REPORT: Arsenal 2-0 Luton Town - Rotated Gunners Down Hatters

A heavily rotated Arsenal proved too much for Luton Town, as they ran out 2-0 winners. A first-half strike from Martin Odegaard set them on their way, before Emile Smith Rowe forced an own goal from Daiki Hashioka to double the lead.

Arsenal barely had to get out of second gear to get the job done, and in truth simply managed the game throughout the second period.

The win took Arsenal back to the summit for 24 hours before Liverpool responded with a 3-1 win over Sheffield United to retake control of the title race. 

Mass Changes

With just a three day turnaround following their 0-0 draw at Manchester City, Mikel Arteta took the opportunity to ring the changes to his starting XI. Oleksandr Zinchenko, Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe, Leandro Trossard and Reiss Nelson came into the side, looking to put the pressure on the more favoured starters. 

The breakthrough came in the 24th minute, and it was one of the players who Arteta brought in who helped set the attack up. Smith Rowe, making his first appearance since January, out-muscled Ruddock Mpanzu before playing the ball to Odegaard. The Norwegian passed the ball to Kai Havertz, who returned for Odegaard to slam home. It was a rare glimpse of quality in a match that seemed subdued both on and off the pitch from the off. 

Smith Rowe Stakes His Claim

Smith Rowe proved to be the difference once again just before the break. Finding space on the left-hand side of the box, he drove into space before delivering into the six-yard box where Hashioka was on hand to turn the ball into his own net. 

The game appeared to be over and as Arsenal came out for the second half, The Gunners barely broke a sweat to get the job done.

Injury hit Luton dug in and tried to find a route back into the game, but in truth never threatened David Raya's goal. Arteta continued to rotate his squad and introduced the likes Eddie Nketiah and Takehiro Tomiyasu, with the former forcing Thomas Kaminski into a routine stop.

What Next?

Arsenal now have a trip to the South coast where they'll face Brighton. It is likely that Arteta will bring back many of his rotated personnel, and they can expect a test of their title credentials against a side they've had their fair share of challenges against over the years.