Analysis

Emile Smith-Rowe: The brightest star in Arsenal’s famous win over North London rivals

Emile-Smith-Rowe-Arsenal

Emile Smith Rowe was not just able to leave his mark in his North London derby debut but also drop a match-winning performance in a dominating Arsenal triumph over their arch-rivals. The youngster was substituted off in the 77th minute yet he still ended the match with more key passes than the whole of Tottenham’s side, which not only an indication of how good Emile Smith Rowe was but also a sign of how woeful Tottanhma were through the match.

Smith-Rowe ended the match with four key passes, 97% passing accuracy, the highest in the match, one big chance created, he hit the woodwork once, made one tackle and interception each, and completed two of the four dribbles he attempted.

Arsenal were up against a compact midfield in Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur and it was always going to be difficult for them to play through their midfield to create chances. Hence they looked to do so by playing around their midfield block and their wingers were always going to be essential for their tactics to reap fruits. Emile Smith-Rowe was able to do exactly that with his brilliant runs in behind allowing David Luiz and co. to ping long balls behind Spurs’ defensive line to Smith-Rowe who was then in a 1v1 situation against Spurs’ Matt Doherty which resulted in many dangerous sequences for the Lily Whites.

He was also helped by Gareth Bale’s lack of movement on the right-wing and his lack of desire to help out his right-back which pulled Doherty in various 2v1 situations against Kieran Tierney and Smith Rowe which they could take advantage of. He was constantly a threat for the Tottenham defenders as he had the freedom to float around and was able to pick up some potentially dangerous spaces between the Spurs lines.

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