It was a bad night for Arsenal on Thursday, the latest in a string of poor displays in what has been a horrible season.
Questions are now being asked of manager Mikel Arteta following a mess of a campaign, which, after a 0-0 draw in their must-win semi-final against Villarreal means Arsenal face the possibility of no European football for the first time in 25 years.
Arteta will be feeling the pressure after his side showed no real enthusiasm to go and get themselves into a European final. In what was a season-defining night, the North London outfit looked gutless and attacked with little pace or conviction.
The upsetting thing for most fans is that it didn’t even look like some of their team were trying to make something happen. Club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post twice – once from a rare bit of innovation in the box, the other from a header a few yards out after what was Arsenal’s only real moment of encouraging play.
But other than that, the only time they came close was when academy graduate Emile Smith Rowe very nearly scored with a chipped curler into the right-hand corner, a chance that was difficult to execute anyways.
The youngster was, quite frankly, one of the few shining lights in an otherwise horribly bleak display. He showed glimpses of raw attacking talent in a deeper role than he would’ve liked, and certainly never stopped pressing when his side didn’t have the ball.
Luckily for him, judging by the reaction on social media, Arsenal fans have recognised and applauded the fact that he showed some desperately needed passion.
Take a look at what’s been said on Twitter.
The Gunners host relegation bound West Brom on Sunday but have just four games left to salvage any sort of pride from a season they’ll want to put behind them very, very quickly.
And they will be hoping for more from their senior players, who were left in the shade by Smith Rowe on Thursday night.