Arsenal’s 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion threw up a number of talking points, including Sam Allardyce’s first taste of Premier League reaction, but Willian’s first Arsenal goal was a light-hearted subplot.
After 34 Premier League match-weeks had passed without the Brazilian even coming close to finding the net, the former Chelsea winger arrowed a spectacular free-kick into the top left corner to seal the Baggies’ fate as a Championship side next season.
Already leading 2-1 courtesy of goals from Emile Smith Rowe and Nicolas Pepe before the break, which were followed by a Matheus Pereira strike for West Brom – Willian wrapped up the three points for Mikel Arteta’s side, their first win at home in six attempts.
Willian has come in for some criticism from certain sections of the Arsenal fanbase over the course of the season, with many claiming the ageing Brazilian has blocked routes to the first-team for younger players such as Gabriel Martinelli and Reiss Nelson.
Though Martinelli featured alongside Willian in Sunday evening’s clash, Nelson was forced out of action again, arriving with his teammates but failing to make the 23-man matchday squad.
Arteta’s decision was justified though, with Willian finally getting on the scoresheet to the surprise of everyone in the ground, including his own teammates.
Calum Chambers was pictured looking stunned after Willian’s free-kick found the back of Sam Johnstone’s net, his reaction caught on camera as Willian donned a wry smile after finally breaking his duct.
Chambers’ reaction was echoed on social media, with swathes of Arsenal fans taking to Twitter to express their surprise at the strike.
Over the course of the season, Willian has made 35 appearances , 25 in the league – where he has registered one goal and five assists – three of which came in the opening day visit to Fulham.