HomePremier LeagueArsenal 2-0 Luton Town: Smith Rowe provides spark as Gunners go top

Arsenal 2-0 Luton Town: Smith Rowe provides spark as Gunners go top

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Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League – for 24 hours at least – after a routine win over struggling Luton Town.

Emile Smith Rowe, included as one of five changes from the side that gained a well-earned goalless draw at Manchester City on Sunday, played a hand in both goals – the first from captain Martin Odegaard and the second via the boot of Luton defender Daiki Hashioka.

Luton battled hard but lacked the quality to trouble an Arsenal defence that enjoyed a much easier 90 minutes than at the Etihad at the weekend.

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The first half was one-way traffic with Arsenal’s intricate passing in tight spaces a joy to behold. Luton were struggling to make any headway up field with the game condensed deep in the Hatters’ half.

The only surprise was that it took 23 minutes for Arsenal’s pressure to pay off. And when it did, it came via a Luton slip.

Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu was caught dawdling on the ball by Smith Rowe, and when it fell to Odegaard he played a one-two with Kai Havertz before firing a left-footed shot past Thomas Kaminski.

Luton finally showed a little adventure with their best moments originating with Andros Townsend but Arsenal still carried the greater threat.

Kaminski saved superbly from Smith Rowe, and again from Havertz, while only a last-ditch tackle from Alfie Doughty prevented Thomas Partey marking his return with a goal.

Arsenal did add a second before the break with Smith Rowe again involved. His burst to the byline was followed by a low cross that clipped the heel of Hashioka and went in with Reiss Nelson hovering.

In comparison to the first, the second was almost a non-event.

Luton enjoyed more of the ball and got down the side of Arsenal several times only to be let down by the final ball.

Kaminski was rarely threatened at the other end until late on when Takehiro Tomiyasu curled an effort wide before Eddie Nketiah drew a sharp save from the goalkeeper with a snapshot from the edge of the box.

The win takes Arsenal a point clear of Liverpool, who host Sheffield United tomorrow night, while Luton remain deep in the mire.

Rob Edwards’ side stay in 18th place, three points behind Nottingham Forest and safety.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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