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Arsenal Give Arsene Wenger Reason to Smile With West Ham Hammering

Arsenal responded to Arsene Wenger's decision to bring his 22-year reign as manager to a close at the end of the season by thumping West Ham 4-1 in a subdued atmosphere at the Emirates on Sunday.

AFP

Updated:April 22, 2018, 8:45 PM IST
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Arsenal Give Arsene Wenger Reason to Smile With West Ham Hammering
(Image: Premier League/Twitter)
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Arsenal responded to Arsene Wenger's decision to bring his 22-year reign as manager to a close at the end of the season by thumping West Ham 4-1 in a subdued atmosphere at the Emirates on Sunday.

Wenger, 68, had come under growing pressure to go from disgruntled supporters having failed to win the Premier League for 14 years before announcing his decision to leave on Friday.

And despite players and the club's hierarchy promising that Wenger would be given a grand send off, there was little sign of tributes to a man who is by a distance Arsenal's most successful ever manager with three Premier League titles and a record seven FA Cups to his name.

However, four second-half goals from Nacho Monreal, Aaron Ramsey and two late strikes from Alexandre Lacazette ensured Wenger was able to celebrate a comfortable victory on a gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon in the British capital.

In his programme notes Wenger reiterated his plea for the fans to get behind the team for the rest of the season with Arsenal still in with a chance of qualifying for next season's Champions League via the Europa League.

But there were only sporadic chants of "there's only one Arsene Wenger" from the home support, whilst, continuing a trend in recent home games, empty seats could be seen around the Emirates.

Arsenal are on course to finish lower than ever under Wenger in the Premier League as they remain in sixth, six points adrift of Chelsea.

However, Wenger can still sign off leaving the club in the Champions League by winning the Europa League, where Arsenal host Spanish giants Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final on Thursday.

"My love and support for Arsenal will last forever and I urge our fans to stand behind the team so we can finish on a high," said Wenger in his programme notes.

Wenger had named a strong side with only Petr Cech, Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil missing from the expected XI to face Atletico in midweek.

However, amidst a surprisingly low-key atmosphere in the circumstances, West Ham's greater need for the points shone through with a bright start.

Marko Arnautovic was denied from a narrow angle by David Ospina before Cheikhou Kouyate's looping header came back off the top of the crossbar.

The hosts were dealt a blow before half-time when Mohamed Elneny was stretchered off with a nasty looking ankle injury.
| Edited by: Abhimanyu Sen
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