With the superb efforts of Arsenal Singapore Supporters Club team, I managed to get a ticket to the North London Derby (Arsenal v Spuds) on the 1 Oct 2022. I was glad to have applied more than 2 months prior to the event and finally I am going to my first North London Derby (NLD).
I arrived at the Emirates Stadium at 10.30, one and a half hour prior to the kick-off. As I was walking in toward the stadium, I was greeted by a sea of red Arsenal T-shirts supporters making their way in.
Most international Arsenal supporters are given tickets to the Clockend part of Emirates Stadium (South entrance).
Entrance to the stadium was very convenient – simply scan a soft copy of the QR code of the electronic ticket. With a stadium at full capacity today with over 60,000 fans, technology really helped smoothen the human traffic flow.
As I approach the refreshment area within the stadium, Arsenal supporters (Gooners) were chanting and singing songs in support of the Gunners. The game is not due to start in 1 hour and 15 minutes but the fans were already practicing in the foyer.
After a quick meal of hotdog washed down with Camden Hells Lager, I took my seat to watch the Gunners warm up. The fans greeted the arrival of the Gunners with wild cheers and the Spuds were jeered upon entrance as per the tradition of NLD.
Fans were streaming in with 15 minutes to the start of the game and the chants and singing were in full swing.
At kick-off, the stadium was rocking with over 60,000 singing fans.
The fans were creating an unreal atmosphere at the Emirates which must be experienced life by a Gooner to sense the energy and passion. The Gunners rewarded the fans with an early goal against Spuds at the 20th minute – Thomas Partey finally scored with a long distance kick outside the penalty box which hit the top right corner of the goal. The stadium erupted with much cheers and more singings.
Spuds came back with an equalizer 11 minutes later with the game going 1 – 1 at half time. It is amazing to see all Arsenal supporters getting behind Gabriel Magalhaes by cheering him on to make amend and to fight on. Atmosphere at the Emirates is so electric and it is amazing to see the fans truly behind the players, manager, staffs and the management. It wasn’t too long ago when the atmosphere was not only bad but toxic. It is fun again to be a Gooners!
Within 4 minutes from the start of the second half, Arsenal’s striker (Gabriel Jesus) poached the ball from Lloris (Spud) and put Arsenal infront at 2 – 1. At the 62th minute, Gooners jeered and wave good-byes to Merson for his red-carded foul on Martinelli. With the restart, it is clear the Spuds will not come back. Five minutes later, Granit Xhaka scored with a powerful left foot which got Lloris stumped with no response making it 3-1. At this point, the game is over and the Gunners see the game out by controlling the ball leaving no chance for the Spud to response.
It is clear to everyone the colour of North London…..