Arsenal fans clash over team's way forward after Baku meltdown
Arsenal and Chelsea fans celebrated when their teams made it to the Europa League final, with both sides producing stunning displays in their respective semi-final matches. Chelsea beat Frankfurt on penalties while Arsenal made light work of Valencia.
It feels good when fans from one country unite behind one team against another from a different country. But this one was a little different with two sides from the same country and cities pitched against each other.
On Thursday, May 29, at exactly 22:00 hours East African time, the two teams kicked off what was expected to be a clash of the titans - two top London clubs in contention for European glory.
The first half was a bit cagey with the Gunners showing signs of promise by testing Chelsea custodian Kepa Arrizabalaga.
After a stalemate in the first half, Chelsea took things a notch higher in the second by taking the fight to Arsenal's territory.
Chelsea's newfound energy in the second period opened a floodgate of goals - started by ex-Arsenal man Olivier Giroud.
Hazard then set up Pedro Rodriguez for the Blues' second before grabbing a double of his own, including a penalty on either side of Alex Iwobi's consolation for Arsenal.
If local London derbies are anything to go by, then the five goals scored on Thursday night didn't come as a surprise.
London derbies make up some of the most entertaining fixtures in the Premier League, where bragging rights keep changing hands and on Thursday, it was Chelsea's turn.
While west London celebrated, things in the north didn't go according to plan, as many fans were left heartbroken wondering what the trophy parade would have been like if Arsenal won.
Many fans have expressed their disappointment on social media but the most notable factor about their reactions is how they're divided on the club's performance and way forward.
Even club legend Martin Keown expressed disappointment on Thursday night's performance.
According to him, the defeat is another sign of the club's decline and leaves them with little hope of building for a top-four finish in the Premier League next term.
'It was a system failure for Arsenal, Chelsea were too good for Arsenal tonight. It really magnifies the decline of Arsenal football club. It's nowhere near the club it once was.
'Whether it was Arsene Wenger was there too long. Recruitment is what it has to be, and I don't know if the budget is there to bring Arsenal into the top four next season.
'You mention about keeping the players. Aubameyang and Lacazette, it won't be easy to hold onto those players. It severely dents the budget. Maybe £40million worse off.
'He's [Unai Emery] put a lot of work into this, tried to wring out intensity. The judgement of players, the type of player that's been bought has been more technical, and the, toughness, steeliness doesn't seem to be there.
'They conceded 51 goals last year, 51 this year, it's the same group of players, so a major change is needed. Where's the money gonna go from? Is the owner gonna put his own money in for once?
'I think Emery is the right manager but he needs to be supported. He is a good coach and he has got desire. Unfortunately, he has got more desire than a lot of his players.' Said Keown on BT Sport.
Here are some of the social media posts by arsenal fans as seen by Game Yetu:
So we won't have money to strengthen.
I'd bring the kids through.
Iwobi, Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Willock, Nketiah.
They'll make mistakes, but they all care!
Some of the high paid 'stars' don't give a toss... #Arsenal — Carl Bövis ? (@CarlBovis_AFC) May 29, 2019
Yep, Pick yourself up, dust yoself off and march on with new hope.
We are #Arsenal. We else do we do? We march on. Our Jersey, red like blood, blood never stops moving.
We're down now but 2moro we'll be up again, seeking glory. Doesn't matter how long it takes, someday it'll come pic.twitter.com/oiHkKPTOfr — Napoleone Ehmah (@NapoleoneEm) May 29, 2019
Can we please focus our attention on our pathetic owner rather than the manager. Since he gained majority ownership we have gone backwards and for first time in our history an owner has taken money OUT of the club through his so called consultancy fee. #Arsenal #KroenkeOut — #KroenkeOUT (@Clockend_Gooner) May 29, 2019
Please don’t tell me us fans don’t care or a defeat doesn’t hurt. A defeat hurts us fans more than it’ll ever hurt any player or manager... ????#Arsenal #AFC — Mr Fane ???????????????????????????? (@MrFane87) May 29, 2019
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