A brace from Alexandre Lacazette and a goal each for Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka helped Arsenal batter Slavia Prague last night.
Mikel Arteta’s front-three delivered when we need them the most, and the trio deserve all the praise they have been getting since last night. However, Emile Smith Rowe is our man of the match.
The Englishman was absolutely outstanding for Arsenal yesterday. His movement, skill on the ball and composure under pressure showed just how mature he is, and the fact that he is still only 20 is almost unbelievable.
One thing that really stood out about Smith Rowe last night was his involvement in each of our first three goals. He only got an assist to his name, but he played a massive part in all our strikes in the first-half.
The most amazing thing about those involvements was that the youngster showed a different quality of his for each goal. When you break it down, it just shows that Smith Rowe is a world-class number 10 already.
Nicolas Pepe’s goal
Pepe deserves a ton of praise for keeping his calm and finding the back of the net from a tight angle. However, the real magic happened just before he received the pass.
Smith Rowe picked the ball up at the edge of the box, showed immense composure under pressure, attracted three Slavia players, bamboozled all of them and picked out Pepe with a delightful pass.
Alexandre Lacazette’s goal
Saka won the penalty and Lacazette converted it brilliantly. However, it was Smith Rowe again who was responsible for the whole move.
The 20-year-old drove towards the by-line before picking Saka inside the box. Smith Rowe stretched Slavia’s defence with his run, and even though his pass wasn’t the cleanest, it reached his good pal before he was brought down.
Bukayo Saka’s goal
The first two goals showed Smith Rowe’s class in and around the box. For Saka’s brilliant strike, however, the 20-year-old showed a completely different side of his game.
Smith Rowe dropped deep to collect the ball and his one-touch lay-off to Thomas Partey opened up the right side of the pitch. The Ghanaian passed the ball to Calum Chambers, who moved it onto Saka, and the rest is history.
Emile Smith Rowe is world class
Smith Rowe’s display last night was among his best in an Arsenal shirt. It’s not fair for fans to expect too much of him at such a young age, but we’re doing it anyway, and he is delivering almost every time.
The young Englishman has the world at his feet at the moment. His technical ability is top-class, his positional awareness is better than many players who are 10 years older and his intelligence on the pitch is simply mind-blowing.
There’s no doubt about the fact that Smith Rowe is a world-class talent. Being a world-class player, however, is a completely different ball game, but after last night, it is safe to say that he is at that level already.