Arsenal defender Pablo Mari was “really excited” after he marked his return to action with a goal against Rapid Vienna on Thursday evening.
The Spanish center-half was unable to feature for the Gunners since June 17 due to an ankle injury but marked his return with a header as the north London club beat the Austrian side 4-1 in the Europa League at the Emirates.
Alexandre Lacazette ended his goalscoring drought ten minutes into the match as Mari increased the lead eight minutes later, and young forward Edward Nketiah made it 3-0 just before the break.
Koya Kitagawa responded for the awayside two minutes into the second half, but Emile Smith-Rowe compounded Rapid Vienna’s woes by making it 4-1 in the 66th minute as Arsenal maintained their 100% start in the competition.
Speaking after the triumph last night, Mari revealed that he feels stronger than ever and also spoke about how vital the fans are in their quest to win more games ahead.
"I’m really excited today because it’s been a long time since I played with the team and it was a really hard injury for me," Mari told Arsenal.com.
"I had some troubles during the rehab, but at the end with a lot of work from the rehab guys and all the medical staff, I’m here and stronger than before. It was a big day.
"It was much better than playing without fans! We can’t wait to see the stadium full with fans. We need them and their support they gave us today was incredible. We can’t wait to see all the fans.
"It’s special, but it’s not only for us. I think all of the people that came here today, it was a special day for them and I think we are close to finishing that period.
"It’s really hard for everyone and they come here to watch some football, get away from their house and even breathe a bit! It’s a good time for everybody."