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Mikel Arteta felt his team was inspired by having fans in the stadium when Arsenal beat Rapid Vienna 4-1 in the Europa League.
Fans have been absent due to the pandemic since March, but 2,000 were allowed into the Emirates. They watched their heroes put on a excellent performance to take first place in Group B of the Europa League.
Alexandre Lacazette He scored a wonderful goal while Pablo Mari and Eddie Nketiah also scored before the break. Emile Smith Rowe added a quarter in a key display of North Londoners.
Arteta had a lot of positives to discuss, but began by paying tribute to the fans.
“First of all, delighted to have the fans back, they make a big difference,” he said. BT sport. “We had 2000 but they were loud and supportive of the team so thank you for coming out and putting in the effort.”
And the Spanish strategist felt it was going to be a good night when he saw how eager his players were to please.
“The boys loved him, I could see from the beginning that they loved him, they were hurt by the previous game, they showed the attitude and the desire that is required,” he added. “We were aggressive, we wanted to get the ball into the area and we created opportunities.”
There is a little matter of a North London derby on the horizon. Arteta knows it will be difficult and hopes that his men can replicate his European form.
“We have not been as ruthless in the last third of the Premier League as we have in Europe, but I liked the team’s reaction and performance today,” he continued.
Lacazette is glad to see fans
The Emirates welcomed the fans for the first time since March and played their part. Only a few in number, their voices could be heard and the players certainly cheered up.
Lacazette was delighted to see even a small number of spectators and agreed with his boss that they made a difference.
“It was amazing, we were so happy to see the fans today that they really helped us during the game, even in the bad times they pushed us to play well, obviously we played well, it was good football,” he said. BT sport.
And speaking of his goal, he added: “It was really good, very nice when the fans are behind us. It wasn’t easy for me this last couple of weeks, but seeing the fans behind me and the team, I really enjoyed tonight, so thanks to them.