Mikel Arteta’s young guns ran riot as Arsenal’s fine form in the Premier League continued with an emphatic win over arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur in Sunday’s north London derby.
Three quickfire goals in the first half practically sealed the Gunners’ fourth win in a row across all competitions.
Emile Smith Rowe opened the scoring when he arrived unmarked to glance home Bukayo Saka’s cross and then he turned provider for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The 21-year-old’s productive performance saw him named as Gary Neville’s ‘Man of the Match’ on Sky Sports commentary duty, although his fellow Hale End youth product deserved just as much praise.
Saka not only provided the assist for the opener but he also got his name on the scoresheet ten minutes before the break after the young England winger broke free from two Harry Kane tackles to slot past Hugo Lloris.
He did so much more than just score and assist, too.
Saka was among Arteta’s most influential players as he recorded 54 touches, the most of the Gunners’ front three, whilst he also contributed three key passes, two shots on target and 30 passes, via SofaScore.
The 20-year-old gem also got back to do his defensive duties, managing three tackles, which was only bettered by two players in the whole game – his defensive teammate Kieran Tierney and Spurs’ anchor, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. That’s on top of one interception and one clearance.
football.london waxed lyrical about Saka’s performance in their post-match ratings column.
‘The England international has faced questions over his quality in the final third this season but firmly answered them with this display. A great assist for Smith Rowe and although there was a touch of fortune with Harry Kane slipping for his goal it was still a good finish.’
All in all, Saka absolutely ran the show in Sunday’s north London derby at the Emirates Stadium.