Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was popular in Germany for his masked celebrations when he scored a goal. The Gabonese forward had thrilled Dortmund fans by celebrating with the masks of fictional characters and super heroes including Batman and Spiderman.
Arsenal headed into the second leg of their Europa League last 16 tie and he had his mask ready this time! The striker pulled off another of his masked celebrations as the Gunners cruised into the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
The Arsenal forward pulled off another of his trademark masked celebrations in Thursday’s win over Rennes as he helped the Gunners into the Europa League quarter-finals thanks to a 3-0 victory on the night.
Having lost the first leg 3-1 in France, the Premier League club needed a massive turnaround at home to move on the competition, and Aubameyang got things off to a strong start with his first goal of the night just five minutes in.
The striker pulled off another of his masked celebrations as the Gunners cruised into the quarter-finals of the Europa League. A second from Ainsley Maitland-Niles 10 minutes later pulled Arsenal level for the tie, giving the home side a dream start.
But it would be the second for Aubameyang that sealed progression and brought about another superhero celebration from the 29-year-old. Having been foiled in his plans to rock a mask against Manchester United in a 2-0 win at the weekend, the forward made no mistake this time.
“I had a special celebration planned but I couldn’t find my mask,” he explained following Sunday’s contest. “I asked a member of the staff to put it in the back of the net but when I scored the penalty I couldn’t find it. But no worries. Maybe next time.”
Next time came on Thursday. After tapping home from close range 72 minutes in, the Gabonese star ran to the advertising boards and, after a brief look, found the Black Panther mask he’d hidden for the occasion.
“I needed the mask to represent me,” Aubameyang said to BT Sport after his sixth brace of the season in all competitions. “Black Panther…in Africa and Gabon we are called the Black Panthers so it represents me – that’s it.”
Aubameyang has a history of turning himself into a superhero for celebrations. He famously put on a Batman mask after scoring for Borussia Dortmund against Schalke in 2015, Marco Reus taking on the role of Robin to join him.
A goal against Bayern Munich in a Supercup clash in 2014 also brought out a mask for the forward, who transformed into Spiderman on that occasion, while he found himself in hot water for wearing a Nike promotional mask after scoring for Dortmund in 2017.
A Spiderman mask was also used by Aubameyang while playing for Saint-Etienne way back in 2012. The forward could have to wait a bit to put on another mask for Arsenal, with the Gunners not back in action until April 1 when they take on Newcastle.
While celebrating with a mask may be a little bit unorthodox and different from what we normally expect, Arsenal fan will no doubt be looking forward to more trademark celebrations from the Gabonese forward that can lead them to glory.