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'I needed a mask which represents me' – Aubameyang explains Black Panther celebration in Arsenal win

4:13 PM IST 15/03/19
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal 2018-19
The Gabon star is renowned for making special celebratory moves, and wearing masks has been one of them

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has explained his Black Panther celebration as one that represents him and his country, Gabon.

The 29-year-old played a crucial role as the Gunners overturned a 3-1 first-leg deficit to Rennes with two goals and an assist in their 3-0 win at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

Shortly after scoring Arsenal’s third, his second of the night, the forward ran to the advertising board to wear the Black Panther mask.

"I needed a mask which represents me. It’s the Black Panther and in Africa, in Gabon, we call the national team the Black Panthers of Gabon. It represents me so that’s it," Aubameyang told club website.

Late on in the game, Aubameyang missed two clear chances to bag a hat-trick but he is pleased with the team’s progress to the quarter-finals and Ainsley Maitland-Miles’ maiden effort for the club in European competitions.

"I missed two chances to close the game but the most important thing is that we won tonight and that we are happy,” he added.

"Yeah, I missed a few tonight. But I’m really happy for Ainsley tonight because Arsenal has to be proud of having young players like this coming through their youth teams, coming here and then playing so well. We are all so happy.

Meanwhile, manager Unai Emery commented that he is not bothered by the Gabon international's celebration after starring in Thursday’s encounter.

"I don't have an opinion about that. For me the most important is his performance today, giving us the goals, with the assist, and that’s the best thing for me," Emery said.