At the end of a tricky trip to Ukraine, Unai Emery has several reasons to be pleased with his side’s comfortable 3-0 win over Vorskla Poltava in Kiev.
Not only will Arsenal be seeded for the knockout round draw, but they also extended their unbeaten run to 18 games and kept a fourth clean sheet in five European games.
What’s more, the Spaniard handed debuts to three academy players, ended the game with six teenagers on the pitch and saw two of them grab goals.
One of those scorers, Emile Smith Rowe, spoke to Arsenal.com after the match and admitted the -12C temperature had left him very cold.
“My fingers and my toes are very cold, but you’ve just got to get on with it,” he said when asked about the conditions.
He added: “It was a good win for us and a few lads got their debuts, so we’re just happy to get the win.
“Every cup we’re in we want to win. We’re improving in every game and I’m very happy to be involved.”
Smith Rowe might have had a second goal but for an offside flag from the linesman. After tapping home Stephan Lichtsteiner’s cross in the second half, the England youth international resisted celebrating. In the end, he was right not to.
“I was a bit shocked [to score again] but because there wasn’t a lot of fans no one was celebrating,” explained the 18-year-old.
“I thought it was offside as well, but it’s happened and I’m happy to just score anyway.”