ARSENAL thrashed woeful Rapid Vienna 4-1 in Europa League Group B as they welcomed 2,000 fans back to the Emirates.
Alexandre Lacazette captained the side on the night and was outstanding in the No 10 role with Reiss Nelson equally impressive.
Alexandre Lacazette just pipped Reiss Nelson to the man of the match award[/caption]
Shkodran Mustafi was far from bad but he was booked and missed a big chance in the first-half[/caption]
Lacazette put the North Londoners ahead after just ten minutes.
Pablo Mari doubled their lead just eight minutes later in his first game back after his six-month ankle injury lay off.
And Eddie Nketiah nodded home a third to send Arsenal in at half-time with the game as good as won.
Koya Kitagawa lashed home a consolation on 47 minutes before Emile Smith-Rowe came off the bench and tapped one in with 25 minutes left to wrap up the win.
And here’s how SunSport’s William Pugh rated the Gunners’ individual performances.
RUNAR ALEX RUNARSSON – 6
Couldn’t do much with Vienna’s first goal.
Looked composed and professional for the rest of the evening despite rarely being tested.
Most read in Football
ARSENAL 4 RAPID VIENNA 1
Gunners cruise as fans return to the Emirates
Sky Sports' Chris Kamara fears the chop after pundit pals Matt and Phil axed
LASK 3 SPURS 3
Visitors throw away late lead to draw in Austria
MASK THE ISSUE
Prem fans MUST wear mask in seats as clubs hope to host 20k by end of season
Man Utd's PSG loss doesn't make Solskjaer naive, even Fergie struggled in CL
LEAGUE OF HIS OWN
Maradona's son asks Messi to give up No10 shirt for Barca and Argentina
CEDRIC SOARES – 6
Hardly noticeable but in a good way.
Vienna’s goal came down his side which will have disappointed him but solid again.
SHKODRAN MUSTAFI – 5 (subbed, 70 mins)
Missed a big chance in the first-half.
Booked with half an hour to go for dissent.
Was hardly bad but would have been annoyed not to keep a clean sheet.
Shkodran Mustafi was subbed in the second-half[/caption]
PABLO MARI – 7
First game back after six months out with an ankle injury.
Leaped like a salmon to glance home Nelson’s corner to make it 2-0 on 18 minutes.
Looked like he had never been away for the rest of the night.
Pablo Mari made it 2-0 on his return from a long-term ankle injury[/caption]
SEAD KOLASINAC – 7
Heroic double block on the line in the build up to Vienna’s goal.
Got up and down the left flank well backing up Pepe in attack.
AINSLEY MAITLAND-NILES – 8
Performed comfortably in his preferred central midfield role.
Set up Smith-Rowe for the fourth with a pin-point low cross.
MOHAMED ELNENY – 5 (subbed off, 62 mins)
No frills performance in the middle of the park.
Barely tested by the visitors as his team had all the ball.
REISS NELSON – 9 (subbed off, 62 mins)
Involved in almost everything good Arsenal did going forward.
Excellent lay off for Nketiah to score the third. Also whipped the ball in for Mari’s goal.
Relentless and full of energy. Staked a claim for a Premier League starting spot again.
Reiss Nelson shone going forward for the Gunners[/caption]
ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE – 9 (subbed off, 62 mins)
The skipper looked razor sharp in a deeper No 10 role.
Lashed home a scorcher to set his side going after just ten minutes.
Struck the base of the post 15 minutes later as he terrorised Vienna’s defence in the early stages.
Forced an outstanding save from Richard Strebinger in the second-half.
Brilliant against weak opposition.
The Frenchman opened the scoring at the Emirates[/caption]
NICOLAS PEPE – 7
Used the knowledge he is still suspended in the Premier League to good effect.
Worried woeful Vienna all night.
Missed what looked like an open goal in the second-half but replays showed it was deflected wide.
Fluffed another big chance moments later which incurred Mikel Arteta’s wrath but made amends with excellent play in the build up to the fourth.
EDDIE NKETIAH – 8 (subbed, 80 mins)
Nodded the third home after the keeper saved his first effort.
Led the line well and could have had more goals.
Eddie Nketiah headed Arsenal’s third[/caption]
EMILE SMITH ROWE – 7 (replaced Lacazette)
Had an immediate impact when he got on the end of Maitland-Niles low cross for a tap in.
DANI CEBALLOS – 6 (replaced Elneny)
Involved in the build up for Smith-Rowe’s goal.
Neat and tidy. Tested the keeper with a dipping free-kick.
WILLIAN – 6 (replaced Nelson)
Looked busy, forced a good save out the keeper.
CALUM CHAMBERS – 5 (replaced Mustafi)
First appearance since a cruciate ligament injury picked up last December.
FOLARIN BALOGUN – 5
Not enough time to have an impact.
Read our Arsenal live blog for the latest news from The Emirates