EFL Cup round up: Arsene Wenger praises Lucas Perez as forward finds goalscoring boots in Arsenal romp at Nottingham Forest

Ross McLean
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Nottingham Forest v Arsenal - EFL Cup Third Round
Perez netted twice as Arsenal progressed to round four of the EFL Cup (Source: Getty)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed the contribution of Lucas Perez after the £17.1m forward netted his first goals in English football as the Gunners romped into the EFL Cup fourth round with a 4-0 thrashing of Nottingham Forest last night.

Perez’s goals, the first a penalty, were the standout contribution although midfielder Granit Xhaka cracked home another 30-yard effort to open the scoring, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain netted a stoppage-time fourth.

“He [Perez] has shown what I expected from him in that he works hard for the team, he can score goals but as well he can be a team player,” said Wenger. “I am very pleased with the effort he put in and the quality he showed.”

The shock of the evening came at Goodison Park as Championship high-flyers Norwich dispatched in-form Everton 2-0. Ex-Rangers striker Steven Naismith was the scourge of his former club as he netted a first-half opener.

Defeat, confirmed by a rasping Josh Murphy effort in the second period, was Ronald Koeman’s first in charge of Everton, while it was Norwich’s first win at Goodison Park since 1993.

Bournemouth also fell foul to Championship opposition as Danish striker Simon Makienok, on loan from Palermo, recorded a stunning hat-trick for Preston North End, who prevailed 3-2 in extra time.

Eight-time winners Liverpool breezed into round four with a commanding 3-0 victory at Derby as centre-half Ragnar Klavan, playmaker Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi did the damage.

Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle beat Wolves 2-0 to avenge their weekend league defeat to the same opposition, while Leeds overcame 2002 tournament winners Blackburn 1-0 and Reading dispatched fellow Championship outfit Brighton 2-1.