The Gunners hero took to Twitter to charge his former side to victory over the Spaniards but it failed to propel Mikel Arteta’s men to the next round
Samuel Chukwueze only saw 30 minutes of action, but Villarreal held Arsenal to a 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium to qualify for the finals of the Europa League.
Ahead of kickoff, legendary Arsenal striker Nwankwo Kanu posted an inspirational message on Twitter to charge the Gunners to overcome the visitors.
He said: “Hello, this is Kanu. Tonight is Arsenal’s semifinal game. Come on you Gunners, come on Arsenal, come on boys, we need this you know that.
“We got to win this, we got to be in the finals. Come on, let’s do it. Arsenal, London is all red.”
COME ON BOYS. COME ON YOU GUNNERS. We need this. We’ve got this….Finals here we come. 💪🏽 #positivevibes #believe
.@arsenal #coyg #gunners #arsenal #arsenalfc #winning #coyg @wrightyofficial @skysports @premierleague #thankgod #wemove pic.twitter.com/nsj6wHXn78
— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) May 6, 2021
But Chukwueze was having none of it.
The Nigerian youngster was one of Villarreal’s match-winners in the first leg at the Estadio de la Ceramica last week. He again started brightly for the Spaniards on Thursday.
The former Golden Eaglets hero had his side’s first shot on goal in the opening five minutes when he struck a fine long-range effort which goalkeeper Bernd Leno did well to punch behind for a corner kick.
Chukwueze threatened the Gunners a couple of more times with his pace and trickery before disaster struck.
The flying winger picked up an injury just before the half-hour mark and was replaced by Yeremi Pino.
The 21-year-old had contributed five goals (one goal and four assists) in ten Europa League games and his removal blunted Villarreal’s attack.
But the Yellow Submarines tightened up in defence to prevent Mikel Arteta’s men from finding the back of the net, booking their finals ticket in the process.
Chukwueze will hope to be back from injury by the time Unai Emery’s side takes on Manchester United in this season’s Europa League final.