Nketiah salutes team-mates after maiden Arsenal hat-trick

By Sports Desk December 21, 2021

Hat-trick hero Eddie Nketiah saluted his team-mates after his maiden Arsenal treble in their thumping EFL Cup quarter-final win over Sunderland. 

The young striker was on target three times as the Gunners advanced to the semi-finals of the competition following a commanding 5-1 victory at Emirates Stadium.

Nketiah produced a trio of poacher's finishes; netting the rebound from Rob Holding's first-half header, before turning home inviting crosses by Nuno Tavares and Nicolas Pepe after the break.

The 22-year-old continued his love affair with the EFL Cup, having taken his career tally to 10 goals from nine appearances – and seven in five on home soil.

And he is hopeful his exploits in this competition will eventually culminate in regular Premier League opportunities.

He told Sky Sports: "It's a great feeling. I just want to say a big thank you to my team-mates. 

"I had some really good assists today; I just had to be in the right place. 

"It's great to get my first hat-trick for Arsenal in the senior team.

"This is the competition where I've been getting starts and opportunities to play. 

"Whenever I'm asked to play, I'm going to do my best to help the team. I'm ready if the manager needs me.

"I'm desperate to play football. All I can do is keep working hard and hopefully, I'll get opportunities."

Nketiah paid tribute to fellow youngster Charlie Patino, who was also on target for the hosts.

The 18-year-old substitute marked his senior debut by finding the net with a neat finish to complete the scoring.

"It's amazing for him. He's a great lad with a great future ahead of him," Nketiah added.

"I was delighted for him to get on the scoresheet. 

"These games provide a great opportunity to get your debut and impress, and I think he did that today."

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