LONDON (AP)Once Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started scoring there was no stopping Arsenal.
The striker netted a hat trick Wednesday in a 6-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the second round of the League Cup.
Mikel Arteta now just needs his Arsenal players to perform as impressively in the Premier League, rather than just against a second-tier side.
”This is good to build the confidence of the team,” Aubameyang said. ”We know we had a tough start to the season.”
The heat is on Arteta with Arsenal losing its opening two Premier League matches and traveling to champion Manchester City on Saturday.
Arsenal hadn’t even scored this season until the trip to West Brom. While the Arsenal starting lineup boasted 348 senior international appearances and three national captains in Aubameyang (Gabon), Martin Odegaard (Norway) and Granit Xhaka (Switzerland), West Brom changed the entire side from its last Championship game, handing out five debuts with an average age of under 23.
Aubameyang was infected with the coronavirus on the eve of the new campaign, missing the loss at Brentford and coming off the bench in the defeat by Chelsea on Sunday.
He will not have scored many easier goals than the first-half double that set Arsenal on its way to a third-round meeting with third-tier side AFC Wimbledon.
Bukayo Saka’s smart feet saw him evade a number of challenges before his low shot was pushed out into the feet of Aubameyang, who tucked home from close-range for Arsenal’s first goal of the campaign in the 17th minute.
Aubameyang tapped in a second after Nicolas Pepe hit the post. He turned provider before halftime, with his acrobatic shot falling to Pepe who slid in to finish.
Saka scored five minutes into the second half after a fine flick from Odegaard. Aubameyang curled in to claim his hat trick and Alexandre Lacazette tucked home at the front post as Pepe claimed another assist.
It wasn’t the biggest win of the night as Southampton beat fourth-tier side Newport 8-0 to register the biggest away win in the club’s history.
Mohamed Elyounoussi had a hat trick and Armando Broja netted twice, while Nathan Tella, Kyle Walker-Peters and Nathan Redmond also netted to secure a meeting in the third round with Sheffield United.
An all-Premier League encounter at St. James’ Park ended 0-0 before Burnley beat Newcastle 4-3 in a penalty shootout. Miguel Almiron saw his penalty saved by Burnley keeper Wayne Hennessey and Charlie Taylor stepped up to send Sean Dyche’s side through to host fourth-tier side Rochdale.
The draw for the third round, when teams in European competitions enter, was made on Wednesday night. Manchester City’s defense will start at home to third-tier side Wycombe.
In matchups between Premier League teams, Manchester United will play West Ham, Tottenham takes on Wolverhampton, Chelsea faces Aston Villa and Liverpool goes to Norwich.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports