Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels Arsenal’s failure to mount a title challenge was the main reason for another sparse crowd as three late goals saw them beat relegation-threatened Stoke.
The Gunners were booed off at half-time at Emirates Stadium after seeing Aaron Ramsey clip the crossbar with their only clear chance of the first 45 minutes.
But Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty broke the deadlock after a disputed foul by Bruno Martins Indi on Mesut Ozil, before the Gabon striker fired home from an Ozil corner.
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Aubameyang then passed up the chance to claim a hat-trick after Badou Ndiaye’s push on substitute Alexandre Lacazette, who converted the penalty for a scoreline that flattered the Gunners.
Arsenal, who host CSKA Moscow in the Europa League next, remain 13 points outside the Premier League’s top four after Tottenham later won at Chelsea so Wenger understands why there were scores of empty seats.
"It’s just down to the fact that we’re not fighting for the championship," he said. "People know that will not change now. They will be back on Thursday, don’t worry.
"It’s explainable by the fact that it’s Easter. It’s a family happening where people go away and it’s a fact that we don’t think about a lot in the Premier League. There’s also the fact that we had a break."