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Arsenal players’ and stewards’ gesture to fans upon Emirates return

Arsenal’s Europa League clash against Rapid Vienna on Thursday night was their first game since the national lockdown was lifted, meaning they were allowed fans in attendance once again.

The Gunners were able to host 2,000 fans at the Emirates for the first time since March.

Their last game with fans in attendance was on March 7 as they beat West Ham 1-0 through an Alexandre Lacazette goal.

Just days later, football was suspended as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, with Arsenal in tier 2 of the new lockdown system, the club is allowed up to 2,000 fans at the stadium for matches.


All available tickets for the Rapid Vienna game were snapped up quickly, though fans were forced to socially distance themselves inside the stadium.

Empty seats were covered up to avoid fans breaching social distancing, and it appeared the first two rows were left empty.

The return of supporters was immediately evident as Gunners fans burst into song to welcome the team onto the field before kick-off, and the players were quick to return the gesture.

Arsenal’s stars applaud the fans

Mikel Arteta’s team went straight over to the 2,000 Arsenal fans to applaud them and welcome them back to the stadium.

Arsenal stewards were also applauding every fan who attended as they walked through the turnstiles.

Speaking earlier this week, Arteta was eager to talk up the importance of having a live crowd in attendance.

He said: “I expect them to be very supportive of the team, because in the end it’s the only way to get out of this situation,” he said this week.

“It’s not a secret. When you see the top teams, the stable teams that win trophies, how[fans] act towards the team, name me one where they go against the team.

“I haven’t seen it, so the only way to do it is with them and we need them.”




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