Arsenal thrash Burnley in perfect Emirates farewell to Wenger

Arsenal 5 Burnley 0
Aubameyang 14,75 Lacazette 45+3, Kolasinac 54, Iwobi 64

Arsenal’s farewell home game under Arsene Wenger at the Emirates was a rousing five star performance to thrash Burnley 5-0. Whatever may transpire from now on in, in the search for Wenger’s replacement, the new incoming Arsenal manager will inherit a youthful side with an attack combination of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette with the supply lines furnished from the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The first two of that trio were on target here, an Aubameyang opener with Lacazette, Sead Kolasinac, Alex Iwobi and the final strike courtesy of Arsenal’s number 14 to seal a memorable win. Celebrations of the achievements of Arsenal’s most successful manager commenced after the final whistle where a presentation to commemorate the 2003-04 season of the Invincibles was presented in the north London sunshine to Wenger following a current and former player guard of honour.

Arsenal suffer Atletico nightmare at the hands of Costa

Atletico Madrid 1 Arsenal 0
Costa 45+2
(2-1 on aggregate)

There will be no fairytale ending for Arsene Wenger who saw Arsenal succumb to a 2-1 aggregate loss against Atletico Madrid in their Europa League semi-final second leg in Spain. With the scores level at 1-1 from the first leg at the Emirates, the Gunners’ inability to take their chances at home against Atletico who were reduced to ten men after ten minutes a week ago came back to cost them. Inevitably it was a goal from their former Chelsea nemesis Diego Costa which did the damage deep in first half injury time on a night in which despite playing a good game, Arsenal could never muster any period of sustained pressure to break Jan Oblak’s goal. The giant keeper did have to react quickly to deny Granit Xhaka, and Aaron Ramsey was unable to shift his shape quickly enough to shoot when close. So after 22 years at the club, Wenger will leave Arsenal after the away game at Huddersfield with Sunday’s hosting of Burnley his farewell home game.

United in late winner in Wenger’s final Old Trafford visit

Manchester United 2 Arsenal 1
Pogba 16, Fellaini 91, Mkhitaryan 51

Arsene Wenger’s final match as Arsenal manager ended in injury time heartache when Maroune Fellaini headed in the winner for Manchester United. Paul Pogba put United ahead in after sixteen minutes and the home side looked comfortable against a very inexperienced Gunners line up. Former United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan levelled six minutes after the break and honours even seemed to be about the right result until the late drama. In the first minute of the four of time added on, Fellaini rose to head past David Ospina as Arsenal once again lost focus so close to the end. The Gunners poor away form continues. Wenger’s men remain the only side without an away point this year. Following the announcement that Wenger will leave N5 at the end of the season, current and former managerial foes Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho presented a pre-match silver commemorative vase to the Frenchman in recognition of his 22 years at Arsenal, and at the scene of some very memorable battles between the two clubs, Wenger was afforded unusually warm applause from the Old Trafford faithful.

Ten man Atletico late leveller leaves Europa League semi-final in the balance

Arsenal 1 Atletico Madrid 1
Lacazette 61, Griezmann 82

If Arsenal are to deliver Arsene Wenger a trophy in his final season at the club, then they’ll have to do it the hard way. Part one of the plan was going well initially when Alexandre Lacazette rose to head in from Jack Wilshere’s cross just past the hour mark. Atletico had been reduced to ten men after ten minutes when Sime Vrsaljko was dismissed for two yellow cards following fouls on Jack Wilshere and Lacazette. Atletico manger Diego Simeone protested rather too much for the referee’s liking and was promptly sent to the stands following what he felt was a yellow card for Hector Bellerin. Despite his absence and the absence of a player, his side defended resolutely and repelled wave after wave of Arsenal attacks, with Jan Oblak defying everything sent at him. Finally beaten by Lacazette, however the Gunners looked favourites to hold onto their lead going into next week’s second leg Europa League semi-final in Madrid. However, a long ball over the top with comical defending from Laurent Koscileny and Shkodran Mustafi who slipped on the line to let Antoine Griezmann for one of the easiest of goals he’ll ever score. It was entirely avoidable, it wasn’t David Ospina’s finest hour either, and a penny for the thoughts of substitute keeper Petr Cech?

Wenger, the footballing genius, creator of the Invincibles says Au Revoir

His departure from Arsenal may have been widely expected, however the consensus seemed to be that he would see out the final year of this current two year deal and the club will then seek to replace him after next season. So last week’s shock announcement that after 22 years, Wenger would leave Arsenal in the summer came as a bolt from the blue as in Wenger, here is a man who has always remained loyal to the length of his contract. Talk of him jumping before he was pushed began to surface, but the official club statement spoke of Wenger himself coming to the conclusion that it was time to go. However following Arsenal’s 4-1 demolition of West Ham last Sunday, Wenger appeared to hint at other scenarios, which he did not want to elaborate on at this time, but seemed at odds with last week’s announcement. Then Wenger told the club’s website, “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.

Rampant Arsenal thrash Hammers

Arsenal 4 West Ham United 1
Monreal 51, Ramsey 82 Lacazette 85, 89 Arnautovic 64

It was perhaps the best response following the dramatic announcement that Arsene Wenger would leave Arsenal after 22 years at the helm. The farewell will last three home games, the first of which got off to a great start with Sunday’s 4-1 thrashing of West Ham United. 0-0 at the break, goals from Nacho Monreal, Aaron Ramsey and a double from Alexandre Lacazette ensured the Gunners kept their good home form going, despite being pegged back at 1-1 when Marko Arnautovic levelled after Monreal had given Arsenal the lead. Playing their pass and move, Arsenal looked stylish n the sunshine, although their defensive frailties continue to worry.

Toon recover to inflict more Wenger away day woe

Newcastle United 2 Arsenal 1
Perez 29, Ritchie 68, Lacazette 14

End of term. You know that feeling. All academia has been largely surmounted, it’s just the results that matter but you still have to turn up for lessons. Arsenal were certainly given another Premier League away day lesson, despite having taken the lead through Alexandre Lacazette. But when will they learn to keep what they hold and then build on it ? Making sure of their top flight status for another season, kudos to Rafa Benitez who despite having virtually nothing in the way of funds or support from Newcastle United’s owner, he does however have the players on side with the exception of maybe a certain striker. Ayoze Perez’s leveller lifted the mood on Tyneside and Matt Ritchie ensured that the home side had their first win over the Gunners in 13 years. Arsenal have their eye on Europa League success as the springboard to Champions League football next season, but first they must overcome Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals. At least they’ll have close to their strongest line up possible out there, unlike here where the players’ minds seemed elsewhere

Arsenal reach Europa League semi-finals where Atletico Madrid now wait

CSKA Moscow 2 Arsenal 2
Chalov 39, Nababkin 50 Welbeck 75, Ramsey 92 (3-6 agg)

Arsenal came thorough a tough examination of their Europa League credentials despite an initial scare in Russia. Having been down 1-0 at half time to CSKA in Moscow, they fell further behind, before eventually coming through to reach the last four with goals from Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey to level 2-2 on the night. Having had a 4-1 lead from the first leg at the Emirates, the Gunners should have been out of sight, however they conceded when Fedor Chalov and Kirill Nababkin strikes threatened another shock European comeback. At 2-2, Arsenal not only rallied but held off the Russian side with Mohamed Elneny having his best game for the Gunners. His two assists and combative midfield game provided the catalyst for his side’s turnaround. Arsenal were drawn to face Atletico Madrid in the Europe League semi-finals, with Marseille facing Salzburg in the other tie.

Both sides see red but Arsenal see off dogged Saints

Arsenal 3 Southampton 2
Aubameyang 28, Welbeck 38, 81 Long 17, Austin 73

Danny Welbeck scored a double to lead Arsenal to an eventful win over Southampton at the Emirates stadium. Shane Long had given the visitors the lead after Shkodran Mustafi failed to clear the ball and in nipped Long. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang levelled for the Gunners with Welbeck then giving Arsenal the lead after a solo run and shot. Minutes after his second half introduction, Charlie Austin tapped in to make it 2-2 and having missed a sitter moments earlier, Welbeck headed in from Iwobi’s cross to give Arsenal the lead they would hold on to. Both sides were reduced to ten men when Jack Stephens was red carded for raising his hands on Jack Wilshere. Matters were evened up a minute later following the fall out from the initial red card, Mohamed Elneny was shown a red card for what appeared to also be raised hands.

Arsenal make giant leap to Europa semi-final with CSKA demolition

Arsenal 4 CSKA Moscow 1
Ramsey 9, 28, Lacazette 23, pen 35 Golovin 15

Almost there. That will be the Arsenal thinking after they blitzed CSKA Moscow 4-1 in the first half at the Emirates stadium in their Europa League quarter final first leg. Two goals each from Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette underlined the Gunners superiority over the Russian side, although there was a minor scare when Alexsandr Golovin delivered a pinpoint free kick to then make it 1-1 after 15 minutes. Mesut Özil was in superb form, and his run earned the penalty after being bundled over by Georgi Schennikov. Lacazette despatched the penalty to restore Arsenal’s lead. Ramsey had earlier given the Gunners the lead, and his second was an exquisite finish from Özil’s pass to make it 3-1. Out on the sidelines, Özil was again the instigator, cutting back for Lacazette to fire in his second and Arsenal’s fourth of the night. There looked to be more goals in the game, and although Ramsey had chances to compete his hat trick, CSKA keeper Igor Akinfeev led a charmed life with either the finishing or the post preventing further damage to the Russian side.