Images of an Arsenal supporter fist-pumping the air with an unwavering expression on his face surprised viewers after Arsenal’s frustrating defeat at home to Manchester City.
Despite being the better side for the majority of the game, the Gunners were on the receiving end of some rather harsh decisions by the referee and were eventually handicapped due to a red card for Gabriel.
A 93rd-minute winner broke the Gunners’ resolve and concluded an unfortunate evening for Arsenal.
At full time an Arsenal fan was pumping his fists in celebration 🧐 pic.twitter.com/d3lPHv60qJ— Ryan Bailey (@RyanJayBailey) January 1, 2022
To understand why an unravelling like this wasn’t greeted with the boos one might be accustomed to, let’s first look at the state of Arsenal’s supporters online before the game.
Going by the chatter on Twitter and Reddit, the game was surrounded by an air of cautious optimism.
Gooners went into the game expecting a defeat, considering the strength of the English champions and the fact that Arsenal hadn’t won in this fixture since 2015.
Nonetheless, an underlying positivity did persist, and Arsenal fans held out hope for Arteta’s Reds to shock the champions.
Vindication followed for the optimistic Gooners as an excellent first-half performance from their side rattled Guardiola’s star-studded side.
The Gunners also executed a well-curated press making an unstoppable City side look clueless.
The home support was buzzing throughout the game and every duel, contest, tackle etc were met with loud cheers.
Such was their admiration for their side that even Gabriel’s sending off received cheers.
The Brazilian was greeted with applause during his walk back into the dugout for his strong performance aside from the red card.
At full-time, instead of dwelling on the negative decisions, Gooners got up off their seats and applauded their players who delivered a performance they could be proud of.
Such was the reaction that it left many viewers confused which resulted in tweets like this –
When, in fact, the fist-pumping fan, along with many, were showing their support for the solid display put on in front of them –
Never seen so many fans stay behind after a loss. Everyone singing and clapping the players. Brilliant to see— Connor Humm (@TikiTakaConnor) January 1, 2022
The scenes at full-time.— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) January 1, 2022
Arsenal fans full of support for their team after that cruel, cruel defeat. pic.twitter.com/HbVIv8Iokf