Arsenal boss Michael Arteta says it was a very special night for fans to return to the Emirates Stadium after beating Rapid Vienna in the European League.
It has been 271 days since Arsenal fans last visited their home ground for a win over West Ham United on March 7 – and the fact that 2,000 people were allowed to watch the Gunners confirm their dominance in Group B.
“I’m happy to bring them back,” Arteta said. “They made a huge contribution. There were only two thousand, but it felt great.
“They were very supportive and encouraging to the team. The players say it made a big difference. They felt that support.”
Alexander Lacazette rewarded those who gathered at a community distance inside Caverns Stadium with a 25-yard drive 10 minutes later.
Pablo Marie Reyes looked at Nelson from a corner just before the end of the first half when Eddie reached the goal just before the break, and the siege Stribinger moved forward after saving his first attempt.
Rapid scored a goal through Kohia Kitigawa early in the second half, but Arsenal were never in danger, with substitute Emily Smith scoring the fourth goal from a pass from Ainsley Mightland-Niles.
Aruteta’s timely boost
Arsenal’s side, who are likely to play in Spurs in the north London derby on Sunday, have little in common, with the Austrians providing passive opposition.
However, with three home defeats after a poor start to the Premier League season, Arsenal manager Artetta was essential and the Gunners remain in 14th place.
What a tonic Arteta and the players had to hear the supporters inside the Emirates Stadium in a good voice and spirit, they enjoyed offensive football.
They pulverized their anti-Spurs songs quickly and seriously to give the action a backing track, while the famous song “1-0 from Arsenal” went around the Emirates Stadium.
Within 60,000 capacity, the stadium had only 2,000 followers, but despite the small number of Arsenal fans, it created a great deal of energy and atmosphere – and was well received when the club returned to Mascot, the “Gunners”.
Arsenal players applauded their fans before the kick-off, and after winning the exciting opener, Lacazette held a sliding celebration in front of cheerful supporters.
After a very poor performance at home with Aston Villa and the Wolves, Artetta needed some kind of success to block some of his criticism, which was impressive as it gave his shadow squad a chance to put on a great performance.
The Arsenal Test against the current Premier League leaders will take place on Sunday, starting with the start of Pierre-Emerick Obamayang, Arsenal’s key players.
But Arteta’s side needs confidence and a win that they can achieve anywhere, which will work out much better after their recent battles.
“We are consistent in this competition,” he said. “The boys performed well, had a lot of energy, character and aggression. It hurt them from the final defeat and played a great game.
“Take it to Sunday’s game in Tottenham and do it again.”
Match Statistics – Arsenal’s best run of the season – They reach the final
- Arsenal have won each of their first five European matches (excluding qualifiers). The last was in the 2005-06 Champions League, where they reached the final.
- They have scored three or more goals in four European games for the first time since March 2000. That year they reached the UEFA Cup Final.
- Rapid Vienna lost four of their five away matches against English teams in Europe (W1), scoring 13 goals.
- Alexander Lacazette is the eighth player to score 20 goals in the Europa League. It was his first goal in 488 minutes.
- Panno Mari scored his first Arsenal goal with the first shot aimed at the Gunners and the second overall attempt (fourth performance).
- Eddie Neketia’s 16 goals in senior club career have come from outside the box (11 for Arsenal and 5 for Leeds).
- Three of Emily Smith-Rowe’s four goals for Arsenal have reached the Europa League. His last goal was in the championship for Huddersfield against West Brom in July.
- 17Cedric Soros
- 20Mustafi61 mInstead ofChambersat 70 ‘Minutes
- 25Elneni42 mInstead ofCeballosat 63 ‘Minutes
- 24NelsonInstead ofWillianat 63 ‘Minutes
- 9LacassetteInstead ofSmith Roweat 63 ‘Minutes
- 30NketiahInstead ofBolognat 81 ‘Minutes
- 32Smith Rowe
- 6Sonlightener79 m
- 20HoffmanInstead ofBarackat 45 ‘Minutes
- 8RitzmeyerInstead ofKnosmalnerat 66 ‘Minutes
- 31Ulman39 minInstead ofSchickat 45 ‘Minutes
- 32KitagawaInstead ofCaraat 66 ‘Minutes
- 19AlarmInstead ofSulsbacherat 78 ‘Minutes
- Radu Marian Petresku
Match ends, Arsenal 4, SK Rapid Wein 1.
Second Half ends, Arsenal 4, SK Rapid Wein 1.
Attempt saved. Danny Ceballos (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the middle of the goal. Willian help.
The attempt was lost. Florin Bologn (Arsenal) right footed shot from the center of the box is too high. Danny Ceballos helps with a cross.
The attempt was lost. Willian (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Danny Ceballos helps out following a set piece situation.
Florin Bologn (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the offensive half.
Mistake made by Mario Sonlightener (SK Rapid Wein).
Corner, Arsenal. Lucas Sulsbacher surrendered.
Attempt saved. Pablo Marre (Arsenal) header from the center of the box was saved in the top center of the goal. Assistance of Nicholas Pepe with a cross.
Corner, Arsenal. Ercon Cara won.
Attempt blocked. Florin Bologn (Arsenal) header from the center of the box is blocked. Assistance of Nicholas Pepe with a cross.
Corner, Arsenal. Thornton Schick surrendered.
The attempt was lost. Pablo Marre (Arsenal) header from the center of the box is high and to the left. Cedric Soares’ help with a cross following an angle.
Corner, Arsenal. Matteo conquered Barack.
Handball Ercon Cara (SK Rapid Wein).
The attempt was lost. The Chamber of Commerce (Arsenal) title is lost to the left from the center of the box. Willian’s help with a cross following an angle.
Substitute, Arsenal. Florin Bologn replaces Eddie Neketia.
Corner, Arsenal. Conquered by Richard Stribinger.
Attempt saved. Danny Ceballos (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top of the goal.
Mario Sonlightener (SK Rapid Wein) is shown a yellow card for handball.
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