Arsenal beat Rapid Vienna 4-1 to guarantee the top spot in Group B of the Europa League on Thursday night at Emirates stadium. Arsenal became the first Premier League club to welcome back fans since March after London was moved to tier-2 lockdown.
This meant that Gunners could host 2000 fans inside the Emirates Stadium for each home match.
Gunners sold out their 2,000 tickets, which were distributed on a ‘first come, first served’ basis – inside 20 minutes.
As expected ‘We hate Tottenham’ was the first audible chant ahead of Sunday’s North London Derby. Arsenal fans were treated to an impressive performance as Mikel Arteta’s men turned on the style to make easy work of their opposition.
Captain Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring with a fierce 30-yard stunner as the ball swerved past the Rapid Vienna Goalkeeper. Pablo Mari returning from a Knee Injury made it 2-0, with a glancing header from Reiss Nelson’s corner.
Lacazette playing in a deeper role, was the star of the show as Arsenal played some scintillating football in front of the returning fans. And was again involved in Arsenal’s 3rd goal. As it was his perfect through ball that sent Nicolas Pepe clear in the build-up for Arsenal’s third which was finished off by Eddie Nketiah to make it 3-0.
Koya Kitagawa pulled one back for the visitors at the start of the second half. But Arsenal got their 3 goal advantage back as Emile Smith Rowe finished from Ainsley Maitland Niles assist to make it 4-1 to the Gunners. Rapid Vienna sits in 3rd spot with 6 points and needs a win against Molde on matchday 6 to qualify for Europa League knockouts.
However, after the disappointment in recent home games, this was a much-needed victory for Arsenal ahead of the trip to Premier League leaders Tottenham Hotspur for the season’s first North London derby on Sunday. Arsenal are currently 8 points below their city rivals. But a win against the Spurs could prove to be a much-needed spring in their step.
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