Ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal were facing the prospect of two devastating losses in the span of four days. While Liverpool were the runaway favorites to lift the trophy, there was a sliver of a chance that hated cross-town rivals Spurs would win, thereby cancelling soccer forever.
Thankfully, the soccer gods kept the balance we all have come to expect, as a Spurs penalty in the first 30 seconds gave Liverpool the goal that turned out to be the decider in the final of Europe’s most prestigious tournament.
Many Arsenal fans were firmly in the “anyone but Spurs” camp, swallowing their pride to cheer for Liverpool. Thankfully, they had an ally in former Gunner Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. In an interview with former Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker following Liverpool’s triumph, Ox dedicated the victory to “all of the people [he] left at Arsenal.”
Video: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain speaking to his former Arsenal team-mate Per Mertesacker after winning the Champions League with Liverpool last night. [@AFCAMDEN via DAZN] #afc pic.twitter.com/NeGEvbbENt— afcstuff (@afcstuff) June 2, 2019
Ox’s genuine admiration for his former club stands in stark contrast to Olivier Giroud’s cheeky display following Chelsea’s victory over Arsenal in the Europa League final, when video surfaced of him “thanking” his former club for Chelsea’s victory. Many Arsenal fans saw it as unnecessary salt in the wound following the embarrassing defeat while Chelsea fans were resplendent in his jab at Arsenal.
Regardless, it was a nice gesture from Ox, who has struggled with injuries since departing Arsenal for Liverpool two seasons ago, and Arsenal fans around the world are appreciative for Ox’s and Liverpool’s part in ensuring that Spurs would not finish with any silverware once again.
After all, in Ox’s words: “Once a Gooner, always a Gooner.”