Starting XI: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Lacazette
Subs: Macey, Maitland-Niles, Mertesacker, Monreal, Willock, Welbeck, Nketiah
So that is that. After 1,235 games in charge, Arsene Wenger’s tenure as Arsenal manager is over.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Frenchman’s final acquisition, scored the only goal as the Gunners ended their winless run on the road in 2018 with a 1-0 win against Huddersfield.
We finish the season in sixth place and with the closing of an unforgettable chapter in our great club’s prestigious history.
Having seen their team secure their Premier League status at Stamford Bridge in midweek, the Huddersfield supporters were, understandably, in a celebratory mood. The home fans had been treated to free t-shirts for the occasion ensuring the terraces shimmered blue and white in the early summer sunshine.
With the pressure off David Wagner’s players, there was a freedom about the home side’s attacking play that appeared to take the Arsenal players off guard. In the opening 15 minutes, the Terriers might have opened the scoring on four occasions. Ospina got down low to claim a header by Mounie, Kongolo and Schindler had shots blocked at close range and Tom Ince fired over the bar with the goal gaping.
A tame Ramsey curler aside, the only thing the away support had to cheer was the sight of two planes flying overhead with messages of thanks for Arsene Wenger. “MERCI ARSENE, WE’LL MISS YOU TOO” said the first. Moments later the cameras spotted another, this one trailing #ONEARSENEWENGER – ARSENAL LEGEND”.
Quick to highlight the fickleness of the gesture, the home support sang, “You wanted him out, you wanted him out, you two-faced bastards, you wanted him out.” The away end hit back with, “Herbert Chapman, he left ‘cos you’re shit” – a devilish nod to the two clubs’ shared ex-manager.
Not that they needed to, but the home fans were quick to redeem themselves. In the 22nd minute, in a classy pre-planned gesture, they marked Wenger’s 22-years in charge at Arsenal with a standing ovation. It took Arsene a while to realise what was going on, but when he finally twigged he clambered from the bench to soak up the sustained applause.
On the pitch, we gradually grew in confidence and started to create more in the final third. Kolasinac nearly converted a Mustafi flick from a Mkhitaryan corner on 27 minutes and the Armenian had an effort deflected just wide three minutes later.
The home side, who’d initially been so energetic, started to sit deeper. Perhaps their night out in London nightspot Chinawhite on Wednesday night was catching up with them?
On 37 minutes we made our pressure pay. Mkhitaryan and Lazacaztte combined to free Ramsey, who, having burst through defence, flicked a ball across goal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to bundle home from close range at the back post. (1-0)
It was the Gabon international’s 10th goal for the Gunners since signing from Borussia Dortmund in January – he’s the fastest in the club’s history to reach that milestone, doing so in just 13 games. Whoever comes in as the next coach is lucky to have a player with such an eye for goal.
Huddersfield were quick out of the traps after the break although they were more frantic than controlled with their efforts at goal. Mounie’s air shot as he attempted an overhead kick summed things up nicely.
At the other end, Aubameyang twice failed to make the most of well-worked positions, as did Kolasinac who burst to the byline but couldn’t find anyone with his pull-back.
Ospina, who’d earlier needed treatment having had his foot stood on, made a smart stop to deny Ince’s low drive on the diagonal. Holding was lucky that a clumsy challenge on Moonie went unpunished as Michael Oliver opted to play on.
While Ospina received more treatment, this time after a clash with Schindler, Wenger sent on Welbeck and Monreal for Aubameyang and Kolasinac. You can guess for yourselves which minute he made that decision. Soon after Iwobi departed to be replaced by Maitland-Niles.
Our most promising play came down the left but we lacked ruthlessness in and around the box. Lacazette and Welbeck both squandered glorious chances to put the game to bed. Lossl stood tall to collect the Frenchman’s dinked effort and then denied the England international with his feet.
With only two minutes remaining Mooy thought he’d grabbed an equaliser only to see his effort crash off the bar and over. Wenger paced about his technical area looking very concerned. “Forty-nine, forty-nine undefeated,” sang the travelling fans – a lovely tribute to the Frenchman’s greatest achievement at the club.
Deep into stoppage-time there was one final heart-stopping moment as a backtracking Ospina made a desperate save to protect the Gunners lead. A small scuffle ensued and then the final whistle. The cameras turned to Arsene Wenger, he shook hands with Wagner and headed straight down the tunnel. One-nil to the Arsenal. Weirdly fitting.
A pitch invasion by the home support denied the boss an immediate chance to thank the travelling Gooners one last time, however, after a short break he revisited the Gunners end and was mobbed by those who remained. He looked genuinely happy.
Merci Arsene. You will never be forgotten.
1 nil to the Arsenal. Good send off for Wenger’s last match on a nothing day otherwise.
Wish him all the best forever.
Merci beaucoup Arsene.
Feel sure Arsene will return in the future in an upstairs role once the club has found its new way of working.
Thanks for all the good things that you bought to AFC. You will be missed greatly.
Merci Arsene.We wil miss you.
Ironic to end with a 1-0 to the Arsenal. #MerciArsene
I truly think that it was the club’s cosmic way of saying goodbye to Arsene!
Talking of Irony them same fans chanting you wanted him out will probably be calling for Wagner’s head early next season if they have a poor start. It is a funny old world after all.
Yes we finally won away and it’s the perfect send off for Arsene. Thanks Boss, for your hard work and dedication these 22 years. Have a good summer.
3 of our bogey teams relegated as well, lavvvvvly
Well,wish the other 16 were to be relegated as well…
And maybe Stoke, again. Just for good measure.
1,2,3,5 all prime numbers. He may divide opinion, but you can’t divide them.
Merci Arsene, that one final beautiful Wengerball goal was a fitting send off.
Love the message, but the pedant in me needs to point out that 1 is not a prime number 🙂
Already miss him like a family member. Good and bad he only has the club at heart. Merci Arsene. Love you.
Au revior, Arsene 🙁
Something fitting about how it all ended. 1 nil to the Arsenal.
Farewell Le Boss.
Au revoir M. Wenger
Btw wtf was wrong with mkhtaryan
Had a hand in the goal. Him and Laca combined well for it.
Sooooo….. I like this new #14 we’ve got. Far better than the old one. Not quite as good as the one that came before last, though. At least, not yet. And as good as he is, asking him to be as good as that #14 might be a bit beyond him. But he’s been amazing thus far. Anyway, great to send Arsene off with a final victory. He would have deserved at least that much. And on we come to the offseason, and a new chapter in our club’s history. I just pray that the man who will be leading… Read more »
if he keeps up this pace, he’ll be remembered as just as good, but not as tenured. mark my words
on a related note, imagine if we’d gotten him three or four seasons ago when the rumblings started. i’d wager that this wouldn’t have been arsene’s last game had that been the case
Love you arsene
I love this guy
Thank God Almighty, he’s free at last. Merci!
Lot of fans wanted Arsenal to give all the money in the world to Alexis because he can’t be replaced. We now have a guy who scores for fun.
We have 2, and another creative player
Auba seems like much less of a dick as well
That boy has a great smile! And he scores for fun. Seems unselfish too. What’s not to like??
and far superior goal celebrations
Just I feel really really sad… if by any chance you add comments on here Arsene, thank you, so, so much!
At least we eventually won an away game in time to send Arsene off with a smile on his face.
Now it’s all eyes on next season to see if his prediction of being able to challenge for the title was not just another empty promise.
Enjoy a long and happy retirement Arsene, you’ll always be welcomed back to the stadium you helped to build and the legacy of Invincibles.
If anything the last game in charge resonates all the issues with the team : 1) Inexplicable substitutions. Taking off the 3 players making the most impact – Iwobi, Aubameyang, Kolasinac. 2) Lack of width, Fullbacks have to push forward with resultant issues behind them. What price Mahrez? 3) Lack of midfield control. We lack a player comfortable holding the ball and moving it around by feet without Jack. We have not replace Santi’s full capability in retaining ball possession for us. INstead, many of our players when under close pressure are unable to turn. 4) Sold Giroud too early.… Read more »
Not the send off I would have wanted for Wenger.
That would have been at very least Europa finals but alas he did not throw in the kitchen sink second leg.
Still, good to see the planes flying in honour of him now and special touch from the Huddersfield fans. Class.
You can clearly see how much more appreciative other fans are to Wenger knowing how difficult it is what he has done for the club in growing it and giving it a brand of football sadly we have flattered to deliver consistently over more recent years.
All the best Arsene and best wishes for the future!
Ramsey was playing center forward for the last 20 minutes. Was he injured If yes, then why did Iwobi go off, instead of him?
Ramsey likes playing centre forward and fuck everybody else. PLEASE can we sell him for lots of money in the summer and get a real midfielder?
What we need is a real playmaking winger. Honestly, if a club offer 60-80 million for Ramsey (or more, lol), we should bite their hand off as we take it. Use that money to buy us a playmaking winger. Ramsey’s big problem is that his most useful ability (those runs from deep and through the center) leave the center of midfield completely exposed against a side of great/elite quality. Those runs don’t mesh well with Ozil’s tendencies to build from the middle (they crowd him and narrow the attack), and they expose whoever happens to be “playing DM” that day… Read more »
We’ve got a box to box midfielder who’s combined goals and assists per 90 mins is 0.75. That’s excellent to have.
11 goals and 9 assists in PL and Europe in 27 starts.
If he plays 40 games at that rate next season, that’s 30 combined goals and assists. For someone who’d tracking back and fighting in MF, that’s top drawer.
Only wish we had one more game, the euro final, would have been a fantastic end to his reign
Since he announced his decision to leave Arsenal, I’ve been silent and haven’t expressed online how much the Boss has meant to me. It feels weird saying goodbye to one of the main constants I’ve had in my life since I was 14 years old, incidentally coming after the time I really got into football (Euro ’96). Arsene, you’ve divided opinion of late, but, as the outpouring of love has shown since you announced your departure, you are still massively loved and respected for everything you’ve done for our club. You’ve been someone who has always talked with intelligence, and… Read more »
May sound crazy but I genuinely miss the trophy drought period. We saw the best of Wenger at that time. Looking back, it seemed like an impossible job.
Wenger was truly Arsenal.
If the spirit of Arsenal was to take a human form then that is Wenger.
I will miss him.
Thanks for the memory Arsene, now its time for us to move on!
I feel… Odd, now AW is done. Weird. For all the reasons certain fans think he has lasted longer than he shoyld have, we must also be so, so thankful. Keeping our club (and his!) In the CL against all those financial odds, for all those years… Whilst we got this magnificent stadium aaaand saw some beautiful football… There will never be another Wenger in the game. Now he joins Fergie (the other truly great manager) by leaving his legacy behind. Merci. Merci beacoup!
Mun gode Wenger (Thank you Wenger)
Auba isn’t the fastest to 10 goals. Wrighty did it in 9. But that was Div1 not the EPL.
Banters just lovely