Press conference

'It's a joy to watch them play'

Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe were at their free-flowing best on Thursday night.

Lining up behind Alex Lacazette in an exciting forward line, our Hale End graduates broke free from the Slavia Prague defence time and time again to help us book our place in the Europa League semi-finals.

And Mikel Arteta was full of praise for our teenagers after the game.

"For me, it's a joy to watch them play and to watch them every day in training," he said. "How they behave, the passion and the commitment they have for the club and how much they love to play football.

"You have to let them express themselves and you have to give them certain room to work, and some ideas of how they can exploit their qualities. Then it's up to them. I thought both of them were really good today.

"Players have to make each other better. That's a big quality. Then you need somebody at the back to make those players better and get the surroundings, the collective understanding, the way it should be.

"The same happened with the backline. Today we looked really solid and I don't think we conceded a shot on target. That's maybe because of a little bit of continuity or a little bit of help in these understanding moments."

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