Arsenal Singapore member Pris Chew shares her visit to The Arsenal match day with us. Cheers Pris!
Date: 4 May 2019
Match: Arsenal vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Score: 1 – 1
As I made my way out of the Arsenal Tube Station in London, UK, just before 3pm on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I had been feeling pretty excited.
This was because I had tickets to watch Arsenal FC, my favourite football team in action, live at the Emirates Stadium.
I’ve been an Arsenal fan since 2002, and coming from Singapore, I usually watch most of the matches on the television at home.
So it was definitely a refreshing change to have this rare chance to see my favourite players in the flesh.
Lots of Arsenal Merchandise
Greeting me as soon as I had exited the station, had been a few merchandise stands that were selling Arsenal stuff that included scarves, coasters, t-shirts, as well as baby bibs and jumpers.
As well, there were stalls that were hawking British-Style street food, including hotdogs, burgers and Fish & Chips. These had been lining the route towards the Emirates Stadium and I noticed a few fans buying these to munch, as I walked along.
I slowly walked towards the Stadium, taking pictures and browsing through the stalls at the same time. Before I knew it, I had reached the official Arsenal Store, and ended up buying a few souvenirs from there too.
The Emirates Stadium
After I’d had my fill of Arsenal merchandise, I made my way to the stadium and collected my match ticket, which I had already reserved and paid for, through the Arsenal Singapore Fan Club.
Then I took the mandatory selfie in front of the Emirates Stadium sign before then making my way inside, where I hung around for a short while to soak up the atmosphere.
Soon after that, I headed to my seat, which was easy to find, and there, I took more photos of the stadium.
The Match Begins
Before I knew it, the time had whizzed by and 4:30pm had arrived. This meant that the match was about to begin.
Alas, the actual match was very disappointing though, and I got the sense that Arsenal seemed to be barely trying much at all.
The first half of the match had started well enough and Arsenal won a penalty to take the lead, but things went right downhill from there… because Arsenal were unable to create clear-cut chances to build on their lead.
At least the Gunners were still leading at half-time though. During the break, I kept my fingers crossed and willed for my team to at least hang on.
But to no avail. In the second half, Arsenal became more and more sloppy and Granit Xhaka made an incredibly stupid decision to concede a penalty to Brighton and draw the away side level.
The match ended 1-1, with a few pathetically weak Arsenal attempts to find a winner after that, but to no avail.
Cheering and Chanting
However I have to say that the atmosphere certainly beats watching a match at home on television, which I normally do.
This was mainly because the guys who were seated next to me were very enthusiastic, so this led to quite a fair bit of cheering and chanting within my section of the crowd.
So unsurprisingly, I relished everything, soaking up the experience and even singing along to a few of the cheers too. After all, these were the exact chants that we sing at the Arsenal Singapore Fan Club gatherings whenever I head there for matches. And the mood was definitely infectious.
Unfortunately though, the Brighton fans became louder towards the end, and that was quite annoying to hear them “fighting back” with chants of their own, especially after Brighton had drawn level.
Guard of honour for departing Gunners
But despite the draw, which left a bad taste in my mouth and was a drawback of my experience at the Emirates Stadium, there was a nice touch for Arsenal fans who had stayed back after the final whistle had sounded.
A guard of honour was given to departing Gunners Aaron Ramsey, Petr Cech and Danny Welbeck.
This had been because the Brighton match had marked the trio’s last-ever game at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal players, and it was definitely nice to have witnessed this taking place in person.
A memorable experience
Despite the less than desirable result, which had all but ended Arsenal’s hopes of a top four position, I still had a memorable time soaking up the live match-day atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium.
And I will almost certainly be back again – hopefully to catch my team actually winning a game the next time around.