Arsenal stars Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe ‘a joy to watch’, says Mikel Arteta

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Simon Collings
·1-min read
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<p>Smith Rowe shone for the Gunners in Prague</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

Smith Rowe shone for the Gunners in Prague

(AFP via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has hailed Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe as “a joy to watch” after they dismantled Slavia Prague to fire Arsenal into the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Saka found the net and Smith Rowe claimed an assist as Arsenal ran out 4-0 winners in the second leg to easily overturn their 1-1 draw at Emirates Stadium last week.

Alexandre Lacazette struck twice and Nicolas Pepe scored too, but it was Saka and Smith Rowe who shone.

The two academy graduates played a key role in Arsenal’s win, which sets up a semi-final clash with Villarreal and their old boss Unai Emery.

“For me it is a joy to watch them play, to watch them every day in training,” said Arteta.

“How they behave, the passion and the commitment they have for the club. And then how much they like to play football.

“You have to let them express themselves, and give them certain frameworks to work in and some ideas on how they can exploit their qualities. Then it is up to them and I thought both of them were really good today.

“Credit to the players, for how they approached the game and how brave they were in their approach.

“We were brave, we were efficient, we put them under a lot of pressure. And in the final third we were really clinical.

“We know how important the competition is.”

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