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Chelsea vs Arsenal; Jamie Redknapp singles Emile Smith Rowe as the best player on the pitch

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Emile Smith Rowe

Jamie Redknapp has named Emile Smith Rowe ‘the best player on the pitch’ after his goal sealed Arsenal’s victory over Chelsea.

The Gunners keep their hopes of European qualification alive after a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge .

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Chelsea midfielder Jorginho played a back pass after 16 minutes which was just about kept out by goalkeeper Kepa but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was first to the loose ball, squaring to Smith Rowe to score the game’s only goal.

Arsenal defended well as they held onto a valuable win with their defence and Mohamed Elneny impressing in keeping the hosts out.

But Redknapp hailed Smith Rowe’s scintillating performance and the impact he has had since breaking into the team again at the turn of the year.

‘I thought he was excellent today,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘He didn’t get man of the match but I thought he was the best player on the pitch.

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“He made things happen and everything he did, he did it with a purpose. ‘He played in a team that pretty much sat back and defended for the whole game but I thought he was exceptional and he has been like that all season since he got into the team.’

Former Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole added: ‘Smith Rowe was always the outlet, always showing that energy to press and win it back for his team and also showed those moments of quality.’

Victory for Arsenal keeps them in contention for Europa League qualification this season, now a point behind seventh place Tottenham having played one game more.

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