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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Arsenal: Smith Rowe and Saka provide magic spark as Arsenal stay strong in top-four battle

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W

hen the half-time whistle went during this game with Brentford, you wondered if it was going to be one of those days for Arsenal.

They had been utterly dominant in the first half at Emirates Stadium, finishing with over 70 per cent of the possession and having 16 shots on goal.

They also, however, had nothing to show for it and Brentford had found a way to keep them at bay during the opening 45 minutes.

Arsenal had gone close with a few efforts, had some penalty shouts waved away, and it felt like it was going to take something special to break the deadlock.

Emile Smith Rowe duly stepped up to the plate three minutes into the second half as he marked his return to the starting XI with a lovely goal.

The 21-year-old received the ball out left and, after cutting inside past two defenders, he curled it into the bottom corner.

It was Smith Rowe’s 10th goal of the season, extending his lead as Arsenal’s top scorer, and after the past two months he has had the attacking midfielder will be delighted to be back on the scoresheet.

After a flying start to the season, Smith Rowe was forced to manage a groin issue during December and January, but he looked back to his best here.

The mid-season break in Dubai allowed the youngster to get fully fit and clearly the hard work has paid off.

Truth be told, it was no more than Arsenal deserved and when Bukayo Saka doubled the lead with 11 minutes to go, it was game over.

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