Emile Smith Rowe scored his first career goal in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over FK Qarabag in Europa League group-stage action on Thursday.
Smith Rowe, a touted 18-year-old academy product, made the most of his second career start as Arsenal put on an impressive display of attack at Baku Olympic Stadium.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos opened up Arsenal’s night in the fourth minute by guiding Nacho Monreal’s header into the back of the net — the first score in a Gunners jersey for the Greece international.
Arsenal protected the lead into half-time, but doubled it when Smith Rowe sent a low shot through the legs of goalkeeper Vagner in the 53th minute. Mesut Ozil replaced the youngster 10 minutes later, who walked off the pitch to a round of applause from the travelling supporters.
Matteo Guendouzi cinched Arsenal’s victory with his right-footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Like Smith Rowe and Papastathopoulos before him, the goal was Guendouzi’s first as an Arsenal player.
The Gunners stay atop Group E over Sporting CP based on goal difference, with six points each after two rounds. Qarabag and Ukranian side Vorskla both remain winless.
Arsenal trio Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were all unavailable for Thursday’s match, with Mkhitaryan not travelling due to political tensions between Azerbaijan and his native Armenia.