Arsenal secured top spot in their Europa League set as a facet coasted against Vorskla Poltava, whose manager hit out in the decision to move the match to Kiev into Europa League victory.
The Group E fixture was transferred 185 miles east of Poltava with parts of Ukraine as tensions with Russia continue to grow\.
The telephone call\ was made on Tuesday with Vorskla unhappy with the decision and official confirmation that the match would take place at all coming out of the body until six hours before kick-off of UEFA.
The inconvenience – as well as a technical issue by using their airplane and the team bus breaking down just outside the scene – did little to knock on Arsenal off their stride as children Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock scored either side of an Aaron Ramsey punishment to secure a 3-0 triumph in temperatures that dipped to minus 10 degrees.
Vorskla, meanwhile, made some suggestion the game would still not take place – even though an Instagram article in their accounts on Wednesday evening showed the squad boarding a coach bound for Kiev\.
They started the match but were never very likely to return into it using their trainer Vasyl Sachko venting his frustration in the change of venue once Smith Rowe scored with 11 minutes to the clock.
“I’d like to say a great deal about this,” he said. “A holiday was taken away from Poltava. This game has been extremely important for our town\. One of the games for 10 years\.
“We were planning very much and it was expected to be similar to a holiday. We spent lots of our energy and we all did what we could to prepare the match\.
“It affected the mental condition of the players very much since only in 24 hours everything had changed.
“That was a huge impact on the mentality on the group. A lot was lost by the city. A million supporters were planning to come to encourage our staff.
“The city really lost a holiday. If we played there would undoubtedly be another outcome.”
Arsenal have now sewn up first place in the team using a match to spare and, using over an eye on Sunday’s Premier League north London derby at home to Tottenham, 10 changes were left by Unai Emery.
Striker Eddie Nketiah was given his first senior start as Bukayo Sako Zech Medley and Charlie Gilmour came off the bench with Arsenal completing the match\ – because of their debuts.
Smith Rowe’s operation was particularly eye catching, the 18-year-old scoring his third goal – with Emery eager for Arsenal’s additional youngsters to use the England youth international as an example to follow\.
“He’s taken responsibility and confidence and steps ,” he said. “Now his performance was really great. One good example of young players. They’ve a great deal of opportunities to help us with this operation and we believe we can be helped by them.
“They need confidence playing games, not just in training but also to take minutes in games like now.
“We’ve responsibility together with the young players to reveal if they could enhance and stay with us”