Arsene Wenger’s 1,235-game reign as Arsenal manager came to an end with a victory over Huddersfield on the final day of the Premier League season. The game had little riding on it, with Huddersfield having already avoided relegation and Arsenal finishing sixth no matter what, and was played in front of a carnival atmosphere at John Smith’s Stadium. Wenger came out to a rapturous reception and went over to applaud the Arsenal fans, taking a bow before kick-off. Both sets of fans gave him a standing ovation after 22 minutes – to celebrate his 22 years in English football with the Gunners – and two planes flew over the ground in the early stages with banners celebrating the Frenchman.
Wenger brought three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, including two Doubles, to Arsenal – but leaves them in the lowest position since he arrived, sixth. In fact this win over Huddersfield was the first time in eight attempts they have picked up any points away from home in the Premier League in 2018 – making them the last professional team in England to do so. Their goal was scored by Wenger’s final signing, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as he slid home a low cross from their longest-serving player, Aaron Ramsey. Terriers midfielder Aaron Mooy almost denied Wenger his farewell win late on as his shot crashed off the crossbar.
The Gunners’ sixth-placed finish is their worst under Wenger, and seven consecutive away Premier League defeats before this game tell their own story. They were slightly fortunate to send Wenger off with a victory, with the only goal coming when Alexandre Lacazette passed the ball wide to Aaron Ramsey, who delivered an excellent low cross which Aubameyang turned home. The Gunners only had four shots on target, with Lacazette chipping into Jonas Lossl’s hands and Danny Welbeck firing straight at the goalkeeper in the second half. Now Arsenal have to find a replacement for Wenger and when the 2018-19 season starts, there will be a manager other than the Frenchman in the dugout for the first time since 1996.