UEFA Europa League 2018-19, Arsenal 1-0 Qarabag: 5 Talking Points
Arsenal coasted to a 1-0 victory over Qarabag at the Emirates in their final group game. The Gunners were already assured of top spot, yet kept their concentration to ensure a fifth straight clean sheet in the competition.
The home side dominated possession throughout the game and barely let the away team have any goal-scoring opportunities. Arsenal were rewarded for their domination in the 16th minute when Lacazette fired from a tight angle to give the Gunners the lead.
The goal eventually proved to be the difference in a match that lacked goalmouth action and attacking verve.
Here is a look at five talking points from the game:
5. A strange atmosphere at the Emirates
Arsenal came into the game with top spot sealed while Qarabag were not in the running for a knock-out berth. With not much riding on the game, the two sides played out a dull affair with only a handful of clear-cut chances through the ninety minutes.
Moreover, the game was played out in front of a half-empty Emirates stadium. It is hard to remember the last time the Emirates was so quiet and unoccupied. with probably last season’s home game against Manchester City coming closest to tonight’s odd atmosphere. Since Emery’s appointment in the summer, there has been a feel-good factor to all of the home games; something which certainly wasn’t the case during Wenger’s last season.
However, with the game not holding much significance, the majority of the Gooners decided to stay away. Coupled with the chilly conditions, the vacant seats contributed to the atmosphere resembling a reserve game.
The players, too, were in part responsible and didn’t do a lot on the pitch to lift those present.
Thus, a combination of these factors led to a rather serene Emirates on Thursday night.