All the footballing stars came into perfect alignment on Sunday as Arsenal rallied to snatch second place from Tottenham, causing an outbreak of hilarity on an intergalactic scale.
It’s been an endlessly frustrating season for Gunners fans, with one tortuous disappointment following another, but this was the silver lining to end all silver linings.
Two weeks ago, this eventuality seemed a million miles away. Impossible, even. Most fans were fretting over whether we would actually cling on long enough to claim a Champions League spot, let alone look to steal into second place.
And yet here we are, floating atop a cloud of glorious, undeniable smugness, buoyed by an excellent 4-0 win over Aston Villa.
Somehow, as Spurs have faltered, Arsenal have stayed the course long enough to nip in and snatch the glory of a 21st St Totteringham’s Day – courtesy of Tottenham’s 5-1 mauling by the 10 men of already-relegated Newcastle.
Look, this is by no means the sign of a season salvaged. I’m not going to pretend this fixes all the ills of the last three or four months because it simply doesn’t. But I remain an Arsenal fan and I don’t see why anyone would stop short of enjoying what was quite a unique set of circumstances that all came together to produce a very, very memorable final day.
Revelling in Tottenham’s misery doesn’t make you an Arsene Wenger loyalist, nor does it excuse our inability to claim the Premier League title this season, it’s just a bit of fun, and isn’t that what a large part of being a fan is all about?
Personally, I am delighted. There have been innumerate lows and disappointments this season, so it was nice that, finally, there was a result to really savour, a moment of pure, unbridled joy.
Wouldn’t you just hate to be a Tottenham fan about now? After the season-long crowing about record this, and power shift that, there comes an enormous spoonful of humble pie, slathered with humble sauce, and washed down with a steaming mug of humble tea.
Almost as inevitable as a mid-March Arsenal collapse, is a season-ending Spurs bottle job.
There were many more great moments from Arsenal’s super Sunday, including a hat-trick for the much-maligned Oliver Giroud. In my pre-match wish list, I hoped beyond hope that the 29-year-old Frenchman would bag a brace and record his best-ever goals tally in an Arsenal shirt.
In fact, he did all that and more, scoring three to end the season with 24 goals – a commendable return indeed, and worthy of a acknowledgment. There’s no denying he had a truly awful February and March, but he kept at his task, and has been rewarded. I think he has deserved a little more faith from some of the more sceptical fans, here’s hoping he gets it.
It was great also to see Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta receive the kind of respect and acknowledgement that their service to the club has deserved. There were some real touches of class throughout and I was glad that they were able to leave on a high, with the St Totteringham’s Day hype the icing on the cake.
All-in-all, it was a good day to be an Arsenal fan – and hasn’t it been a while since we’ve all been able to say that?