Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea: Emile Smith Rowe nutmegs N'Golo Kante in superb individual highlights

  • Kobe Tong

Arsenal caused a joyous upset against Chelsea in the Premier League on Boxing Day.

The Gunners were approaching three months without a league victory at Emirates Stadium heading into a London derby where Frank Lampard’s men were hoping to move up to second place.

And on the back of Arsenal crashing out of the Carabao Cup in a dreadful 4-1 defeat to Manchester City, nobody would have been surprised if Chelsea had swaggered their way to three points.

Arsenal’s Chelsea upset

However, football wouldn’t be football if it wasn’t for the unexpected and Arsenal instead breezed their way to a 3-1 victory for their first three points since the October win at Old Trafford.

A massive part of Arsenal’s success was Mikel Arteta’s decision to ring the changes with a number of younger players being introduced to really take the game to Chelsea.

Nevertheless, it was one of the more senior players who fired Arsenal into the lead with Alexandre Lacazette keeping his cool from the penalty spot after Reece James fouled Kieran Tierney.


Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

That lead was then doubled before half-time in unexpected circumstances with Granit Xhaka, a figure of criticism this season, firing a glorious free-kick beyond the reach of Edouard Mendy.

Bukayo Saka then lifted Arsenal into dreamland with a cross-cum-shot – or an ingenious lob, depending on how you look at it – before Tammy Abraham pulled one back for the visitors.

There was a brief wobbly moment for the Gunners when Pablo Mari conceded a last-minute penalty, but Jorginho’s third miscue from the spot this season saw Bernd Leno take some late plaudits.

So, all in all, it was a thoroughly positive evening for Arsenal and one that saw the ‘Young Guns’ attract particular praise with Saka and Gabriel Martinelli showing great dynamism throughout.


Smith Rowe’s impressive highlights

However, for many, it was the performance of Emile Smith Rowe that really caught the eye with the young Englishman finally getting his chance in a role once inhabited by the exiled Mesut Ozil.

For a 20-year-old to impress so much against one of the world’s best defensive midfielders, N’Golo Kante, is no small feat and he even provided the assist for Saka’s game-securing goal.

As a result, Smith Rowe’s highlights have emerged on social media with Twitter user @Aouartist stitching together a two-minute montage that shows he could be the creative spark Arsenal needs.

You can check out his individual highlights down below to make a decision for yourself:

GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says

Look, it’s by no means an inch-perfect performance and there are a few times where Smith Rowe concedes possession, but he’s exactly what Arsenal have been looking for: a risk-taker.

Arsenal’s constant passing backwards has bordered on platitudinous this season, so they’ve been crying out for a brave player who rolls the dice at the expense of giving it away every now and again.

Besides, you miss every shot you don’t take and all that…


Say what you like about whether Ozil would be able to do the same job or not, but the fact of the matter is that Arteta isn’t interested and an exit could come as soon as the January window.

As a result, Arsenal need to find creativity from elsewhere and with the Emirates coffers potentially wounded by the events of 2020, then turning to Smith Rowe seems the most effective solution.

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