5 lessons learned from our victory over Stoke City
Sky Sports' Nick Wright gives us several things to think about
Empty seats at the Emirates
"Arsenal came into this game on the back of their first run of three consecutive wins since September, but any hope that the mini upturn in form might generate some enthusiasm among match-going fans quickly disappeared. The late flurry of goals provided some welcome cheer for those who did show up, but the sight of so many empty seats at what should be a crucial point in the season was a reminder of all that's gone wrong for Arsenal this season. They are unlikely to have gone unnoticed by owner Stan Kroenke, either."
Focus on Europa
"Arsenal's team selection confirmed that Wenger is prioritising the Europa League. With Thursday's quarter-final first leg away to CSKA Moscow in mind, the Frenchman made seven changes from Arsenal's 3-0 win over Watford three weeks ago, with Laurent Koscielny, Granit Xhaka and Henrikh Mkhitaryan among those rested and Petr Cech left out as a precaution. The line-up had an unfamiliar feel and it showed out on the pitch. Wenger will hope they can carry that momentum into Europe."
"Aubameyang has arrived into difficult circumstances following his club-record move from Borussia Dortmund in January, but on an individual level, it has been a quietly encouraging start. The Gabon international, unfortunately cup-tied for the Europa League, has now scored five goals in his first six Premier League appearances. He kept his nerve with the penalty despite missing his last effort against Manchester City, and he showed his predatory finishing ability with his second, dispatching a first-time finish into the bottom corner following Mesut Ozil's corner. All in all, it was an encouraging display."
Wilshere wears the armband
"Jack Wilshere is involved in a contract stand-off with Arsenal as he enters the final few months of his current deal, but with Koscielny rested, he was handed the captain's armband against Stoke. With Ozil deployed in a wide position and Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny at the base of midfield, he was even given his favoured No 10 role. Was this Wenger's way of showing him he is still valued? Wilshere's fitness is said to remain a concern to England boss Gareth Southgate, but the midfielder has become an important figure for his club in the second half of this season. Wenger's latest show of faith comes after he started both legs of Arsenal's Europa League tie with AC Milan."
"With Aubameyang unavailable in the Europa League and Danny Welbeck appearing to struggle with an injury against Stoke, Lacazette's return was timely for Wenger. The striker had not featured since February having undergone knee surgery, but he impressed following his introduction from the bench and marked his comeback with a coolly-taken penalty."