Carabao Cup: Arsenal thump West Brom as Aubameyang nets hat-trick (Match Highlights)
Arsenal earned their first win of the season with a hat-trick from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as they defeated a youthful West Bromwich Albion side to advance to the Carabao Cup third round.
Aubameyang started his first match of the season and marked it with two tap-ins in the first-half and a curler after the break.
He also provided an acrobatic assist for Nicolas Pepe's third goal, with Bukayo Saka adding the Gunners' fourth.
Alexandre Lacazette scored his side's sixth goal after coming off the bench.
The victory could have been even bigger had Martin Odegaard not struck the outside of the post from a tight angle and Pepe not struck the bar with a chip.
West Brom fielded six debutants, five of whom were teenagers, but maintained their composure throughout on a difficult night for them.
The Baggies, who have started the season superbly under new manager Valerian Ismael, pressed high, moved the ball quickly, and would have taken an early lead had goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, making his Arsenal debut, not pushed Tom Fellows' whipped shot away.
Even with the tie been over, they continued to create chances, with Taylor Gardner-Hickman twice denied by Ramsdale in the second half.
Arsenal, on the other hand - who now face AFC Wimbledon - were a class apart, with the ruthless Aubameyang looking sharp following his coronavirus recovery.
He could hardly have missed either of his first two goals, slotting in after Saka's saved shot and then turning the ball in again after Pepe hit the post.
His third was considerably more difficult to execute, but he did so deftly, curling in from 18 yards after cutting into the box.
With the Gabonese striker among the goals, Pepe and Saka registering their first goals of the season, and Lacazette adding to the competition up front, Mikel Arteta can be more optimistic about Arsenal's upcoming Premier League match against Manchester City.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta: "When you lose a game, as quick as possible you have to win.
"Today's game is going to give us some confidence. We had players who played some first minutes.
"Auba [Aubameyang] after his Covid, to get some minutes and score three goals for his confidence is going to be great. Overall I think a really positive night.
On Aubameyang: "Obviously he is a really happy character and he needs that connection with people; with family, with friends, with fans.
"You could see the interaction when he left the pitch and I think that is something really positive for him, yes."
Arsenal striker Aubameyang, speaking to Sky Sports: "Great feeling. I'm happy we won this game. It's good to build confidence of the team.
"The commitment of every player is always there 100%. We try our best to give the fans what they want.
"This hopefully can give us something to build our confidence for the next games. We had to work hard and keep pushing.
"Everyone knows I like the space [in behind a defence]. My team-mates played very well. It was a good game today.
"We still have 36 (league) games left so we will give our best for a good season."