Lacazette, Aubameyang give Wenger perfect home send-off at Arsenal
Arsenal turned on the style in Arsene Wenger's final home game as they swept aside Burnley 5-0 to make sure the visitors can no longer overtake them for sixth place in the Premier League.
Despite the disappointing Europa League exit on Thursday, the Gunners gave Wenger a proper farewell at the Emirates with the kind of high-scoring attacking display his 22-year reign will mostly be remembered for.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette both scored in the first half before Sead Kolasinac, Alex Iwobi and Aubameyang padded the scoreline after the break for a rampant Gunners side.
Arsenal could easily have had more as they dominated throughout, but it was still their joint biggest win of the season.
The attacking partnership between Lacazette and Aubameyang continues to blossom and should give Wenger's successor a great platform to build on. Lacazette set up Aubameyang for the first goal with a perfect low ball across the goalmouth and then netted the second himself, while the Gabon forward also added an assist for Iwobi's goal. And he showed off his smart movement in the box when he met a cross from Hector Bellerin for his second. Arsenal fans can only wonder how they would have fared against Atletico Madrid if Aubameyang had not been cup tied, but it's exciting to think about how good this attack can be next season.
Hard to find anything to complain about in this performance, but of course it raises the question: Where was this level of football when Arsenal needed it most this season? It's become an annual occurrence with the Gunners that they play like this when it's too late to matter and the pressure is off. This was essentially a battle for sixth place in the Premier League, but the difference in class between the two sides was another reminder that the only reason Arsenal aren't in the top four is because they let themselves down too often when it counted.
Manager rating out of 10
9 -- Wenger in. Well, not quite, but this was "Wengerball" personified: fast-paced, entertaining attacking play and well-worked goals. Of course, the fact there was nothing at stake in this game is also largely down to Wenger's failings, but this game was a reminder that he has set the bar very high indeed for his successor.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Petr Cech, 6 -- A very quiet afternoon for the goalkeeper, but made one decent save in the second half.
DF Hector Bellerin, 7 -- A much-improved performance by Bellerin after a disappointing display on Thursday. He seems to have worked on his crosses since returning from Madrid, delivering two good assists.
DF Konstantinos Mavropanos, 8 -- Another very impressive display from the youngster in only his second start. Looks mature beyond his 20 years; well-positioned, composed on the ball, and uses his size effectively. One shouldn't get carried away after two games, but Arsenal may have unearthed a gem in the Greek centre-back.
DF Calum Chambers, 7 -- Also didn't have much to do in this game but continued his good recent form after strong displays at Manchester United and Atletico Madrid.
DF Sead Kolasinac, 7 -- Rifled home a powerful shot for Arsenal's third goal and was solid throughout in the left-back position.
MF Granit Xhaka, 7 -- A composed performance from the Switzerland international even though it lacked incisive passes going forward. But he did a solid job in neutralising Burnley's midfield.
MF Jack Wilshere, 7 -- Had a quiet first half but showed his quality when setting up Kolasinac for the third goal, driving forward before finding the left-back with a perfect pass into the area.
MF Alex Iwobi, 7 -- Was involved in the build-up to the first two goals and finally showed he can finish as well by firing home an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net. If he did that more often, he'd be some player.
FW Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 8 -- Did well in filling the shoes of the absent Mesut Ozil as Arsenal's main creator. Could have scored when Aubameyang set him up in the first half but fired over.
FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 8 -- Showed what a deadly poacher he is by popping up at the right place at the right time for both his goals. Also showed he can use his pace to track back defensively and stop counter-attacks. More proof that he can play on the wing and not just up front.
FW Alexandre Lacazette, 9 -- The best player on the pitch, and his work rate was as impressive as his ability to create. Set up Aubameyang for the opener, scored the second himself and set the tone for Arsenal early.
MF Aaron Ramsey, N/R -- Replaced Wilshere and showed his usual willingness to make runs into the box. Didn't get a goal out of it this time though.
FW Danny Welbeck, N/R -- Shook the bar with a mighty effort from outside the box that would have added even more gloss to the win.
DF Per Mertesacker, N/R -- Came on for a late cameo and was given a rousing reception in his final home game. Could have marked it with a goal but couldn't quite get on to a cross into the box.
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.