There’s a reason why football is the standalone best sport in the world – and it was on the pitch for the world to see during the dying embers of our 3-2, last-gasp victory over Bournemouth.
Arsenal is back with a force – not only on the pitch, but in the stands too.
I was lucky enough to get to the game and experience it firsthand – and I’m eternally grateful I got to saturate myself in the wildness of the celebrations.
Because they were unparalleled in recent years.
It had been a while since I’d been to a game – so I enjoyed taking in the new murals on the facade of The Emirates. Myself and my good friend then took to our seats in the North Bank and proceeded to sing ourselves hoarse.
We ratcheted up the volume even when Gary O’Neil’s side scored the second fastest goal ever scored in the Premier League era.
We bashed out the songs even when we conspired to miss chance after chance.
The second half began and we bellowed out the volume when Bournemouth scored their second.
We believed, even though parts of our minds have seen this before, Arsenal shooting themselves in the foot, making things difficult.
We’ve been burned before, but the faith, the support, stands true.
With us – and with the rest of the fans in the stands, at home, around the world.
The difference is tangible and is often picked up by the players and Arteta, who are quoted on numerous occasions talking of when a setback occurs, the fans then get behind the team.
It used to be boos, tirades and dissent toward our capitulations.
Now we give them that backing that perhaps adds an injection of energy instead of fatigue.
We’re making a difference.
When we scored the first through Thomas Partey at the back post, we screamed.
We scored the second via Benny Blanco’s first Arsenal goal – we were delirious.
Then we watched as we pressed, we probed and we huffed and puffed.
We would normally see the game fizzle out and be satisfied with a point.
We didn’t stop screaming until the last kick.
The players didn’t stop playing until the final whistle.
And Reiss Nelson flashed in a 97th minute winner that I’m still finding hard to calm down from.
Embraces from all sides, my bald head graced with Barthez-Blanc-style smooches from all. Limbs flailing, unencumbered joy for us all.
No agendas. No worries.
Just that moment – and I’ll treasure it forever.
If we do win the title, this moment will be a moment that we look back on.
Even if we don’t, does it get much better than a last-second winning goal?
My throat can testify that it doesn’t.