Arsenal beat Rapid Vienna 4-1 in front of 2,000 fans

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Arsenal football club defeated Austrian side, Rapid Vienna 4-1 in front of 2,000 spectators at the Emirate Stadium in the Europa League group match on Thursday.

The Europa League group B match is the first competitive match that saw the attendance of spectators since mid-March when the coronavirus pandemic forced football to a halt.

Recall that when football returned in June, clubs in the United Kingdom were forced to play behind closed doors to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The law continued throughout the remaining part of the 2019-2020 season.

Despite the protest of most clubs in the Premier League that their stadiums were safe enough to host some spectators amid the pandemic, the 2020-2021 season resumed with clubs still forced to play behind closed doors.

Recently, the UK government announced that stadiums in the country have been grouped into tiers and those stadiums that fell under tiers one and two can host 4000 and 2000 spectators respectively when the coronavirus restriction is lifted on December 2.

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Fortunately for Arsenal, the Emirate Stadium fell under tier two which permitted Arsenal to host 2000 spectators on Thursday, December 3, in the Europa League group match.

The Arsenal fans that had the opportunity to gain access to the stadium for the match were not disappointed as Arsenal gave a good show for the night.

Arsenal and Rapid Vienna playing in front of 2,000 spectators at the Emirate Stadium on Thursday.
Arsenal and Rapid Vienna playing in front of 2,000 spectators at the Emirate Stadium on Thursday.

Arsenal’s Alexander Lacazette started the demolition of the visitors in the 10th minute of the match. Arsenal doubled their lead in the 18th minute through the boots of Pablo Marí Villar.

Arsenal sealed a perfect first-half display with a third goal in the 44th minute through the boots of Eddie Nketiah.

When the second half commenced, the visitors tried to stage a fightback by scoring their first goal in the 47th minute through the boots of Kitagawa. However, Arsenal cemented their victory in the 66th minute with Smith-Rowe’s strike.

The win means that Arsenal have scaled through to the next round of the competition after recording 5 wins in 5 games. They are currently topping Europa League group B with a perfect 15 points with a game in hand.

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Coach Mikel Arteta will lead his boys to play their last group stage match against Dundalk on December 10 at 18: 55.

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