Europa League 2018-19: Three reasons why Arsenal beat Vorskla Poltava
Arsenal secured the top spot in the Europa League Group E as they were victorious against Vorskla Poltava with a surprisingly easy 3-0 scoreline. The game was moved from Poltava to the Ukrainian capital’s Olympic Stadium and that’s the reason why so many seats were empty.
Arsenal youngsters Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock were both on the score sheet as a young Gunners team made it a stroll in the park in Kiev. Unai Emery had one eye on Sunday’s Premier League north London derby at home to Tottenham and so he made many changes to the regular playing XI.
Though Arsenal had already qualified for the knockout stage, this win was important as it gives them a chance to draw an easy opponent in the next round.
We look at three reasons why Unai Emery’s men had an easy night in Kiev.
#1. Youngsters Impressed
Unai Emery has made it a point to try out academy graduates in the 2nd tier European competition and the tradition continued yesterday. Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock both impressed on a night expected to be difficult in Kiev. Even Arsene Wenger had spoken highly of these youngsters during his time at the Emirates.
Smith Rowe was lucky for Arsenal’s first goal as defensive shoddiness from Vorskla gave him a chance to fire at the open net, but Willock’s goal was a self-made one with good ball control from the youngster. Elneny was the only youngster who looked a bit rusty. Jenkinson and Holding did a decent job as the center-back pairing and the win will give great confidence to Unai Emery for the next round of matches in Europe.
It was Emile Smith’s third senior goal of the season and fans are expecting a lot out of the youngster as they see a replacement for Ramsey in him.