Arsenal’s 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion consigned the Baggies to a 2021/22 campaign spent in the Championship after their relegation was confirmed.
First half goals from Emile Smith Rowe and Nicolas Pepe ensured Mikel Arteta’s side were comfortable at the interval, before a Matheus Pereira strike sobered up the hosts.
A nervy few minutes ensued, before former Chelsea winger Willian bagged his first goal for the Gunners in spectacular fashion.
The Brazilian arrowed a free-kick into the top-left corner of Sam Johnstone’s net, with even Willian himself breaking into a wry smile of relief after nearly eight months without a goal.
The incident provoked quite the reaction from delighted Arsenal fans, who took to social media to express both their surprise and delight in equal measure.
Twitter user @SemperfiArsenal wrote: “Admin could finally tweet the gif saved in the drafts for 8 months.”
It has been a lengthy wait for the Willian’s first strike, but his first effort was beautifully struck and will feel like a weight lifted from the Brazilian’s shoulders.
Fellow Arsenal fan @Charliehanns0n claimed: “Saved this gif for the whole season.”
Other Gunners fans took the chance to actually bemoan the timing of the goal, accusing Willian of finally delivering when the pressure is off, the game of very little significance to Arsenal.
@Kendrick_Amazin appeared frustrated as he tweeted: “First goal comes when there’s nothing to play for.”
The result lifts Arsenal to ninth, taking them above Leeds and three points adrift off eighth-placed Everton, though the Toffees have a game in hand.