Arsenal’s season is all but over after they bowed out of the UEFA Europa League at the semi-final stage following a goalless draw with Villarreal in the second-leg of their semi-final showdown at the Emirates Stadium this evening.
Trailing 2-1 from the first-leg in Spain last week, the Gunners were unable to find the goal that they desperately craved in order to book a trip to Gdansk later this month to battle it out with Premier League rivals Manchester United for a piece of silverware.
On a night where Kieran Tierney was recalled to the team at the very last moment following an injury to Granit Xhaka in the warm-up, the Gunners were unable to find a route back into the contest, meaning former boss Unai Emery now has the opportunity to try and lift the Europa League title for the fourth time in his managerial career.
Although the Gunners did have chances to find the one goal they needed to win the contest 1-0 and advance on the away-goals rule, their efforts were to no avail, as Villarreal stood firm and got the job done.
However, the result has left Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta under increasing pressure from the supporters, with the club now facing the prospect of going without any form of European football next season as they are currently ninth in the Premier League table.
In truth, Arteta was in trouble with the fans before the contest had even begun, with numerous supporters blasting his decision to leave Brazilian starlet Gabriel Martinelli out of the starting line-up after producing such an impressive performance against Newcastle United at the weekend.
During the second half, though, the supporters turned on Arteta even more so, this time for his decision to take Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang off when they desperately craved a goal.
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Remarkably, just minutes before making way, Aubameyang had gone within inches of handing the Gunners the lead, heading Hector Bellerin’s cross onto the post.
Unsurprisingly, the fans vented anger and frustration at Arteta for his decision to take off the captain.
Here, football.london has taken a close look at what some Gunners fans had to say on social media.
As you can see from the tweets above, Gunners fans are both baffled and angry with Arteta’s decision to take off the club’s biggest goal threat in a game of such importance.
Although a post-mortem into what went wrong will only just be getting underway, this decision of Arteta’s may take time for some Arsenal fans to forgive him for.
For some, it may well have been the final straw.