The Gunners came into the match heavy favourites against a Dundalk side who were playing in their second-ever Europa League group stage. The hosts were hoping to build on last week’s 2-1 win away to Rapid Wien.
However, it was a frustrating first half for the English side with Dundalk’s McEleny having a 4th-minute effort parried behind by Runarsson. Arsenal had some shots off target, but a spirited defensive display from the away side kept them at bay. The Gunners went in front just before half-time courtesy of a costly error from Dundalk keeper Rogers.
Rogers’ weak punch hit a Dundalk player and Nketiah was there to lash the ball home. They were 2-0 up minutes later when Willock slotted past Rogers after Pépé’s initial effort was blocked.
And just after the break, the floodgates opened. Pépé received the ball at the edge of the box, brought it out his feet and fired home a delightful shot into the top corner.
Arsenal then took their foot off the gas with Arteta making lots of changes throughout the second half to rest players ahead of Sunday’s crucial match against Manchester United. Youngster Balogun was giving his debut in the 74th minute but couldn’t muster any attacks up and the match ended 3-0. (BS)