Emile Smith Rowe Fires The Gunners Into The Top Five. Mikel Arteta has Arsenal staring down the necks of those he is responsible for capturing after 100 games in charge. They have 20 points from their last eight games and now sit on the neck of the top four after this scrappy win over a primitive Watford; this was not inherently an afternoon of Champions League quality work, but it did indicate that, when up against tricky and disturbing opposition, they now have the effort and remediate to squeeze through.
That is very promising for Arteta, as is Emile Smith Rowe’s progress, who scored his third goal in as many Premier League games, allowing the manager to celebrate his landmark if he so desired.
Job done 😃#ARSWAT
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) November 7, 2021
Smith Rowe’s decision to delay his call-up to the full England squad appears cautious at best; a similar assessment could be made of Ben White, given his role in securing the opportunity.
Due to their efforts, a missed penalty by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, which Ben Foster saved superbly, was of little importance, adding to the feeling of a shifting tide in these areas.
Watford’s survival of the first 45 minutes may have been considered a triumph. Arsenal trademark has been a flurry of early goals: Arteta’s team thrashed Spurs, Aston Villa, and Leicester by bursting out of the blocks, and they should have done the same against Crystal Palace.
They were clearly keen to do the same here, but despite near-total dominance, they failed to maintain the rapid pace that had previously produced such enthusiasm.
There was no rush to break and little distance to chew up against opposition who were content to stay back; this time, Arsenal had to select a route across, and the first half quickly became a test of patience.
Watford thought to have withstood a Saka-led charge, but White, stepping up to intercept with Joshua King close behind, seized control 40 yards away.
He swerved past Kucka, and the ball went into Smith Rowe’s path despite Moussa Sissoko’s half-challenge. Foster’s left corner was blasted by a lovely, somewhat deflected first-time strike, and there was no stopping the party this time.
Emile Smith Rowe scored his fourth goal in seven appearances in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Leicester at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, equaling his total from the previous season only a few months into the new one.