It might have been the upset to trump all Europa League upsets, however ultimately, Arsenal breezed previous Dundalk 3-Zero on the Emirates Stadium.
Nonetheless, the Irish aspect nearly received by to half time on degree phrases earlier than two quickfire targets from the house aspect killed the competition.
Eddie Nketiah’s poacher’s end and a well-taken strike from Joe Willock put Arsenal 2-Zero up.
Nicolas Pepe added one other with a powerful end simply after the break as Mikel Arteta’s aspect made it two wins from two group matches.
With a Premier League journey to Manchester United on Sunday, Arteta made ten alterations from the weekend loss to Leicester (Granit Xhaka the one survivor) however his staff right here had been nonetheless far too sturdy for the Irish champions.
Dundalk boss Filippo Giovagnoli had likened the tie to a heavyweight boxer taking over a super-lightweight – however his gamers saved themselves off the ropes within the opening exchanges.
Alex Runarsson, making his debut within the Arsenal objective, was referred to as into motion early on as he dived low to show a long-range Patrick McEleney effort behind.
Arsenal had been struggling to make their mark on the sport regardless of boasting a aspect which price nearly £150million towards one made up of free transfers.
Arteta opted to play Xhaka in a again three, along with his defensive choices severely restricted by harm and unavailability.
Dundalk’s skilled goalkeeper Gary Rogers was not referred to as into significant motion till after the half-hour as he tipped a Sead Kolasinac header over the crossbar following good work from Willock.
Nketiah ought to have accomplished higher when a deflected Pepe shot fell to his ft simply seven yards out, however he might solely steer the ball large.
However England’s report goalscorer at Beneath-21 degree would make no mistake quickly after as Rogers got here to punch a nook and received nowhere close to the ball, which ricocheted off a defender and all the way down to Nketiah, who tucked away his probability.
The lead was doubled moments later as Dundalk once more performed an element of their downfall, Nketiah gifted possession earlier than selecting out Pepe, whose shot was blocked into the ft of Willock, who completed nicely.
Arsenal wanted lower than a minute of the second half to maneuver additional clear, Pepe ending fantastically from the sting of the field.
The remainder of the night was pretty simple for the hosts, with Arteta capable of wrap Pepe, Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi in cotton wool for the sport at Manchester United in three days’ time.
He additionally handed a debut to highly-rated younger striker Folarin Balogun, whereas Dani Ceballos and Willian had been launched to extend their respective health ranges.
The win maintains Arsenal’s good begin to Group B after the 2-1 victory at Fast Vienna final week, with Molde travelling to north London subsequent week.
Earlier than then, Arteta can be hoping to offer Arsenal’s home marketing campaign a shot within the arm following back-to-back defeats and can little question recall his big-hitters in an try to depart Outdated Trafford with three factors.