THE SCOTTISH SUN 🔵 Arsenal ratings: Smith Rowe back to his best but Trossard lacks end product – Shango Media
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THE SCOTTISH SUN 🔵 Arsenal ratings: Smith Rowe back to his best but Trossard lacks end product

RECALLED Emile Smith Rowe shone brightest as much-changed Arsenal went back on top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Luton.

The fit-again midfielder was involved in both first-half goals as Martin Odegaard drilled home following a one-two with Kai Havertz and Daiki Hashioka put through his own net.

Emile Smith Rowe impressed after finally getting a full chance

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Emile Smith Rowe impressed after finally getting a full chanceCredit: Getty
Martin Odegaard was back in form and hit the opener

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Martin Odegaard was back in form and hit the openerCredit: Getty

Smith Rowe even overshadowed the brilliant Odegaard, who bounced back to his best following Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Manchester City.

Gunners’ boss Mikel Arteta also handed rare starts to anchorman Thomas Partey, wideman Leandro Trossard and forward Reiss Nelson.

Second-half sub Declan Rice was the main man who had the biggest rest in a routine victory.

Here’s how Arsenal rated at the Emirates on Wednesday night.

DAVID RAYA – 6/10

As expected, very little to do, but kept his composure under pressure on occasion and will be happy with a third clean sheet in four league games.

BEN WHITE – 6

Had license to roam forward and did so to good effect on several occasions, helping out the rusty Reiss Nelson with his runs and movement inside. Sloppiness crept into his game after the break as the match drifted.

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WILLIAM SALIBA – 7

Lauded by Luton boss Rob Edwards before kick-off and was at his composed, unflappable best. Nothing ever fazes him, and why should it when you have the pace, size and skill to match.

I’m a former Arsenal and England star who had to pay kitman £10k when washing gamble backfired

GABRIEL – 7

A slight mix-up with Oleksandr Zinchenko in his own box the only blemish on a solid first half performance.

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Has a knack of being in the right place at the right time, especially when defending set-pieces.

OLEKSANDR ZINCHENKO – 6

Had a chance to win back his place in the side off of make-shift full-back Jakub Kiwior. Did nothing majorly wrong, but nothing majorly right either. A bog-standard shift.

THOMAS PARTEY – 6

Dictated from deep, even if some of his passes forward were slightly wayward as he continues to build momentum on his first Prem start since August.

EMILE SMITH ROWE – 9

For the first time in a long time, Smith Rowe strutted his stuff on a Prem stage.

He was energetic, inventive, direct on the ball and a nuisance off it, winning a collision with Luton’s Mpanzu before Arsenal broke for their opener.

Should have grabbed a first half goal himself but for a good save by Thomas Kaminski and then put it on a plate for Nelson to double their lead before the break.

MARTIN ODEGAARD – 8

Among all the changes, Arsenal’s one constant, and a player Arteta cannot afford to drop thanks to his pressing ability, but he added a goal to that repertoire in the 24th minute, his seventh in the Prem this season.

LEANDRO TROSSARD – 6

Was given plenty of space to run in to but his end product was missing.

Will get lots more chances this season to prove his worth, mainly due to his willingness to get back and help out defensively.

Attacker Reiss Nelson was taken off after 75 minutes of a rare start

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Attacker Reiss Nelson was taken off after 75 minutes of a rare startCredit: Reuters

REISS NELSON – 7

Looked slightly off the pace, but who can blame him? A first Prem start since July 2020.

Grew into the game and forced in Arsenal’s second as a Daiki Hashiokaown goal.

KAI HAVERTZ – 6

Looked quite clumsy in the opening stages, fluffing a few early chances with a heavy touch, but provided the perfect pass on the counter to tee up Odegaard in the box.

Continued to be wasteful in front of goal yet carried on chasing lost causes.

SUBS

EDDIE NKETIAH (HAVERTZ, 66) – 6

Would have been annoyed not to have been given a start in this one, so had a point to prove. Aside from a low shot that was well saved, offered very little.

DECLAN RICE (PARTEY, 66) – 7

Instantly brought a fizz and an accuracy of pass that was missing for most of the game. You only appreciate what you have until it is (briefly) gone.

GABRIEL MARTINELLI (NELSON, 74) – 6

Did not do much, but did not have to. Is still working his way back to full fitness and minutes here – as well as at the Etihad – will stand him in good stead.

TAKEHIRO TOMIYASU (ZINCHENKO, 74) – 6

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Covered a lot of grass in the 20 minutes he was involved. Covered well defensively and even went close with a curling shot on the edge of the box.

JORGINHO (SMITH ROWE, 85) – N/A

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