Arsenal crushes Premier League’s bottom club Sheffield United

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Sheffield United 0-3 Arsenal

Gabriel Martinelli scored in his first start since January as Arsenal ended a run of four games without a win with victory over the Premier League’s bottom club Sheffield United.

The Brazilian has endured an injury-plagued season, but was on hand to net his side’s second with a finish into an unguarded goal after Aaron Ramsdale had pushed out Nicolas Pepe’s shot.

It was the 19-year-old’s first goal since January 2020.

It came between two Alexandre Lacazette goals – the first a neat first-half finish after Dani Ceballos’ back-heel and the second a clinical effort in the closing stages after he was put clear by Thomas Partey.

Sheffield United have won only four games this season and none since Paul Heckingbottom took caretaker charge a month ago and they had little answer to their opponents’ increased efficiency.

At 1-0 there was always a chance that this generous Arsenal side may provide the Blades with a way back in, but Martinelli’s strike ended such home hopes, with Lacazette adding the final flourish.

The win – complete with a first clean sheet in 15 games – lifts Arsenal above Leeds and Aston Villa and up to ninth in the table, with 45 points.

It did come at a potential cost, though, with Bukayo Saka limping off in the second half with a thigh injury, making him a possible doubt for the second leg of the Europa League last-eight tie with Slavia Prague on Thursday.

Sheffield United remain rooted to the bottom, 18 points from safety with just 21 left to play for. With their woeful goal difference, a loss at Wolves next Saturday will all but confirm their relegation.