Arsenal ended their Premier League season with a bang, smashing a disinterested Wolves side 5-0 at the Emirates. The 5-goal haul brought the Gunners to 88 for the season, the most they’ve ever scored in the top flight. It was also their 26th win of the season, equalling the Invincibles win total. And Arsenal’s 84 points were the most the club had won in the Premier League since the fabled ‘03-’04 season.
The party started early for the Gunners: Granit Xhaka fired Arsenal into the lead in the 11th minute and added a second three minutes later. Bukayo Saka scored midway through the half to make it 3-0. Gabriel Jesus added a 4th and Jakub Kiwior opened his Arsenal account, with help from a dreadful Jose Sa bobble, to make it 5-0.
If this truly was Granit Xhaka’s last Arsenal match, as it appears to be, what a way to end a 7-year stay in North London. About four and a half years ago, he was booed off the pitch and cursed at people in the stands as he walked down the tunnel. Today, he received a standing ovation and a chorus of “Granit Xhaka, we want you to stay” from the Emirates faithful.
It may have been the last time a few other players pull on an Arsenal kit, as well. Reiss Nelson is out of contract, but there are rumors he may be extending his contract. Rob Holding (who was an unused substitute), Kieran Tierney, and Emile Smith Rowe are all in the shop window, listed in likeliest order to depart this summer.
But that’s all summer business that will be completed in due time. Today is about celebrating what was a tremendous season from Arsenal. The Gunners were back to the exciting, dominant, attacking side that we’d seen for most of the season, doing the things that kept them at the top of the Premier League table for so long.
Gabriel Jesus’ close control in the box was on display. Martin Ødegaard was creating. Bukayo Saka was a menace from the wing. Granit Xhaka was superb, performing well above expectation, as he has all season. Even Thomas Partey showed some burst and pace that had been lacking for about two months. It was a complete performance from the Gunners.
And so ends the 2022-23 Premier League season. Arsenal finish second and return to the Champions League for the first time in six years. The future is incredibly bright. Hopefully the next 76 days fly by!