KEY POINTS

  • Dundalk committed zero fouls in their loss against Arsenal
  • Dundalk coach is somewhat happy with the bizarre feat
  • Mikel Arteta looks forward to what his substitutes can do in the future

Dundalk managed to get themselves in Europa League history in the most unusual manner as they absorbed a harrowing defeat at the hands of Mikel Arteta's Arsenal. 

For over 90 minutes of action, Dundalk never committed a single foul in their 3-nil setback. This is a first in the 49-year-old tournament.

“Our team is so polite, they are such gentlemen,” head coach Filippo Giovagnoli said in jest after the match, per the Guardian.

Dundalk’s struggles on the defensive side were coupled with an inability to muster any offense. Arsenal, on the other hand, had an overwhelming attack from both ends of the field.

Arsenal effortlessly cruised to victory after they broke down their counterparts' unstable defensive presence with goals from Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock just before the break.

The Gunners put the result beyond doubt as Nicolas Pepe shut the doors on Dundalk by drilling the ball at the start of the second half. Since that moment, it was a point of no return for the Irish club.

Still experimenting with his player rotation, Arteta seems to be satisfied with what he saw from his squad.

“They showed that they are well prepared, they are at it, and they are ready when we need them,” Arteta said. “They made things more difficult for me for selection.”

The coach lauded Pepe's performance, seeing it as a coming-out party for the 25-year-old. However, he hopes that the French winger could sustain his work rate in their coming games.

"It's about finding the consistency, not through the games, but during the games as well to be more incisive, and do the right things on many occasions when he has to make the right decision on the pitch,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

"He has to be more consistent at it. We're working on it, and hopefully, he will be doing it much more efficiently," he continued.

Arsenal is slated to duke it out with Manchester United in the English Premier League on Sunday.

Training days - Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta's players will be allowed back to the club's London Colney training ground Training days - Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta's players will be allowed back to the club's London Colney training ground Photo: AFP / Tolga AKMEN