Arsenal were on the road again, this time in the Europa League, with an away fixture against FC Vorskla. Unai Emery made 10 changes to the side that won away at Bournemouth in the Premier League, with the upcoming fixtures against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United clearly in mind. Eddie Nketiah was handed his full debut, and fellow youth system graduates, Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock, were also included in the starting line-up. Due to security issues, the match had to be moved from Poltava to Kiev.

FC Vorskla were perhaps the livelier of the two sides in the opening minutes,  but Arsenal didn’t take long to begin to impose themselves on the game. In the 11th minute, nice interplay on the the edge of the box between Aaron Ramsey and Nketiah could have put the youngster through; the ball squirted away from him but fell for Smith Rowe, who made no mistake with his finish. The second came before the half-hour mark, when Ramsey turned inside the box before being fouled. He got up to hit the resulting penalty to the left of the Vorskla ‘keeper, putting Arsenal in firm control of the match. In the 41st minute, Willock made it an even more comfortable scoreline with the goal of the night. Receiving the ball on the run, the youngster drove towards the edge of the box and curled a low shot past the goalkeeper, just inside the right post. A first senior goal for Arsenal that he’ll certainly never forget.

The second half saw Unai Emery take his opportunity to give debuts to Zech Medley, Bukayo Saka and Charlie Gilmour, who replaced Rob Holding, Ramsey and Matteo Guendouzi. Saka almost created a debut goal for himself with a nice demonstration of his skill and pace, but his effort was well saved. The game ended in a three goal win for Arsenal, guaranteeing top spot in the group and further extending the unbeaten run to 18 games in all competitions.

The squad’s focus is now on this Sunday’s match against Tottenham in the Premier League.