The 18-year-old forward became the first player born this century to score for the Gunners
Arsenal eased to Europa League victory against Qarabag on Thursday night – but they were far from their best in Baku.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos opened the scoring early on before the visitors had to withstand plenty of pressure until Emile Smith Rowe’s first senior goal and a first for club for Matteo Guendouzi secured a 3-0 win which flattered Unai Emery’s side.
Smith Rowe’s goal carried some historical significance – he became the first player born this century to score for Arsenal.
The Gunners were on the front foot immediately as fit-again Sead Kolasinac’s low cross was contested by Qarabag goalkeeper Vagner and Danny Welbeck, with the loose ball breaking for Mohamed Elneny, whose low shot was blocked behind for a corner.
The Egypt international took the resulting set-piece, with Sokratis turning home his first Arsenal goal from close range following Nacho Monreal’s initial header – although he appeared to know little about it.
Qarabag did threaten and Madatov finished coolly past Leno, only to have the goal rightly ruled out for offside.
Arsenal heeded their warnings and doubled their lead moments later as Alex Iwobi fed Smith Rowe and the 18-year-old slotted in his first senior goal with aplomb.
The game was killed off by Guendouzi’s fine finish 11 minutes from the end, a goal which added gloss to the scoreline and was harsh on a spirited Qarabag outfit.
But it also secured an eighth consecutive win in all competitions for Emery’s men and means they can take control of Group E with victory at Sporting Lisbon later this month.