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Emile Smith Rowe affirmed thathe is living a dream by starring for Arsenal following an eventful afternoon on Saturday.
Arsenal required extra time before seeing off the Magpies, with Smith Rowe’s precision finish into the corner setting the holders on their way to a place in round four.
It was a remarkable turnaround for Smith Rowe, as he was shown a straight red card in the 90th minute by referee Chris Kavanagh for a challenge on Sean Longstaff, only for it to be downgraded to a yellow following an intervention from VAR.
Smith Rowe has admitted it was a relief to see the red card overturned, and to take advantage by scoring the first goal in the 2-0 win which was sealed by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s close-range finish in the dying moments.
“I am really happy,” Smith Rowe told BBC Sport. “It is a bit of a relief, as the incident before was not ideal. It definitely was not intentional so I am happy to get the goal and go through to the next round.
“We knew it would be a tough game. It was about breaking them down and we’re happy with the win.”
Smith Rowe has had an excellent few weeks, with his form mirroring the uptick in the club’s fortunes since the Christmas period got underway.
“From a young kid I always dreamt of playing for this club,” he said. “All the young players, it is great to get opportunities so Iam really happy to be playing for the club.”
Smith Rowe claims the work of manager Mikel Arteta and his staff on building bonds off the field is starting to pay off in their results.
“It shows how together we are,” the 20-year-old midfielder said. “We have been working off the pitch to get closer as a group and that is starting to show on the pitch.