Europa League - Group E
FK QarabagFK Qarabag0ArsenalArsenal3

Qarabag 0-3 Arsenal: Emile Smith Rowe scores first goal in Europa League win

By Matthew HenryBBC Sport
Emile Smith Rowe scores
Smith Rowe became the first player born in 2000 to play for Arsenal when making his debut last month

Teenager Emile Smith Rowe scored his first Arsenal goal to help the Gunners to an eighth win in a row with victory against Qarabag in the Europa League.

The 18-year-old academy graduate coolly finished beneath Qarabag goalkeeper Vagner in the 53rd minute to score Arsenal's second goal.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Matteo Guendouzi scored either side of Smith Rowe's strike to also register their first goals for the club.

Sokratis, who joined from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, put the Gunners ahead in the fourth minute when he diverted Nacho Monreal's header in at a corner.

Teenager Guendouzi, another summer signing, added the third in the 79th minute, finishing a slick move with a low shot into the bottom left corner.

Arsenal did not have all of the play in Baku and goalkeeper Bernd Leno had to make good saves in either half.

The Gunners top Group E with two wins from two games and they have now won eight consecutive games in all competitions for the first time since April 2015.

Special night for Smith Rowe

Alex Iwobi and Emile Smith Rowe
Smith Rowe's goal was created and scored by two Arsenal academy products in the teenager and Alex Iwobi

Londoner Smith Rowe was making his full European debut in the game, having come on as a substitute in Arsenal's opening Europa League match for his first competitive senior appearance.

The highly-rated England Under-19 international made his first start of the club in the Carabao Cup win against Brentford last week.

In Baku, the forward started on the right of a front three with Danny Welbeck through the middle and Alex Iwobi on the left.

Smith Rowe's goal included all three, with Welbeck winning a flick-on before Iwobi raced downfield and played a well-timed pass for the youngster to finish.

Smith Rowe was lively throughout his 65 minutes on the field before he was replaced by Mesut Ozil.

The youngster almost scored early on when sliding in at the back post to meet Sead Kolasinac's cross from the left but failed to divert his effort back on target.

The Englishman often drifted in off the right flank and was twice picked out in good positions near the penalty spot but failed to finish.

Arsenal show they have depth

Matteo Guendouzi and Alexandre Lacazette
Guendouzi (left) joined Arsenal from Lorient in the summer

In total, Arsenal manager Unai Emery made nine changes for the match but still fielded a team with eight full internationals.

Emery played a 3-4-3 formation for the first time at the Gunners with Kolasinac, playing his first game this season because of injury, a threat going forward in the left wing-back role.

At times they struggled defensively in the new formation but goalkeeper Leno was on hand to keep out their opponents.

The German, who looks set to have a run in the team with Petr Cech injured, saved well low down twice in the first half and in the second smothered a close-range effort before later diving high to his right to save from distance.

Emery won the Europa League title three times when in charge of Sevilla and showed how seriously he is taking the competition in his first season at Arsenal when introducing both Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette in the second half.

His side are now in a strong position in the group, level on points with Sporting Lisbon but six clear of third and fourth place, with the top two progressing.

For now, against lesser opposition in the group stage, it looks as though Arsenal have the squad depth to handle both domestic and European fronts.

Man of the match - Alex Iwobi (Arsenal)

Alex Iwobi
Iwobi now has four assists and one goal this season

Smith Rowe's mentality stands out - manager reaction

Arsenal manager Unai Emery on Emile Smith Rowe: "He knows how we want to play and he is very humble to continue improving and progressing with us and in every training and match, like today.

"If I can say one condition [that stands out], for me, it's his mentality. He is humble and he is humble to listen every day in training.

"I think it's best for him to continue to be humble and continue working in every match to keep his feet on the ground."

The best stats

  • FK Qarabag have lost each of their last four games in the Europa League, their worst ever run in the competition.
  • Twenty different players have scored for Arsenal in the Europa League since the start of last season (excluding own-goals), nine more than any other team.
  • Sokratis became the first player to score a goal for Arsenal in any competition who never played a competitive game under former boss Arsene Wenger since Glenn Helder in January 1996.
  • Nacho Monreal has registered two assists in his last three games in all competitions for Arsenal, as many as he managed in his previous 61.
  • Emile Smith-Rowe (18 years and 67 days) is the youngest player to score for Arsenal in a competitive game since Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against Olympiakos in September 2011 (18 years and 43 days).


FK Qarabag

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13da Silva
  • 5MedvedevBooked at 33mins
  • 55Huseynov
  • 52Rzezniczak
  • 25Agolli
  • 8Marcos Madera
  • 2QarayevSubstituted forSlavchevat 84'minutes
  • 11MadatovSubstituted forDelargeat 61'minutes
  • 19OzobicSubstituted forAbdullayevat 67'minutes
  • 17Zoubir
  • 7Emeghara


  • 1Halldórsson
  • 4Mammadov
  • 6Slavchev
  • 9Abdullayev
  • 28Delarge
  • 30Huseynov
  • 91Diniyev


Formation 3-4-3

  • 19Leno
  • 16HoldingBooked at 43mins
  • 5Papastathopoulos
  • 18MonrealSubstituted forTorreiraat 45'minutes
  • 12Lichtsteiner
  • 29Guendouzi
  • 4Elneny
  • 31Kolasinac
  • 55Smith-RoweSubstituted forÖzilat 65'minutes
  • 23Welbeck
  • 17IwobiSubstituted forLacazetteat 71'minutes


  • 2Bellerín
  • 9Lacazette
  • 10Özil
  • 11Torreira
  • 20Mustafi
  • 26Martínez
  • 34Xhaka
Davide Massa

Match Stats

Home TeamFK QarabagAway TeamArsenal
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, FK Qarabag 0, Arsenal 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, FK Qarabag 0, Arsenal 3.

  3. Post update

    Corner, FK Qarabag. Conceded by Matteo Guendouzi.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  5. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  6. Post update

    Delay in match Míchel (FK Qarabag) because of an injury.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Mesut Özil (Arsenal).

  9. Post update

    Innocent Emeghara (FK Qarabag) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Alexandre Lacazette.

  11. Post update

    Offside, FK Qarabag. Maksim Medvedev tries a through ball, but Dzon Delarge is caught offside.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Maksim Medvedev (FK Qarabag) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Abdellah Zoubir with a cross following a corner.

  13. Post update

    Corner, FK Qarabag. Conceded by Bernd Leno.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Abdellah Zoubir (FK Qarabag) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Araz Abdullayev.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Innocent Emeghara (FK Qarabag) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Simeon Slavchev.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, FK Qarabag. Simeon Slavchev replaces Qara Qarayev.

  17. Post update

    Mesut Özil (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Míchel (FK Qarabag).

  19. Post update

    Foul by Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal).

  20. Post update

    Araz Abdullayev (FK Qarabag) wins a free kick on the right wing.


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