Nketiah matches Kanu’s 20-year Arsenal record with brace against Leeds United

Eddie Nketiah’s first-half brace for Arsenal against Leeds United in the Premier League on Sunday means the Ghana prospect has equalled a club record that had stood for 20 years.

In scoring twice against the Peacocks, Nketiah became only the second player in the club’s history to have scored in the opening 10 minutes of an English elite division match.

According to Opta, the only Arsenal player to do this was Nigeria great Nwankwo Kanu, who achieved the feat in October 2002 when he scored against Sunderland.

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The two-time African Player of the Year winner, Kanu enjoyed a trophy-laden spell with the North Londoners before representing West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth during his 13-year stay in England.

With 273 appearances, Kanu remains the fourth most-capped African in the competition’s history behind Wilfried Zaha, Shola Ameobi and Kolo Toure.

Leeds United’s ambitions of securing an away victory at the Emirates Stadium suffered a massive blow as Luke Ayling was given his marching orders by referee Chris Kavanagh. 

The English defender was initially given a yellow card for an over-zealous tackle on Gabriel Martinelli, albeit, Kavanagh upgraded the colour to red after consulting with VAR.

The 22-year-old, who opened his season’s account with a double in the Gunners’ 4-2 demolition of Chelsea now boasts four goals in the ongoing campaign. 

Former England international Danny Mills had challenged Nketiah to give his best in training and stick to the instructions given to stand a better chance of becoming a regular at Arsenal.

"We have seen that he can score goals, but there’s obviously a reason why he doesn’t get a lot of game time," the 44-year-old told Football Insider in a recent interview.

"He came to Leeds [United on loan] and didn’t get much, and he has had a couple of managers at Arsenal too. You have to ask the question of his performances in training – is he really doing all that he can?

"If you give him the opportunity, he can be brilliant in front of goal. That’s not hard to see. I think he just needs to knuckle down in training now, work a little bit harder – and look at his weaknesses.

"He can make the shirt his own if he can do exactly what the manager wants of him."

Victory for Mikel Arteta's men will see them remain in the fourth position as they continue their push for a Champions League place next term.