Arsenal winners and losers from thumping Rapid Vienna win

Arsenal put their disappointing Premier League form behind them against Rapid Vienna and strolled to a comfortable win over the Austrians.

Alexandre Lacazette got the game off to a quick start as he fired into the roof of the net from 30 yards after picking up a loose ball just ten minutes into the game.

Arsenal seemed set to coast to victory as Pablo Mari scored just eight minutes later.

Arsenal were never in any danger in the first 45 minutes, and went 3-0 up just before the interval thanks to Eddie Nketiah.

The young striker finished off a crisp team move by nodding the ball home from the penalty spot after his close-range shot was saved by Vienna goalkeeper Richard Strebinger.

Vienna got a goal back just after the interval through Koya Kitagwa, but were unable to cause Arsenal too much bother afterwards.

Later in the game, Emile Smith Rowe found the net after another neat team move, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles squaring for him to tap home with ease.

Now, Daily Star Sport has picked out the winners and losers from Arsenal’s win on Thursday.

Arsenal fans

Fans of Premier League and Football League teams have had to wait the best part of nine months in order to return to stadia across the country.

But on Thursday night, they proved it was worth the wait. Arsenal fans were in full voice from the opening minute and seemed to share the experience with the players out on the pitch, too.

Arsenal’s starting XI sprinted straight over to the areas where the 2,000 fans were socially distanced to applaud them and welcome them back to the stadium.

Every goal was celebrated with them too, as Lacazette sprinted straight over to revel in the atmosphere after firing in the first goal.

Nicolas Pepe

Pepe was handed a start on the right wing and looked like a man playing for his future.

After his headbutt red card shame against Leeds in the Premier League, it seemed the winger had a long road back to Arteta’s first-team side.

But he had a storming performance, and was a handful for the Vienna defence throughout.

Pepe looked to have put the emotional trauma of the last two weeks behind him and had his confidence back as he pulled out his bag of tricks on numerous occasions while running at the defence.

Alexandre Lacazette

Lacazette had one of his best performances of the season on Thursday night, finding the net after just ten minutes of the tie.

The Frenchman played in what appeared to be a new role against Vienna, dropping deep behind Eddie Nketiah to collect the ball.

He seemed to be playing in a role similar to that of Harry Kane this season, and was often seen deep inside his own half to collect the ball.

But when he had his chance, he took it without mercy and lashed the ball into the roof of the net from 30 yards.

Loser

Willian

Although it was a relatively short cameo for the Brazilian winger, he failed to create much throughout and didn’t look too threatening.

Willian came on with half an hour of the game left for Lacazette, but was often forced to go backwards due to an apparent reluctance to take on the Vienna defence.

With Pepe and Lacazette both having solid games – and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set to return to the side to face Tottenham – the Brazilian winger could find himself watching the north London derby from the bench.

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