Arsenal's young English core makes history as Nketiah, Saka and Smith Rowe shine in win at Chelsea

Emile Smith Rowe Arsenal 2022Getty

Arsenal's young core shone bright in a 4-2 win over Chelsea on Wednesday, with Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe making history while securing a result Saka called "huge".

The trio, all aged 22 or younger, combined to score all four Arsenal goals.

They are among the driving forces of the Gunners' pursuit of the top four, which remained very much alive with the victory at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal core makes history

Saka and Smith Rowe are the second and third Arsenal players aged 21 or younger to score at least 10 times in a Premier League season, joining Nicolas Anelka in that club.

The Gunners are the third Premier League side to have multiple players aged 21 and younger reach double figures in the same season after Leeds in 1999-00 (Michael Bridges and Harry Kewell) and Manchester United in 2006-07 (Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo).

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Meanwhile, Nketiah enjoyed a return to the goalscoring department as he netted his first league goals in more than a year and his first brace in the top-flight.

Each of Nketiah, Saka and Smith Rowe are English, which makes the team's young core particularly rare. It was the first time Arsenal named six Englishmen in their starting XI for a Premier League match since 2001 with the trio joining Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Rob Holding in the team.

What did the Gunners say about the win?

"We wanted to give the fans something to believe in us and we did that," Saka told Sky Sports. "We showed fight and character. It’s a huge result. It means a lot to us. Losing three games in a row is really difficult."

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