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Watch Arsenal 3-0 Dundalk Highlight, Arsenal fans go nuts after Mikel Arteta’s Folarin Balogun decision



Arsenal registered their second victory of their UEFA Europa League group stage campaign with a comfortable 3-0 home triumph over Dundalk on Thursday evening at the Emirates Stadium.

With the Gunners looking as though they would be forced to head back to the dressing room for the half time interval with the scores still level, quick-fire goals from Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock fired the home side into a 2-0 lead just before the break.

From that moment onwards, Arsenal huffed and puffed in the hope of adding more goals to their tally, but Dundalk stood firm and left the Emirates Stadium with a respectable scoreline in tow.

But with the game already sealed and the points in the bag, Mikel Arteta, the Gunners head coach, made the decision to hand a senior debut to highly-rated striker Folarin Balogun, who came on with 16 minutes to go to replace Nketiah.

Balogun is one of the most highly-rated prospects emerging from the Gunners’ youth ranks and is tipped to have a massive future ahead of him, so much so that Championship club Brentford and Premier League Sheffield United showed an interest in him over the summer.

Speaking after the game, former Gunners defender Martin Keown said Mikel Arteta got his team selection spot on.

“I think they were the right calls,” he said on BT Sport. “If you look at the top players, the internationals, they’ve already played 14 games. The problem with the guys who don’t play is they’re not quite fit enough, so they need minutes on the pitch, but that would’ve been a good night for him, to get the group involved and rest a few of them, the regulars.

“The youngsters coming through, they’re just young kids – Nketiah, Willock, Nelson as well, good performances from them. It’s about that message, move the ball quickly, fewer touches of the ball. At times, they were running with it a bit. But Willock, I do feel for, he hasn’t played at all this season. He played the most last season, and he goes from that, to nothing this year. He did well tonight.”

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