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'I'm really excited... it was a big day for me'

What a night for Pablo Mari.

The Spanish centre back has been out of action since June 17 due to an ankle injury, but marked his return to first-team action in perfect fashion as he scored against Rapid Vienna.

"I’m really excited today because it’s been a long time since I played with the team and it was a really hard injury for me," Mari told Arsenal.com.

"I had some troubles during the rehab, but at the end with a lot of work from the rehab guys and all the medical staff, I’m here and stronger than before. It was a big day.

"It was much better than playing without fans! We can’t wait to see the stadium full with fans. We need them and their support they gave us today was incredible. We can’t wait to see all the fans.

"It’s special, but it’s not only for us. I think all of the people that came here today, it was a special day for them and I think we are close to finishing that period.

"It’s really hard for everyone and they come here to watch some football, get away from their house and even breathe a bit! It’s a good time for everybody."

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