It was an emotionally charged atmosphere yesterday at The Emirates, as Arsene Wenger took charge of his final home game for The Gunners against Burnley.
With a wholesome 7 changes made, from the side that crashed out of the Europa League game in Spain, The North London side had an energized group, out on the field of play.
Most notable inclusions were Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Konstatinos Mavropanos, Alex Iwobi and “The Bosian Hulk” Sead Kolasinac.
Others who played on Thursday but were instrumental in the 5 nil thrashing of Burnley yesterday include: Alexandre Lacazette who retained his spot up front, Jack Wilshere and last but certainly not the least, Hector Bellerin.
Notable absentees against Burnley, were Mesut Özil and Laurent Koscienly, who suffered a ruptured achilles on Thursday.
Arsene Wenger came out to a standing Ovation from all seated in the stadium, with a guard of honour from both teams and Coaches, whilst the crowd ruptured chants of “One Arsene Wenger“.
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) May 6, 2018
Even the match officials joined in the clapping as Arsene walked through the guard. This was certainly a man revered by all in the game.
The game started in a rather anti-climactic fashion, which was largely as a result of the fact that the game between Everton and Southampton, ended in a 1-1 draw.
This invariably meant that both Arsenal and Burnley had secured Europa League qualification spots irrespective of the outcome.
Around the 4th minute, former Arsenal Captain of The Invincibles; Patrick Viera, was spotted in the stands by the camera which led to massive oviations and screams from the Arsenal fans.
The game eventually came to life, some time around the 13th minute, when Bellerin found space on the right. He cut the ball back to Lacazette in the box, who then interchanged a One-Two with Alex Iwobi and fired across goal for Arsenal’s “fox in the box“, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang to tap in.
📸 Another goal for Aubameyang, his 6th at the Emirates Stadium in the #PL this season
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 6, 2018
This opened the flood gates to what could have easily ended 8 nil, in favor of the Gunners as Henrikh Mkhitaryan shot agonizingly wide and Danny Welbeck rattled the bar at the closing stages against Burnley.
Jack Wilshere also contributed to the list of agonizing missed opportunities, however his contribution throughout the game was on another level.
His decision making and take-ons were instrumental in breaking down Sean Dyches’ men. So much that he directly contributed to the third goal, which Sead Kolasinac buried with an aplomb.
If there were any doubts regarding his abilities or possible selection to represent England in the World Cup, he certainly laid them to rest.
Since joining the Gunners in January, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang had gone on to score 8 goals in 11 appearances for The North London side.
He scored a brace in the game and his movement caused all sorts of trouble for the visitors.
His partner in crime, Alexandre Lacazette was on the scoresheet as well and was responsible for assisting P. E. A’s opener.
Also present in the stands were Arsenal Legends Kanu Nwankwo and his wife, Freddy Lunberg the FA specialist, usual suspect Robert Pires and a host of others.
At the end of the game, Arsene Wenger gave a farewell speech. Here is an extract:
“Thank you for having me for such a long time but above all, I’m like you – I’m an Arsenal fan.”
“I will always be an Arsenal fan. It is what unites us in every cell of our body, those dreams and worries.
“I would like to thank everyone at the club who makes this club so special.
“This group of players has special quality, not only on the pitch, but off it too. Support them next season, because they deserve it.
“I will miss you. Thank you for being such an important part of my life. I hope to see you soon.
📽 Arsene Wenger’s farewell speech to the Arsenal fans. pic.twitter.com/w3g6P7MtDx
— Arsenal FC News (@ArsenalFC_fl) May 6, 2018
Incase you missed the game, you can always catch up here, on how it happened.
Club Captain Per Mertesacker also featured in the twilight of the game as he also played his last game for The Gunners. Next on the cards for him, is taking charge of the Academy as coach.
It has been a true love story with Arsene from a personal point of view, with all the joy, thrills, pains&aches, heartbreaks and unquantifiable moments of pure bliss.
At this point, there’s only one thing left to say… #MerciArsene… COYG!!!