We extended our unbeaten run in all competitions to 15 games after a goalless Europa League draw against Sporting CP - but the evening was marred by a first-half injury to Danny Welbeck.
Here's what we noticed from the match:
A SAD END TO WELBZ’S EVENING
Danny Welbeck had started this season in fabulous form, scoring five times in 13 appearances prior to this game and had just been named in the England squad. However, after a bright start, his evening came to an abrupt and sad end as he sustained what appears to be a serious ankle injury in the 26th minute. Having spent two lengthy periods out of action in recent years, it would be particularly hard pill to swallow for him if this injury were to do the same. Everyone’s fingers and toes are crossed for you Welbz, we’re all with you.
A NEW ROLE FOR SMITH-ROWE
Emile Smith-Rowe has made a big impression this season under Unai Emery, scoring his first senior goal in our 3-0 win at Qarabag before netting against Blackpool in the Carabao Cup. Usually stationed as a No 10 or out on the flanks, the 17-year-old has looked right at home but here was a new test for him as he was stationed up front alongside Danny Welbeck in a 4-4-2 formation. One delightful Cruyff turn to spin away from his marker midway through the first half underlined his growing confidence, and while he switched to the flanks in the second period, he continued to threaten. Smith-Rowe’s versatility will only help him as he seeks more first-team minutes, especially when he performs as brightly as this.
JENKO’S REBIRTH CONTINUES
Having made his first Arsenal appearance in 701 days in our League Cup win against Blackpool nine days earlier, Carl Jenkinson was back in action again – and once again he was stationed in an unfamiliar left-back role. The childhood Arsenal fan defended diligently, getting forward when it was on and putting in one particularly inviting cross that deserved more. He earned a warm round of applause from the Emirates fans when he was replaced just after the hour mark and he has every reason to feel satisfied with another solid showing.
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