Gabriel Martinelli Scores Twice as Arsenal Blank Standard Liege in Europa League

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03: Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal FC celebrate after scoring 1st goal during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Standard Liege at Emirates Stadium on October 3, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Arsenal cruised to a 4-0 victory on Thursday against Standard Liege in Group F of the UEFA Europa League.

Gabriel Martinelli opened the scoring for the Gunners after 13 minutes and claimed a second just three minutes later.

Joe Willock made it 3-0 after 22 minutes, with the visitors appearing down and out before the interval.

Dani Ceballos combined with Martinelli for a fourth after 57 minutes, and Arsenal strutted to victory during an impressive team display.

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

It was an easy night for Unai Emery's team, with his young guns showing off their long-term potential.

Brazilian Martinelli celebrated another start with a magnificent brace, and the 18-year-old could force his way into Emery's Premier League starting XI.

Kieran Tierney's sumptuous cross was met by Martinelli early in the match, and the striker glanced his header past goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, per BT Sport (h/t Arsenal's official Twitter account).

Arsenal @Arsenal

That @KieranTierney1 assist for Martinelli's first goal! 😍 📺 Watch live on BT Sport 2 in the UK 🇬🇧 @BTSportFootball 🏆 #UEL https://t.co/tbHq95btmF

Arsenal fans had barely finished celebrating the opener before Martinelli found the back of the net again.

The teenager took a delightful touch in the box and produced a predatory finish into the bottom corner.

TV presenter Jake Humphrey highlighted a personal achievement for the Arsenal scorer:

Jake Humphrey @mrjakehumphrey

The youngest ever Arsenal player to score 2 goals in a European game... https://t.co/uRlbBvAkOD

Emery's team were clearly in the mood, and Willock added his name to the scoresheet. The 20-year-old was cool and calm in the box as the ball deflected to his feet, and the midfielder passed the ball home to make it three goals for the hosts in only 22 minutes.

There was a relaxed feeling at the Emirates Stadium, and Martinelli continued to punish Liege in the second half.

The Brazilian turned provider to contribute to Arsenal's fourth, dancing to the byline and providing a chipped cross for Ceballos to flick home from close range.

Emery introduced Nicolas Pepe midway through the second half, and the forward saw plenty of the ball in the closing stages.

Martinelli was unlucky not to gain his hat-trick before the final whistle, but the forward has proved he can be a star of the future for the Gunners.


What's Next

Both teams are back in domestic action on Sunday. Arsenal host Bournemouth in the Premier League, and Liege travel to Royal Antwerp in the Belgian First Division A.