Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shared the Golden Boot after scoring twice as we ended the domestic season on a high with an away victory at Burnley.
Knowing that we required an unlikely set of results to sneak into the top four, Unai Emery chose to heavily rotate his side – and we made a sharp start.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, no doubt with one eye on the Golden Boot, hit the post with a header in the opening stages and soon forced Tom Heaton into a sharp save.
But Burnley were a threat going forward themselves with Ashley Barnes heading one effort wide, before seeing a fierce shot palmed away by Bernd Leno.
Our German goalkeeper was then forced into a good save from Chris Wood, before the Clarets striker later hit the post after being played in on goal.
Joe Willock marked a confident display with a smart turn and shot on the stroke of half-time that whistled just beyond the far post, but there was nothing to split the teams at the interval.
But we didn’t have long to wait to break the deadlock after the restart as Aubameyang pounced on a defensive error to race through on goal and slot in his 30th goal of the campaign in all competitions.
The Gabon international has made no secret of his desire to win the Golden Boot and he brought himself level with Mo Salah with a beautifully-struck volley just after the hour mark.
But Burnley hit straight back when Barnes glanced a header in, before Mkhitaryan saw a close-range volley blocked as the game really began to open up.
Aubameyang missed his chance for a hat-trick when he poked wide from close range, and with Sadio Mane scoring a brace in Liverpool’s, it meant three players were all tied on 22 league goals.
There was still time for Eddie Nketiah to get on the scoresheet with the last kick of the game, as we ended our Premier League campaign with an encouraging display.
On to Baku.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
We now have more than two weeks to wait until our next game, but it’s a big one as we travel to Baku for the Europa League final.
We’ll face Chelsea in Azerbaijan on Wednesday, May 29, having played the Blues twice the season – winning 2-0 at Emirates Stadium in January, after losing 3-2 at Stamford Bridge at the start of the season.
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