The Emirates has always been a stadium on my list to visit because of its reputation for being one of the nicer/ modern stadium’s in the country. To finally experience this was a genuine pleasure! For me I love football and don’t have to necessarily go for a particular team in order to have fun, for me its about the atmosphere and entertainment factor, I want goals!
As soon as we got to the stadium the first thing, we did was head straight to the confectionary stand to get drinks and food, we stayed downstairs to do this and I was surprised to say the least. I will give credit where credit is due and in this particular stand downstairs from memory, I believe it was between block 27-29. They were loud, constantly chanting, building the atmosphere and I have to say I enjoyed it. Not being an arsenal fan made it interesting to listen to and had it been my team I would have been in full voice chanting them too. A common theme to the songs where Tottenham which made me laugh because Tottenham are doing better than Arsenal at the moment. Once we had settled, we went upstairs to get ready to watch the game, it’s fair to say the environment was very different, no chanting at all. We were in Block 131. Where do I start from the off until the very end Arsenal bossed this game and looked very attacking! Some games when you them you think you can score on every attack and others it just lacks all creativity. Arsenal looked dangerous on every attack. In the first half there were plenty of chances for arsenal to take the lead but it was for a very strong set piece and header from Thomas Partey that gave the gunners the lead. After that Aston Villa never looked like a team that had gone down and gave Arsenal no issues in defence. To top this off VAR correctly drew back the challenge and gave the penalty. This is where I have an issue, the half time whistle had been blown and technically the half was over, I am all for bringing back the penalty but because Aubameyang missed should he have been given the opportunity to flow up the rebound or should this have been the final touch of the half? Technically if the penalty would have been given in normal time, then he would be fine to follow up but they played it out for the half time whistle and makes this awkward. Second Half made the game more open and really enjoyable to watch, Aston Villa pushed for a goal to give them hope and Arsenal for that killer goal to write off any comeback. Ramsdale had an amazing performance and definitely deserved a clean sheet, at the other end of the pitch you could only feel for Martinez because he was grilled all evening. From the boos to the chants, he was not given an easy ride from Arsenal fans but I have no empathy for him as his comments about moving to a better club and getting more opportunities will have hurt the fanbase. For me Emile smith Rowe was an obvious man of the match but I think an honourable mention has to go out to Thomas Partey, those two really controlled the game and gave Aston Villa nothing. These two provide great goals at great times and ultimately this is important with games.
Arsenal is well known for being the most expensive ticket in the premier league and to be honest after visiting the stadium I can sort of see why, they spent a lot of money investing into modernising it! Should a football ticket ever be more than £60 even in some of the best seats… absolutely not this is daylight robbery of the fans and I genuinely feel bad for arsenal fans that pay £70-80 on a regular basis to see their team play. Maybe this is why the stadium clearly wasn’t full but it was a Friday fixture as well.
From the centre of London, it is extremely easy to get to the Emirates stadium, from London Victoria you can get the direct tube train to Highbury & Islington. Then you have a 10-minute walk to the ground. We left 10 minutes before the final whistle, meaning we skipped the mad rush at the end. If it was my team and super close, I probably would stick around to hear the final whistle and suffer the heavy queues to get home.
Match Day Programme
I have to be honest I didn’t read through the match day programme in too much detail but it had some interesting interviews and updates from the club. It was 82 pages long and for £3.50 I can’t complain. For me this is mainly to keep as a souvenir but also if I have a long journey home then there is something to read.
Food & Drink
First things first, there was an enormous queue but to give credit where credit is due the line went down rapidly and we were served in no time at all, if you’re craving a beer at the football like most this will help keep you very happy! £8.60 for Hot Chocolate and Hot Dog with onions, was it worth the money I paid probably not but that’s what you have to expect when going to the football everything is likely to cost more than normal.
I think going with friends always makes the game more enjoyable but to see a game this packed with action and constantly a joy to watch, need I say more. The fans were buzzing the ground was buzzing. Arsenal are in great form at the moment and I think the fans are loving it, so far this is at the top of my stadium rankings but it is still early days.
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