PA Sport Staff
Arsenal’s winning start to their Europa League campaign was overshadowed by the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as their players and those of FC Zurich held a minute’s silence before the start of the second half in Switzerland.
The announcement came from Buckingham Palace during the interval in St Gallen, where Arsenal secured a 2-1 victory in their opening Group A encounter.
Zurich sit ninth in a 10-team Swiss Super League with no wins and just two points from their first seven fixtures and saw this game moved from their home ground following a clash with a Diamond League athletics meeting.
Mikel Arteta made seven changes from the Premier League defeat to Manchester United with Marquinhos impressing on his senior debut with a goal and an assist.
The 19-year-old opened the scoring with a well-taken finish after good work from Fabio Vieira, making his full debut, and Eddie Nketiah.
Vieira cold not double the lead after lifting an effort over the crossbar following a fine run which saw him latch onto a smart Albert Sambi Lokonga pass.
Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka arrowed a shot wide with Vieira impressing in midfield as Arsenal began to dominate, only to concede a penalty three minutes before the break.
Nketiah was adjudged to have fouled Fidan Aliti inside the box and Mirlind Kryeziu made no mistake from the spot, sending debutant goalkeeper Matt Turner the wrong way to level.
With the news breaking of the queen’s death during half-time, the Arsenal players re-emerged wearing black armbands as the two sides congregated around the centre-circle for a minute’s silence, while an image of the British monarch was shown on the big screen.
Once the game was back under way, Nketiah fired just over the bar from the edge of the box but would ultimately make up for his earlier error by putting Arsenal back in front, his downward header from a Marquinhos cross greeted with muted celebrations just after the hour.
That proved to be enough to secure the three points, with PSV Eindhoven next up for Arteta’s side.