After the crazy, end-to-end nature of Sunday’s win over Aston Villa, this was a much calmer affair forUnai Emery‘ s side and they ran out 5-0 winners against their Championship opponents.
Martinelli, signed in the summer from Brazilian side Ituano for £ 7million, caught the eye with an impressive display and opened the scoring with a goal in the 31 st minute before getting his second in injury-time.
In between that the victory was wrapped up in the final 19 minutes whenRob Holding, playing his first match since injuring his knee last December, headed home from a corner and Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson got in on the act.
It capped off a pleasing night for Emery as youngsters like Martinelli shone, while Holding,Kieran Tierneyand Hector Bellerin all impressed on their returns from injury.
Indeed it was the return of Holding to the starting XI that created a buzz around the Emirates before a ball had even been kicked.
The fact Tierney was in the team too to make his debut only added to that, but in the end it was Martinelli who got fans off their seats.
The Brazilian teenager looked lively from the off and, after winning a free-kick inside the first 10 minutes, Nelson struck the post with the resulting effort.
You felt a goal was coming and when it did arrive just after half an hour, it was a brilliantly-worked move that broke Forest down.
Nelson picked out Calum Chambers with a cross-field pass from the left and, when the right-back volleyed the ball into the box, Martinelli was there to head home.
It was no more than Arsenal deserved for a first-half display which saw Tierney impress and was only dampened when youngster Emile Smith Rowe was stretchered off.
Arsenal pushed for a second goal to kill the game and they should have had just the hour mark, but Willock headed wide from six yards out when Bukayo Saka had picked him out.
But they duly got it in the 71 st minute and it came from an unlikely source as Holding marked his return by heading home Nelson’s corner.
Six minutes later, Arsenal had a third. This time it was Willock getting in on the act as the midfielder slotted home a cut-back from Bellerin – who only seconds earlier had been subbed on.
Not content with that the Gunners added a fourth in the 84 th minute as Nelson fired home Calum Chambers’s cross, before Martinelli got the fifth by curling home his second from long range .
Relive the action at the Emirates!
FULL TIME! ARSENAL 5-0 NOTTINGHAM FOREST
IT’S FIVE! What a goal from Martinelli! You’ll want to watch the highlights of this later!
Arsenal fans will enjoy this one …
Tottenham have been knocked out of the League Cup by League Two side Colchester United!
Reiss Nelson makes it four!
Willock scores Arsenal’s third, and it’s Bellerin who provides the assist!
Hector Bellerin is coming on to make his first appearance since January, where he injured his ACL.
Arsenal get their second! Rob Holding scores with a free header!
Simon Collings:“It should really be game over here. Saka goes on a mazy run down the left and, when he picks out Willock with a cross, you expect the midfielder to score. However, the 20 – year-old has somehow headed wide. for that second goal. “
CLOSE! Willock manages to head wide from a few yards out, and Arsenal really should be 2-0 up here!
Arsenal continue to dominate proceedings. They’ve had 69% of the possession and 17 shots.
But only three have been on target, and they only lead by one goal.
Simon Collings:“Arsenal will just want another goal to kill this game off now. Forest haven’t offered much so far, but you would suspect them to have a go during the opening 15 minutes of this second-half. “
Simon Collings:“Other than that nasty injury to Emile Smith Rowe, that was a near-perfect first-half for Arsenal. They are in control of this match and one more goal could kill Forest off. Martinelli has shone and deserved his goal. Tierney has been impressive too. “
HALF TIME | ARSENAL 1 NOTTINGHAM FOREST
Saka is coming on. Smith Rowe stretchered off.
Cause for concern here for the hosts, as Smith Rowe receives treatment.
Martinelli celebrates after scoring his first ever goal for Arsenal
Simon Collings:“That is a brilliant goal and what a way for Martinelli to get off the mark for Arsenal. It’s a lovely cross-field ball to Chambers, who volleys it first time into the box, and Martinelli heads it into the top corner. It had been coming to be fair. “
Arsenal take the lead! Gabriel Martinelli with the goal on 31 minutes
Simon Collings:“You get the sense watching this opening 20 minutes that Arsenal fans are going to enjoy watching Tierney this season. He has bombed forward a number of times and is beating the Nottingham Forest right-back time and time again. His deliver has been solid too. “
Arsenal: Martinez, Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Tierney, Torreira, Willock, Nelson, Ozil, Smith-Rowe, Martinelli
Subs: Bellerin, Ceballos, Macey, Saka, Balogun, Bola, Burton
Nottm Forest: Muric, Cash, Tobias Figueiredo, Robinson, Yuri Ribeiro, Tiago Silva, Chema, Lolley, Joao Carvalho, Adomah, Johnson
Subs: Milosevic, Grabban, Smith, Ameobi, Sow, Mighten, Lawrence-Gabriel
Referee: Darren England