Lucas Torreira struck a late winner as we eked out a hard-fought victory against Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
In a game of precious few chances, we found it tough to break down the visitors and when we did have the ball in the net in the first half, Alex Lacazette was flagged for offside.
But after a spell of late pressure, our Uruguayan midfielder slammed the ball in from close range after good work by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to seal the three points.
With the pre-match festivities centred around our charity matchday, there were a host of activities taking place around the stadium to raise money for The Arsenal Foundation.
But once the game got underway, it was clear that the visitors were determined not to be as charitable as they made life difficult for us, snapping into tackles and closing the space well.
Indeed, it took until just before the half-hour mark for us to fashion our first chance of note when a sweeping move instigated by Matteo Guendouzi resulted in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stabbed the ball wide from close range.
Less than a minute later we had created another big opportunity as the lively Guendouzi found Alex Lacazette unmarked in the area, but the striker slipped while taking his shot and scooped his shot over the bar.
A flurry of yellow cards soon raised the temperature inside the stadium – two of which, for Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis, will see them suspended for next weekend’s trip to Southampton.
Just before the interval there was further controversy when Lacazette had a goal disallowed after preying on a defensive error, while Alex Pritchard went close for Huddersfield.
Unai Emery had seen enough and opted for two changes at half-time, bringing on Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Lacazette and Stephan Lichtsteiner.
Nacho Monreal soon came on for his first appearance since October 7 as we went in search of a much-needed breakthrough against stubborn opponents, but clear-cut chances were hard to come by.
But with seven minutes remaining we had the breakthrough as Aubameyang took the ball down at the far post, chipped it back across goal and Torreira acrobatically slammed the ball in from close range to secure a precious three points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
See how the match unfolded and get all the standout stats in our play-by-play commentary
WHAT IT MEANS
Having already secured top spot in Group E of the Europa League, Emery has the chance to shuffle his pack for Thursday night’s game against Qarabag.
Goals from Sokratis, Emile Smith Rowe and Matteo Guendouzi sealed a comfortable victory in the reverse fixture in Baku in October.
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