In pictures: Arsenal v Aston Villa
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Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe has singled out three dressing room leaders after the Gunners dazzled in a 3-1 home victory over Aston Villa on Friday evening. The midfielder-turned-winger notched a goal and an assist to play a pivotal role in the result, drawing plaudits from those watching on for his vibrant and effective display.
Thomas Partey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Smith Rowe on the scoresheet as the Gunners spent most of the encounter in cruise control.
Granted, Villa did pile on the pressure towards the end of the game after a superb Jacob Ramsey strike, but Arteta’s side were never truly threatened for the three points.
After the game, a gleeful Smith Rowe claimed that Aubameyang, Ben White and Gabriel are three of the key dressing room leaders to rally the troops.
While the first name may come as no surprise, citing an emerging centre-back duo might do given their young age and relatively short careers at the Emirates.
After the game, Smith Rowe told Sky Sports: “There is a few [dressing room leaders] to be honest.
“Obviously, Aubameyang as the captain is always speaking.
“Gabriel, the two centre-backs, Ben [White] as well.
“I feel like together we’re such a strong team, we’re coming together really well and we always try to help each other on and off the pitch.”
There was once again pressure on Arteta to draw out a performance after a disappointing 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last weekend.
The Spaniard certainly did that, with several Gunners stars putting in performances which will excite fans no end.
Nuno Tavares at left-back was sensational deputising for the injured Kieran Tierney, while Thomas Partey was to delighted to notch his first Arsenal goal.
Aston Villa, meanwhile, had a night to forget despite Ramsey’s pinpoint finish in the closing stages.
After the final whistle, Dean Smith grumbled: “It was a very poor first half. Not recognisable as a Villa team we have come to know.
“They deserved what they got. We got dominated phsyically.
“We knew Arsenal would start strong.
“I’d love to say it was the system and personnel but we just didn’t play well.”
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