Firstly, a big thank you to the Arsenal Singapore, especially Melody, for helping my wife and I get tickets to watch Arsenal vs Leeds. This is the second time that I have watched an Arsenal match at the Emirates and both applications were equally smooth. Not only that, you are also being charged the actual ticket plus a small admin fee of $10 SGD only! I highly recommend any Arsenal fan in Singapore to reach out and be a Arsenal Singapore member to get access to meet the Arsenal training session when they are in Singapore or actual matchday experience in London.
On to the actual matchday – my wife and I went to the stadium at around 12 noon to catch a quick lunch and we were lucky to find a nice Vietnamese restaurant (OA Cantom) after being in the UK for around 10 days and starting to miss Asian food. The match was at 2 pm but the area around the stadium was filled with fans since noon. After a quick lunch where we met some Leeds fans for some light hearted banter, we headed to the Armoury to do some window shopping (Queue for payment was super long).
Kick off soon approached and we headed to our seats at the clock end and you can actually get a pretty good view of the pitch. I think this might be the standard area that they allocate to overseas fans as I was also seated around the same area the last time. The match got off to a great start and Eddie’s quick feet managed to get in front of the keeper for a quick 1-0 lead! Before we could relax, Gabi (my MOM) quickly put in another cross for Eddie to make it 2-0! All this happened at our end and my wife was so excited to see all this action so near to us! A two footed challenge from Ayling (Leed’s captain) on Gabi meant that they went down to 10 and we were already thinking of a big scoreline.
Our chances came and went, and Leeds from a random corner managed to get one back (the first goal that we conceded from a corner the entire season) which set up a nervy last 15-20 mins.
Everyone had a huge sigh of relief when the final whistle came as that meant that we were 4 points up with 3 games left and CL qualifications firmly in our hands. We set around till all the players left the pitch (Odegaard and Xhaka led by example and actually went around applauding the fans and were the last two to leave the field) and headed back to the armoury to do some shopping and also purchase a matchday scarf (which cost 15 GPB, ouch!).
My first two visits to Emirates were both draws (2-2 with Barca in 2009 CL quarter finals, 1-1 with Brighton in 2019) and looks like the third time a charm as I left the stadium a happy fan witnessing a first win at our home ground.
Till next time, COYG and it’s time to bring back champion league nights!’