrate about on the night but if it wasn’t for a fantastic performance from Jordan Flores upfront things could have been a whole lot worse.
The 25-year-old striker punched back in the first half when, after going two goals down, Flores pulled one for the hosts with a tremendous shot straight inside the left post.
The English striker struck again in the second half when he took advantage of a set-piece to find Hoare’s head and allow the Dundalk player to unleash a fantastic bullet header from the centre of the box.
Flores may not have been able to stop his side from losing the game but he showed exactly what he could do and on a night that looked destined to cater to Arsenal’s Premier League talents it was this striker that out performed them all.