Arsenal get elusive away win in Wenger’s final farewell
Aubameyang provides winning finale to Frenchman's 22 years in charge of the Gunners
13 May, 2018 — By Richard Osley
FA Premier League
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0
ARSENAL 1 (Aubameyang 38)
ONE of the slightly unfortunate ironies of Arsene Wenger’s departure at Arsenal is that he is leaving just months after signing the goal-greedy striker the club has been missing for years.
The Gunners manager toiled with the inconsistencies of Olivier Giroud and waited and waited for Theo Walcott to come good, but only now does the club seem to have acquired somebody able to clock in at least 20 goals per season. He’s only been here since January and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has netted ten times in thirteen matches. Even after leaving Borussia Dortmund halfway through the season, he’s ended up as the fifth highest scorer in the Bundesliga.
His arrival has certainly softened the blow of losing Alexis Sanchez, and, when played in the same line-up as Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal’s next manager has an exciting forward line to play with. We all know whoever that may be just needs to toughen up the midfield, perhaps by not showing Granit Xhaka unopposed loyalty, and reframe the defence.
Aubameyang scored the only goal this afternoon (Sunday) as Arsenal won their first away match of 2018; just in time to make sure Wenger left with a win. The Gabon forward slid in low to convert Aaron Ramsey’s ball across the box. Ian Wright scored the first goal of the Wenger regime at Arsenal all those years ago, Aubameyang scored the last with this strike; there is a fair comparison to make, even if at 28, Aubameyang will not trouble the club’s all time records.
For Huddersfield’s part, the hosts, secure for another season in the Premier League, seemed happy to be staging a historic moment in English football. Wenger was given gifts to mark the day and a guard of honour was once again formed for the Arsenal manager before kick off. On the 22nd minute, home and away fans chanted his name to mark his contribution. Everybody seems clear that we are unlikely to see a manager stay at a club for 22 years again.
“I should have announced every week I retire,” Wenger said. “People are so nice since I said that.”
He had bowed in front of the Arsenal fans who had travelled to see his final game in charge.
“It was spontaneous because I know that we’ve disappointed the away fans this season, that many of them they live the whole week and use their spare money to travel up to games,” he explained. “It’s part of the respect. We had disagreements which I accept but we had one thing in common: we loved Arsenal football club and I wanted to share that with them today.”
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN: Lossl, Hadergjonaj, Lowe, Zanka, Schindler, Kongolo, Hogg (Whitehead), Ince (Depoitre), Mooy, Pritchard, Mounie (Billing)
Subs not used: Coleman, Sabiri, Smith, Stankovic
ARSENAL: Ospina, Bellerin, Kolasinac (Monreal), Holding, Mustafi, Xhaka, Iwobi (Maitland-Niles), Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang (Welbeck), Lacazette
Subs not used: Macey, Mertesacker, Nketiah, Willock