Europa League: Arsenal Top Group After Youthful Gunners Cruise Past Vorskla Poltava In Kiev (Photos & Highlight)

Alan Duffy

29th, November 2018

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Arsenal secured top spot in Group E on Thursday night after a youthful side breezed past Vorskla Poltava in Kiev.

Played in a sparsely attended stadium after the game was moved from Poltava due to security concerns, the clash was a one-sided affair.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery picked a mix-and-match starting 11, with youngsters Emile Smith-Rowe, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah all getting a run out.

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The visitors opened the scoring after just 10 minutes, with the in-form Smith-Rowe coolly firing home from inside the box after a run from Nketiah.

Just before the half-hour mark, Aaron Ramsey doubled his side’s advantage from the penalty spot, after the Welshman had been tripped in the box.

The Gunners would top off a dominant first-half display with another goal, this time via nineteen year-old Willock, who latched on to a pass from Mohamed Elneny before producing a fine curing finish.

In the second-half, Emery handed debuts to centre-half Zech Medley, midfielder Charlie Gilmour and attacker Bukayo Saka, with all three impressing.

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Petr Cech had little to do on the freezing cold evening, although the ‘keeper did make one decent save midway through the second-half.

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Smith-Rowe almost got his second of the game, only for his close-range effort to be chalked off by the referee for a questionable foul in the box.

The contest would end 3-0 to the Premier League side, who will finish top of Group E with one game left to play, with the win extending their unbeaten run to an impressive 18 games.

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With Tottenham and Manchester United waiting for the Gunners’ first string in the next week, the north Londoners have much bigger tests to come.

However, the emergence of genuine young talent at the club will please Emery and his staff.