Wenger: Half-empty Emirates understandable

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal; Premier League

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he understands why so many supporters opted to give the UEFA Europa League clash against BATE Borisov a miss on Thursday.

The Emirates Stadium reportedly saw fewer than 30,000 fans pitch up for the 6-0 thrashing of BATE as Arsenal dominated the Belarusian champions, with goals from Mathieu Debuchy, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Denis Polyakov, Olivier Giroud, and Mohamed Elneny.

However, Wenger was unfazed by the underwhelming support as the game was a dead rubber, with the Gunners having already secured first position in Group H.

“I think you forget about that once you are on the pitch,” he told the press, according to the Independent.

“It's true that you prefer the ground to be full, but tonight there was not a lot at stake on the competitive side. No matter how many sit in the stands, you have to give them what they expect – and that's what we did.

“You respect the decision of your fans. They knew we were top of the group anyway and you could basically expect that.

“You have looked around last night in the Champions League in game number six, I have seen many grounds not full, or half empty. That is a bit the problem of the group stage.”