Arsenal have had a few nightmare moments in the League Cup â€" now known as the EFL Cup â€" in the recent past, when Arsene Wenger makes changes to his lineup. However, this time, there were no such worries, as Lucas Perez got his Arsenal scoring rolling along in nice fashion in a comprehensive 4-0 third round victory over Nottingham Forest.
Coming off a resounding 4-1 win over Hull City in the Premier League, Wenger made plenty of changes to his Arsenal starting XI, while leaving his superstars, the likes of Santi Cazorla, Petr Cech, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and more, back in London.
With a bench consisting of just youngsters, Wenger was playing with fire a little, but the manager, obviously, had confidence that his starting XI, consisting of the likes of Granit Xhaka, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mohamed Elneny, Lucas Perez, Gabriel, and Kieran Gibbs had enough in them to see off the challenge of Forest.
So it proved to be, with Xhaka scoring another screamer, before Perez grabbed a brace, one from the penalty spot and one via impressive centre-forward play, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added the gloss at the end.
"We got there in the end but the game was tough, Nottingham Forest played with full commitment," Wenger said. "We needed to be patient and as well not to concede a goal â€" which we did well.
"Overall, I felt that technically we played well, our combinations worked well and we played at a high pace and that's where we made the difference in the game."
Wenger was particularly happy for Lucas Perez, who has been eased into Arsenal's first team after his late move to the club from Deportivo La Coruna. After enduring a frustrating first half, Lucas was given the opportunity to open his scoring from the penalty spot, before showing his physical abilities, by bullying Michael Mancienne, and calmness in front of goal, by going around goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic, to complete his brace.
"Of course, a striker is always growing when he scores goals and I felt that he has shown (it)," Wenger said. "I liked his second goal because it was not only technique but it was determination, to fight for the ball and finish.
"I liked as well the part he played in the goal of Oxlade-Chamberlain because it shows that he can combine with other people and that he is an intelligent player."