Arsenal gave Arsene Wenger a memorable Emirates Stadium send-off as the outgoing boss saw his side thrash Burnley.
The Gunners were too strong for a side who could have easily spoilt Wenger’s final home game in charge, with his tenure as Arsenal manager coming to a close at the end of the campaign.
Instead, they outclassed Burnley and ran out comfortable 5-0 winners as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang grabbed a brace with Alexandre Lacazette, Sead Kolasinac and Alex Iwobi also getting their names on the scoresheet.
Arsenal’s record signing continued his impressive goal-scoring form since his January switch from Borussia Dortmund, making it eight Premier League strikes in 11 games with instinctive finishes to start and end the scoring.
With all the attention on Wenger, it was easy to forget there was a match going on before Aubameyang got things going with the 14th minute opener. Alex Iwobi’s superb dinked pass played in Alexandre Lacazette on the right and he drilled powerfully across goal for Gabon international Aubameyang to slide home from close range.
There was a jubilant – albeit, at times, slightly subdued – atmosphere in the north London sunshine. Arsenal paid tribute to their outgoing manager by handing out t-shirts emblazoned with the message ‘Merci Arsene’ to all home supporters and they responded by singing the Frenchman’s name. Chants of ‘There’s only one Arsene Wenger’ and ‘Arsene give us a wave’ could be heard at regular intervals and the celebratory mood was improved by a dominant performance on the pitch.
After emerging from the tunnel to a guard of honour formed by players from both clubs and the match officials, Wenger clapped the home crowd before quickly retreating to the familiarity of the dugout. He remained seated for the majority of the game and appeared slightly embarrassed by the fuss and attention.
Sunday’s game was Wenger’s 606th – and final – home match in charge of the Gunners. His first was on October 19 1996 when Coventry secured a goalless draw at Highbury. Burnley boss Sean Dyche played for Chesterfield in the third tier on that day.
Arsenal: Petr Cech (out of 10) 7, Hector Bellerin 7, Calum Chambers 6, Konstantinos Mavropanos 7, Sead Kolasinac 7, Granit Xhaka 6, Jack Wilshere 6, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 7, Alex Iwobi 8, Alexandre Lacazette 8, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 8. Substitutes: Aaron Ramsey (on for Wilshere, 72) 5, Danny Welbeck (on for Lacazette, 72) 5, Per Mertesacker (on for Chambers, 77) 6.
Burnley: Nick Pope 5, Matthew Lowton 6, James Tarkowski 6, Kevin Long 6, Stephen Ward 5, Aaron Lennon 5, Ashley Westwood 6, Jeff Hendrick 5, Jack Cork 65 Johann Berg Gudmundsson 6, Ashley Barnes 5. Substitutes: Sam Vokes (on for Barnes, 22) 6, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (on for Lennon, 71) 5, Nahki Wells (on for Gudmundsson, 89) 5.
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