Arsenal 2-0 Luton: Smith Rowe stands out as Arteta rotates

Match report – Player ratings – Arteta reaction – Video

Arsenal are back on top of the Premier League (temporarily anyway), after a 2-0 win over Luton last night.

The question as to whether Mikel Arteta would rotate his squad was answered an hour before kick-off, where the line-up showed five changes from the team that played against Man City. Out went Jakub Kiwior, Declan Rice, Jorginho, Bukayo Saka (not in the squad at all), and Gabriel Jesus; in came Oleksandr Zinchenko, Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson and Leandro Trossard.

That in itself would go some way to explaining why the team was a little more disjointed than normal. Arteta talks a lot about relationships on the pitch, as well as combinations in tight spaces which can make the difference, and you could see how those changes had an impact in that regard.

We had lots of the ball, and a couple of sort-of threatening moments without giving the Luton keeper too much to worry about. Then, in the 24th minute, Smith Rowe won the ball well in midfield, he fed Martin Odegaard who gave it to Kai Havertz. The German delivered it back to the captain whose first time shot from inside the box with the outside of his left foot was as sweet a finish as you’ll see. It nestled into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.

Odegaard almost had an assist to his name, cleverly playing Smith Rowe in but the keeper made a good save to deny him. Ben White had some fun with a nice turn in midfield, Havertz had a shot on target, but it was Smith Rowe who made an impact again just before the break. He made a smart run into space behind the Luton defence, Trossard found him well with a good pass, and the number 10 took it on, fizzed the ball into the ‘corridor of uncertainty’, which saw Daiki Hashioka turn the ball into his own net for 2-0.

I’ll happily admit this morning I did not care for the second half at all – and it wasn’t to do with the annoying camera angle on TNT Sport. This may well be just me,…

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Author : arseblog

Publish date : 2024-04-04 06:21:22

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