The pair of Arsenal academy graduates were integral to the recent North London derby victory, with both getting on the scoresheet as well as an assist each for the young duo
After a disastrous start to the season, morale around the red half of North London is suddenly sky-high after Arsenal secured an emphatic victory over fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.
A rampant first-half display from Mikel Arteta’s men was enough to ensure all three points went to the Gunners, who were 3-0 up in the opening 35 minutes – marking the first time either side has enjoyed a three goal advantage going into the break during a North London derby.
Arsenal’s famed Hale End academy enjoyed a day to remember thanks to the performances of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka – who both got on the scoresheet either side of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s strike.
It was Smith Rowe who opened the scoring for the Gunners, his late run into the penalty area timed to perfection as he latched on to the end of Saka’s teasing pass into the box to calmly slot the ball beyond the helpless Hugo Lloris.
Minutes later, scorer turned provider as Smith Rowe broke at pace, sprinting beyond the Spurs backline before playing a delightful cut-back to Aubameyang who made no mistake on his weaker foot.
Things were to get even better for Arteta’s side, as Smith Rowe’s pass found Saka in more space than Nuno Espirito Santo would have liked – the England international getting fortunate after the ball deflected back into his path off of Harry Kane, before his right-footed finish found the corner of Lloris’ net.
The goal marked the end of Arsenal’s scoring spree – ensuring that not only did both Smith Rowe and Saka get on the scoresheet, but the pair also both came away with assists.
After the victory over Spurs, Smith Rowe and Saka have now provided an assist for one another five times – three short of the Premier League record of eight set by Ronaldo and Rooney for duos aged 21 or younger.
Will Smith Rowe and Saka break the record? Have your say here.
The fan favourites were the subject of praise from ‘Mr Arsenal’ himself in Tony Adams after the win over their most-hated opponents.
Talking about Smith Rowe to Sky Sports, Adams said: “His football intelligence, the way he gets it, he sees it before it comes to him. The one-touch [football] he plays is incredible.
“And Saka is a fantastic boy, a great human being and lovely kid. It shouldn’t be the kids leading this club, that’s the issue I’ve got.”