Smith Rowe on target as Arsenal beat Watford to go fifth

Emile Smith Rowe found the net for the third successive Premier League game as Arsenal marked Mikel Arteta’s 100th game in charge with a 1-0 win over Watford at the Emirates.

The Gunners, now unbeaten in 10 games across all competitions, dominated the game from the start but were denied by the stubborn Watford defense. Bukayo Saka, who was yet again impressive had an early strike overturned by VAR for offside while captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty awarded for Danny Rose’s foul on Alexandre Lacazette, was superbly stopped by Ben Foster 10 minutes before the break.

Substitute Martin Odegaard should have put the game to bed with Arsenal’s second goal but Aubameyang’s unnecessary touch of Norwegian’s already goal-bound shot from an offside position cancelled the strike.

Arsenal’s sloppiness and Foster’s string of saves – set up a nervy finish for the hosts, with Aaron Ramsdale giving the home supporters a scare when a missed clearance led to Josh King shooting into the side-netting. But Arsenal held on to win and move up to fifth in the Premier League.

Watford, who managed just the one shot on target and had Juraj Kucka sent off in the final minutes for a second bookable offence, remain just two points above the relegation zone.

Arteta was very delighted with the deserved win just before the international break.

“Winning before the international break is always great, it keeps the momentum going, the atmosphere good with the players that have to be here, good vibes.” The Spaniard said in the post match interview.

“And for the players who have to go on internationals, we have to try and plan things and know what we have to do there.”