Europa League - Group B
ArsenalArsenal4Rapid ViennaRapid Vienna1

Arsenal 4-1 Rapid Vienna: Gunners win in Europa League in front of 2,000 fans

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Emirates Stadium
Alexandre Lacazette
Alexandre Lacazette's opener ended his eight-game goal drought for the Gunners

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said the return of fans to Emirates Stadium as they outclassed Rapid Vienna in the Europa League made it a "very special night".

It had been 271 days since Arsenal fans had last been at their home, for the victory against West Ham United on 7 March - and how the 2,000 allowed in relished watching the Gunners confirm their dominance of Group B.

"I'm delighted to have them back," Arteta said. "They made a huge contribution. There was only 2,000 but it felt and sounded like a lot more.

"They were very supportive and encouraging to the team and the players have been saying what a huge difference it made. They felt that support."

Alexandre Lacazette gave those gathered at a social distance inside the cavernous stadium an early reward with a spectacular 25-yard drive after 10 minutes that swerved high beyond the reach of Rapid keeper Richard Strebinger.

Pablo Mari then glanced Reiss Nelson's corner in off a post before Eddie Nketiah completed the first-half scoring a minute before the interval, heading in after his first effort had been saved by the besieged Strebinger.

Rapid, hopelessly inferior, scrambled a goal back through Kohya Kitagawa early in the second half but Arsenal were never in any danger and substitute Emile Smith Rowe scored a simple fourth from Ainsley Maitland-Niles' pass.

Arteta's timely boost

Return of fans made a huge difference - Arteta

Arsenal's team bore little resemblance to the side that is likely to play at Spurs in the north London derby on Sunday and the Austrians provided passive opposition.

It was still, however, a convincing victory and one Arsenal manager Arteta desperately needed after a poor start to the Premier League season, including three home defeats, that sees the Gunners languishing in 14th place.

And what a tonic it was for Arteta and his players to hear supporters back inside Emirates Stadium in good voice and spirits as they enjoyed some slick attacking football.

They swiftly and noisily dusted down their anti-Spurs repertoire of songs to provide a backing track to the action, while the famous "1-0 to the Arsenal" chant echoed around Emirates Stadium moments after they went ahead.

There may have been only 2,000 supporters inside the 60,000-capacity stadium but the Arsenal fans still generated great volume and atmosphere despite the reduced numbers - with even the return of club mascot "Gunnersaurus" receiving a rapturous reception.

Arsenal's players applauded their fans before kick-off and there was a flamboyant sliding celebration in front of the elated supporters by Lacazette after scoring that thrilling opener.

Arteta needed a win of any sort to stem some of the criticism that has been coming his way, especially after very poor performances in home losses to Aston Villa and Wolves, and this was impressive enough as his shadow squad took the opportunity to make a good impression.

The acid test will come at Spurs on Sunday, when Arsenal's main players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be in from the start against the current Premier League leaders.

But Arteta's side required confidence and a win wherever they could take it, and this will have done very nicely after their recent struggles.

"We have been really consistent in this competition," he said. "The boys have done great. There was a lot of energy, character and aggression. They were hurt from the last defeat and played a really good game.

"Let's take that into Sunday's game at Tottenham and do it again."

Fans at Emirates
Arsenal were allowed a limited number of fans at the game

Match stats - Arsenal's best run since seasons they reached finals

  • Arsenal have won each of their first five matches in a European competition (excluding qualifiers) for only the second time. The last was in the 2005-06 Champions League, when they went on to reach the final.
  • They have scored three or more goals in four consecutive European games for the first time since March 2000. That year they reached the Uefa Cup final.
  • Rapid Vienna have lost four of their five away games against English sides in Europe (W1), shipping 13 goals.
  • Alexandre Lacazette is just the eighth player to hit 20 goals in the Europa League. It was his first goal in 488 minutes.
  • Pablo Mari scored his first Arsenal goal with his first ever shot on target for the Gunners and just his second attempt overall (fourth appearance).
  • All 16 of Eddie Nketiah's goals in his senior club career have been scored from inside the box (11 for Arsenal, 5 for Leeds).
  • Three of Emile Smith-Rowe's four goals for Arsenal have come in the Europa League. His last goal was in the Championship for Huddersfield against West Brom in July.

Line-ups

Arsenal

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Rúnarsson
  • 17Cédric Soares
  • 20MustafiBooked at 61minsSubstituted forChambersat 70'minutes
  • 22Marí
  • 31Kolasinac
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 25ElnenyBooked at 42minsSubstituted forCeballosat 63'minutes
  • 24NelsonSubstituted forWillianat 63'minutes
  • 9LacazetteSubstituted forSmith Roweat 63'minutes
  • 19Pépé
  • 30NketiahSubstituted forBalogunat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Leno
  • 3Tierney
  • 7Saka
  • 8Ceballos
  • 12Willian
  • 16Holding
  • 21Chambers
  • 28Willock
  • 32Smith Rowe
  • 33Macey
  • 38Balogun
  • 66Azeez

Rapid Vienna

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Strebinger
  • 6SonnleitnerBooked at 79mins
  • 20HofmannSubstituted forBaracat 45'minutes
  • 30Greiml
  • 36Arase
  • 48Demir
  • 42Schuster
  • 8RitzmaierSubstituted forKnasmüllnerat 65'minutes
  • 31UllmannBooked at 39minsSubstituted forSchickat 45'minutes
  • 32KitagawaSubstituted forKaraat 65'minutes
  • 19AlarSubstituted forSulzbacherat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Barac
  • 13Schick
  • 14Grahovac
  • 22Stojkovic
  • 25Gartler
  • 28Knasmüllner
  • 29Kara
  • 37Sulzbacher
  • 40Ibrahimoglu
  • 45Hedl
Referee:
Radu Marian Petrescu
Attendance:
2,000

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamRapid Vienna
Possession
Home71%
Away29%
Shots
Home22
Away8
Shots on Target
Home11
Away4
Corners
Home13
Away2
Fouls
Home7
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 4, SK Rapid Wien 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 4, SK Rapid Wien 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Dani Ceballos (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Willian.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Folarin Balogun (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Dani Ceballos with a cross.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Willian (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Dani Ceballos following a set piece situation.

  6. Post update

    Folarin Balogun (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Mario Sonnleitner (SK Rapid Wien).

  8. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Lukas Sulzbacher.

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Pablo Marí (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Nicolas Pépé with a cross.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Ercan Kara.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Folarin Balogun (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Nicolas Pépé with a cross.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Thorsten Schick.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Pablo Marí (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Cédric Soares with a cross following a corner.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Mateo Barac.

  15. Post update

    Hand ball by Ercan Kara (SK Rapid Wien).

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Calum Chambers (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Willian with a cross following a corner.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Folarin Balogun replaces Eddie Nketiah.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Richard Strebinger.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Dani Ceballos (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  20. Booking

    Mario Sonnleitner (SK Rapid Wien) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

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Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 3rd December 2020

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Roma54101221013
2Young Boys52127617
3CFR Cluj512238-55
4CSKA Sofia502306-62

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal55001631315
2Molde530279-29
3Rapid Vienna5203911-26
4Dundalk5005615-90

C

<
TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Slavia Prague5401116512
2B Leverkusen5401178912
3Nice5104815-73
4