Somehow, This Was A Goal
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Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Eddie Nketiah was a bit of both on his goal against Leeds United in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
Nketiah, a 22-year-old striker, has had a tough time getting into Arsenal’s squad this season. He hasn’t made the Premier League roster once in nine matches and made just his second appearance with the first team in a rare start on Tuesday in the League Cup.
But Nketiah has made the most of his limited opportunities, scoring against AFC Wimbledon in the third round and then netting another against Leeds — barely.
After Calum Chambers headed the Gunners into the lead mere seconds after coming on as a sub in the 55th minute, Nketiah took advantage of some lazy passing in the back from Marcelo Bielsa’s men. Darting it to steal the ball from Liam Cooper’s ill-advised header back to keeper Illan Meslier, Nketiah’s first two touches were absolutely perfect.
His third was less than perfect. And yet, somehow, it went in.
Eddie Nketiah Goal vs Leeds (Carabao Cup 2021)
Nketiah scores after a poor mistake by Leeds pic.twitter.com/L17vsKwsbb— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 26, 2021
The angle from above the corner flag shows how close Nketiah came to missing from a few feet away, the ball’s spin curling it just inside the far post when the entire goal was there for the taking.
Nketiah almost missed this pic.twitter.com/RQDUvVBTnw— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 26, 2021
But hey, they all count. And now Nketiah has two goals in two appearances this season. Unfortunately for the young Londoner, he’s got Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette ahead of him in the pecking order.
Arsenal went on to win the match fairly comfortably, 2-0. Suddenly, the Gunners are one of the hottest teams in England, having gone eight unbeaten since opening the campaign with three straight losses in the Premier League. Despite this, Arsenal is still in 10th place in the table and the Carabao Cup might be Mikel Arteta’s most straightforward path back to Europe. The winner of the competition, should it not qualify for better competition, is given a berth into the Europa Conference League.