Several people were injured in a roof collapse during a show at the Piccadilly Theatre in London’s West End.
The venue in Denman Street was packed for a performance of the Arthur Miller play Death of a Salesman.
Screaming was heard from the circle when the partial ceiling collapse happened just before 20:00 GMT. Some theatre-goers left covered in debris.
More than 1,000 people were evacuated from the venue, the Met Police said.
Five members of the audience needed hospital treatment for minor injuries, Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) said.
Wendell Pierce, who plays Willy Loman in the show – which only opened on Monday – apologised to those who had been evacuated.
A video shared on social media shows the US actor outside the theatre asking the crowd to come back and see the play another time.
“We’re so honoured that you came tonight. We are so sorry that this happened,” he said.
BBC journalist Iain Haddow, who was in the audience, said the collapse happened about 20 minutes into the show.
He said that before the collapse there had been a steady drop of water “which turned progressively into a stream” – although it was not raining at the time – and said there was some panic when the ceiling fell in.
Outside the theatre, including on the roof, he said there was scaffolding and building work going on.
Following the collapse, an ATG spokeswoman confirmed the section of ceiling collapsed in the rear upper circle, at 20:00 GMT.
“The performance was immediately stopped and the theatre safely evacuated,” she said.
“We take the safety and security of our audiences extremely seriously and we are doing everything we can to ascertain the cause of the incident.
The theatre group has not yet made any announcement on when the venue will reopen and whether any shows or ticket-holders will be affected – but indicated a statement would be made later in the day.
In December 2013, 76 people were injured, seven seriously, when part of a ceiling at London’s Apollo Theatre collapsed during a show.
London Fire Brigade said three fire engines and three rescue units were at the scene on Denman Street and investigations were taking place.
Police added that road closures have been put in place and advised motorists to use alternative routes.
One Festival of Homeless Arts brings together works of visual art, theatre, film and photography, all created by artists who are or have been homeless.
The work is being exhibited at the Old Diorama Arts Centre in London.
Three festival artists talk about their work and how their art relates to their experiences of homelessness.
Geraldine Crimmins, from London, discovered her love of art when in prison at the age of 50 as a result of her drug addiction. “I got arrested and it was great because I got detoxed,” she says. “Prison was brilliant, it got my head clear, I cleaned up in there. It saved my life.”
Previously, Geraldine was a businesswoman but says her mental health deteriorated in her late 30s. She lost two businesses and her house to drug addiction by the time she was 40.
She has experienced homelessness, spending two years on the streets around Victoria station in London. When she was mugged, she spent six weeks in hospital and then moved to bed and breakfast accommodation, where she spent a further four years. She now lives in north London.
While in prison, Geraldine attended an art class and started to paint portraits of nude figures. “I’ve always liked the female nude. I’ve developed my artistic eye and I do more abstract figurative work now.”
She submitted a small watercolour painting of a nude to a prison exhibition. Six people wanted to buy the painting. “That gave me such a buzz when I sold it. At the exhibition the next year I sold two more pieces.”
Geraldine is now an art mentor for people with mental health difficulties who have been in a hostel or living on the street.
She also takes a women’s group to the Royal Academy of Arts every two months to see an art exhibition. “There are so few things for women in the homeless arena, I try to give women a voice.
“I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD and an anxiety disorder, and I got treatment.
“But I think a lot of mental health conditions of the homeless go untreated. Many homeless people don’t realise that they actually need to see a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.”
As a self-employed artist, Geraldine carries out consultancy work for Cafe Art, a social enterprise that aims to empower people affected by homelessness by supporting their art, photography and entrepreneurship.
“Someone once asked me what my dream would be and I said working with marginalised people and being an artist, [which has] ended up coming around. It’s been amazing.”
Geraldine has submitted a number of paintings to this year’s festival, including the image below called Woman with Purple Hair, drawing inspiration from a book of nude photo portraits.
One Festival of Homeless Arts was founded in 2016 by ex-homeless artist and campaigner David Tovey, seen below with one of his works during the hanging of the exhibition.
Artist Stephen O’Grady submitted three pieces of art to the festival, seen below.
The ink drawings show different places in which a homeless person may find themselves sleeping: a pavement, on a discarded mattress or in a seaside shelter.
“I’ve slept on mattresses I’ve found so many times,” Stephen says. “To someone that’s a discarded bit of rubbish, but at that time that was home to me. I’m trying to get that across in the art – that everything has a value to somebody.”
Stephen found himself homeless in late 2015, following several years of alcohol abuse and the breakdown of his marriage.
He was homeless in Watford, the area in which he grew up, before deciding to travel to the south coast. “If you’re going to be homeless, it’s nice to be beside the seaside, so I went to Brighton.”
The shelter seen in his work, next to the word Belvedere, is a scene from Brighton seafront.
While homeless, Stephen returned to his love of art, which began when he attended Watford School of Art as a teenager.
“I always drew even when I was on the streets, I’d have my sketchpad and pens in my bag. The output wasn’t great.
“But looking back on some of the art is quite eye-opening. It was a diary, like an outlet.”
Stephen found creative inspiration from the people around him. “I’m inspired by people’s faces, expressions and speed of movement.
“When you’re homeless you’ve got the freedom to stare a bit more at people, because you are being ignored, plus you’ve nothing else to look at. Not being looked at really got to me.”
Stephen is now in accommodation in Watford and is nourishing his love of art. “I like the feeling of opening a box of paints, or my art box, and just attacking a bit of paper.”
He recently filled a sketchbook with drawings dedicated to his partner, with every page inspired by her. “She got a feeling of joy when she was given it, saying, ‘No-one’s ever done anything like that for me, that’s amazing.'”
Artist Claire Bastow first experienced homelessness shortly after she moved to London in the 1980s.
“The landlord of the accommodation I was in found out that two of my housemates were gay, and so threw all six of us out,” she says. “I had to sleep on people’s couches. I ended up in a squat for a while. There was no legislation to protect us at that point.”
Later in life, Claire says she was made homeless again as a result of domestic violence.
“When I’ve experienced homelessness it’s been pretty awful, that uncertainty. I’ve had to spend the odd night on the street. Or living on people’s couches.
“I’ve been able to use some of that experience to inspire me creatively. There’ve been some positives from it, that’s how I’ve processed it. All that comes out in my art; a sense of belonging, and not belonging.”
Claire developed her art skills in her late 30s, earning various qualifications, including A-level art. She has fond childhood memories of spending time with her grandfather Basil Bastow, an established watercolour artist who was also president of the Nottingham Arts Council.
“We used to go to art galleries all the time. We queued up for three hours to see the Turner exhibition. Turner was his main inspiration.”
Claire has two portraits in the art festival, both paintings of women who have experienced homelessness, Marianne (below left) and Maiya (below right).
“You can see their stories in the characters of their faces. Marianne is pointing to her eye as though to say, ‘Look at me, I have a story to tell.'”
“When people see my work I hope they get from it the idea that when you first glance at somebody, whoever they are, it’s better to look further. Everyone has got a story.
“Everyone has experienced difficulties in their life. Everyone is valid and has a voice and deserves to be seen and heard, and not hidden away, or stigmatised.”
Interviews and photographs by Matthew Tucker.
Frank Lampard felt his Chelsea “babies” came of age as the Blues claimed a memorable 1-0 win at Ajax in the Champions League.
Substitute Michy Batshuayi struck with four minutes remaining to hand Chelsea their second win in Group H.
Lampard has shown his faith in young players this season and has now been rewarded with the biggest result of his Chelsea managerial career.
“I’m delighted with every element of the performance,” said the Blues boss.
“I think we’re allowed to be excited tonight. That’s the blueprint. There are no excuses for us now. That’s the standard and we can’t drop it.
“The young players are still babies in terms of Champions League minutes so this was a huge test for them.
“There was a good balance of young players and experience. We need to realise the things that made that happen tonight because Ajax are a top, top team.”
‘Subs made the difference’
It was a first loss in this season’s Champions League for Ajax, who reached the semi-finals of the competition last year.
They had a goal ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee when Quincy Promes was adjudged to have been offside, while Edson Alvarez hit the post with a header.
However, the game changed when Lampard sent on Christian Pulisic and Batshuayi midway through the second half.
USA winger Pulisic provided the assist for Batshuayi, who recovered from a bad miss earlier to score the winner.
“The subs were second to none,” added Lampard.
“Sometimes the hardest thing is leaving someone out. But it’s great for the spirit of the squad when subs come on and have an impact like that.
“Christian’s assist is as important as the finish, and the fact the sub scored makes me so happy.”
‘Chelsea attitude and application brilliant’
Former England and West Ham defender Matt Upson on BBC Radio 5 Live said: “It’s a brilliant result for Chelsea and you have to say, it’s thoroughly deserved, not just because of the attitude and application of the players but in the balance of play.
“They had a lot of opportunities, especially Callum Hudson-Odoi in the first half, and again in the second for Michy Batshuayi.”
Celebrity Extinction Rebellion supporters have admitted in an open letter being “hypocrites” over their high-carbon lifestyles.
But stars including Benedict Cumberbatch, who last week joined London protests, called for “systemic change” to the “fossil-fuel economy”.
It comes as Extinction Rebellion was granted permission to challenge a London-wide protest ban in court.
Several demonstrators have been arrested as hundreds defied the ban.
More than 100 celebrity supporters of Extinction Rebellion signed the letter to the media, which urges the media to focus on “the real story” of the climate and ecological emergency.
Spice Girl Mel B, comedian Steve Coogan, musician Bob Geldof, actor Sir Mark Rylance, model Lily Cole and Glastonbury’s Emily Eavis, among others, all confessed their culpability in the climate crisis.
The letter says: “Dear journalists who have called us hypocrites. You’re right.
“We live high carbon lives and the industries that we are part of have huge carbon footprints.
“Like you, and everyone else, we are stuck in this fossil-fuel economy and without systemic change, our lifestyles will keep on causing climate and ecological harm.”
But they called on the media to focus on the “more urgent story” of life on earth dying in a sixth mass extinction.
They said they cannot ignore the call of young people such as Greta Thunberg to “fight for their already devastated future”, even if it means putting themselves “in your firing line”.
Meanwhile, the prime minister is to chair a new cabinet committee on climate change to drive action to cut emissions across the government. Green groups have been calling for such top-level co-ordination – although they remain critical of other policy details.
It comes as police have begun making arrests after Extinction Rebellion activists defied an order banning them from demonstrating anywhere in London.
About 500 protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square, some of whom covered their mouths with black tape to symbolise the silencing of their protest.
Within a couple of hours, the protest broke up and large numbers dispersed. Police arrested a small group who were blocking Whitehall, BBC correspondent Andy Moore said.
Among those arrested were Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley and George Monbiot, the author and Guardian journalist.
As he was arrested, Mr Monbiot said: “We have to make a stand against the destruction of our life support systems.”
An application for a judicial review of the ban was accepted by the High Court, according to an Extinction Rebellion spokesman.
It means the case can go ahead, with an initial hearing scheduled for Thursday.
The claimants include the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas and Baroness Jenny Jones, Labour MPs Clive Lewis and David Drew, and Mr Monbiot.
Extinction Rebellion argues the ban is disproportionate and an unprecedented curtailment of the right to free speech and free assembly.
The group hopes the High Court will quash the decision to implement the blanket ban.
It follows the Metropolitan Police announcing new restrictions under Section 14 of the Public Order Act, which required protesters to disperse by 21:00 BST or risk arrest.
Any assembly of more than two people linked to the Extinction Rebellion action is now illegal in London.
The force said it decided to impose the rules after “continued breaches” of conditions which limited the demonstrations to Trafalgar Square.
More than 1,600 people have been arrested since the protests, dubbed the Autumn Uprising, began on October 7.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, who is leading the policing of the demonstrations, said he was confident the Met’s decision was “entirely lawful” and “entirely proportionate”.
Also on Wednesday, a group of mothers and babies defied the restriction, staging a “feed-in” outside Google’s offices in London’s King’s Cross, while other activists targeted the nearby offices of YouTube – a Google subsidiary.
They said they wanted to highlight the company’s political donations to organisations that have campaigned against action on climate change.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said concerns had been raised about the police’s decision to ban the protests, adding that shadow home secretary Diane Abbott was discussing it with the police.
“I think it’s important to protect the right of free speech, and the right to demonstrate in our society – obviously in a non-violent way,” he said.
He added that Labour’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan had no involvement in the “operational decision” by police to remove the protesters.
On Tuesday, Mr Khan said he was “seeking further information” about why the ban was necessary, saying he believed “the right to peaceful and lawful protest must always be upheld”.
A government spokesman said the UK was already taking “world-leading action to combat climate change as the first major economy to legislate to end our contribution to global warming entirely by 2050”.
“While we share people’s concerns about global warming, and respect the right to peaceful protest, it should not disrupt people’s day-to-day lives,” he added.
What are the rules around protests?
Police have the powers to ban a protest under the Public Order Act 1986, if a senior officer has reasonable belief that it may cause “serious disruption to the life of the community”.
Police are also under a duty to balance the task of keeping the streets open with the right freedom of assembly under Article 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and freedom of expression, under Article 10. These rights are not absolute – the state can curtail them.
However, the BBC’s home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani said: “The test, if and when it gets to a human rights court battle, is whether police action was proportionate to the threat and only what was strictly necessary.”
By law, the organiser of a public march must tell the police certain information in writing six days in advance.
Police have the power to limit or change the route of the march or set other conditions.
A Section 14 notice issued under the Public Order Act allows police to impose conditions on a static protest and individuals who fail to comply with these can be arrested.
A “dangerous” drug addict has been found guilty of murdering his friend in a pub doorway in London.
Joe Gynane fatally injured Mohamed Elmi, 37, with a large kitchen knife in the doorway of the Coach and Horses pub in Soho, at about 06.00 GMT on 3 March.
Hours later he used the “blood-stained blade” to seriously injure a 16-year-old boy near Tottenham Court Road.
The 34-year-old, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of Mr Elmi’s murder at the Old Bailey, on Wednesday.
Gynane was also found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to the unnamed teenager.
Gynane and Mr Elmi had spent parts of the early morning together walking around Soho, smoking and taking drugs with a group of people, the court heard.
The defendant admitted he had taken heroin, crack cocaine and spice.
Prosecutor Gareth Patterson QC told jurors: “In his first knife attack he fatally stabbed a man called Mohamed Elmi in Soho.
“In a short but deadly assault in the doorway of a pub he stabbed him repeatedly using a large kitchen knife.”
The court heard Gynane was a “dangerous” man with previous convictions for robbery and several assaults.
Gynane, of Wimbledon, south-west London, denied murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
He claimed diminished responsibility on the basis he was suffering from “misuse syndrome” – the effects of the misuse of drugs – and a personality disorder.
Judge Richard Foster remanded the defendant into custody to be sentenced on Thursday afternoon.
Cardiff City maintained their unbeaten home record in the Championship as they proved too powerful and clinical for Queens Park Rangers.
The visitors dominated possession and hit the woodwork twice but Cardiff led through two first half set-piece goals, Sean Morrison heading home before a Marlon Pack tap-in.
A thumping finish by sub Callum Paterson wrapped things up.
The win takes Cardiff to 10th, two points outside the play-offs, while they leapfrog QPR who drop to 11th.
The visitors came into this game with a fine recent record against the Bluebirds, who had beaten the West Londoners only once in their last eight meetings, but Mark Warburton’s side wasted too many opportunities and failed to make their possession pay.
By contrast, Cardiff finally found the ruthless touch boss Neil Warnock has called for and were worthy winners despite having less than 30% possession.
The visitors had the best early chance when Bright Osayi-Samuel burst clear and fired at goal, but Alex Smithies was able to block at his near post.
The Hoops also came close on 20 minutes when a superb cross by Ryan Manning was almost turned in by former Swansea defender Angel Rangel, with the Spaniard receiving boos from the home faithful all evening.
However, by midway in the first half Cardiff led from their first real chance despite a lack of possession, with Morrison looping home a header after Aden Flint nodded back Lee Tomlin’s inviting free-kick.
Tomlin dragged wide as Cardiff pushed for a second, but QPR improved as the half wore on and almost levelled when Eberechi Eze’s curling effort struck the post and bounced clear.
Ilias Chair then tested Smithies as QPR pushed for parity at the interval, but they went in two behind after conceding a second goal entirely of their own making.
The visitors switched off at a corner as Tomlin was able to find Gavin Whyte in yards of space and his excellent cross gave Pack a simple tap-in.
The goal was harsh on QPR – though self-inflicted – and they almost got a score back when Manning struck the post, with Josh Scowen firing the rebound wide.
However, Cardiff managed their lead efficiently and defended well after the break, largely restricting the visitors before Paterson’s excellent strike from Leandro Bacuna’s cross made it 3-0.
Pack headed just wide as Cardiff sought a fourth, while Todd Kane’s late effort was blocked by Smithies to preserve the Bluebirds’ clean sheet.
Teenager Reece James scored and set up two goals on his full debut as Chelsea thrashed League Two side Grimsby Town in the Carabao Cup third round.
James, 19, set up Michy Batshuayi in the seventh minute before his superb cross was tapped in by Kurt Zouma.
He added Chelsea’s fifth late in the second half before Batshuayi slotted home his second goal.
Chelsea’s Ross Barkley and Callum Hudson-Odoi also scored, while Grimsby’s Matt Green netted a volley.
More to follow.
The family of an engineer killed while working on a moving walkway at Waterloo station have paid tribute to “a hardworking, loving father”.
Christian Tuvi, 44, died in the early hours of Wednesday while repairing a walkway at the London Underground interchange.
Emergency services were called to the station shortly after 02:20 BST but he died at the scene.
Mr Tuvi, from Cambridgeshire, had a partner and three young children.
The engineer was also a member of the Army Reserve based at City of London Field Hospital.
Speaking on behalf of the family, solicitor Charlotte Rankin said: “The family have been left devastated by the death of Christian.
“He was a hardworking, loving father, and the last thing they expected when he went to work last Wednesday was that they would have a knock on the door from the police to tell them that he had been involved in such a horrific incident, with such tragic consequences.
“The family have welcomed calls from the mayor for a full investigation to take place, and it is their hope that any lessons learnt from what occurred are acted upon with urgency to ensure nothing like this happens again moving forward.
“They would like to express their gratitude to everyone who has demonstrated their support to date, and to those who are keeping them in their prayers at this difficult time.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said an urgent inquiry was “vital” to ensure such an incident did not happen again.
Managing director of London Underground Vernon Everitt said transport bosses were “fully supporting the urgent investigations being carried out by the Office of Rail and Road and the British Transport Police”.
“It is absolutely vital that we understand how this happened and ensure that it never happens again,” he said.
James Maddison’s first league goal of the season helped Leicester come from behind to beat Tottenham in an absorbing encounter at the King Power Stadium.
Maddison drilled a superb low effort into the far corner from distance to lift Brendan Rodgers’ side back into the top four of the Premier League at the visitors’ expense.
Ricardo Pereira had put the Foxes back on level terms, moments after Spurs had been denied a second goal when Serge Aurier’s low drive was disallowed for a marginal offside call against Son Heung-min.
Harry Kane’s fourth league goal of the campaign had given Spurs the lead in the first half, the England striker slotting Son’s clever flick beyond Kasper Schmeichel despite being knocked off balance by Foxes defender Caglar Soyuncu.
Leicester thought they had opened the scoring themselves when Wilfred Ndidi scored on the rebound after Paulo Gazzaniga spilled Youri Tielemans’ effort, but the goal was ruled out for offside by the video assistant referee.
Tightest of VAR calls denies Spurs
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino accused his players of “lacking fight” after they surrendered a two-goal lead to draw with Olympiakos in the Champions League midweek.
The result mirrored their 2-2 draw with north London rivals Arsenal in their previous away league game, with Kane admitting after Wednesday’s Group B opener that Spurs had failed to learn from recent mistakes.
Pochettino made six changes to the team that started in Greece, with Hugo Lloris unavailable due to his wife giving birth and Dele Alli left out of the squad altogether. Christian Eriksen, Lucas Moura and Eric Dier all had to settle for places on the bench.
Perhaps as a result, the visitors looked disjointed in the early stages and were fortunate not to fall behind when Ndidi’s effort was chalked off.
There was nothing fortunate about Kane’s opener 13 minutes later, however.
The England striker managed to latch on to Son’s back-heel and despite losing his balance under Soyuncu’s challenge, he somehow managed to knock the ball past Jonny Evans before lifting it over Schmeichel into the far corner.
Spurs thought they had doubled their lead when Aurier drilled a powerful drive into the far corner, but Son was adjudged to have been marginally offside in the build-up and the goal was chalked off.
Buoyed by that narrow decision, Leicester threw bodies forward and restored parity through Pereira, before Maddison struck with five minutes remaining to extend Spurs’ winless league run away from home to nine games.
Leicester prove top-six credentials
After watching the Foxes slip to their first defeat of the campaign at Old Trafford last weekend, Leicester fans were hopeful that their team could continue their impressive home form against a Spurs side who have looked vulnerable on their travels of late.
They had lost their last three meetings with Tottenham in the Premier League prior to today’s game, but this latest performance provided further compelling evidence that Rodgers’ team can mount a serious challenge for a top-six finish this season.
Maddison was heavily involved early on, the 22-year-old curling an effort narrowly off target from the edge of the box before firing straight at Gazzaniga from a tight angle after twisting and turning to find room for the shot.
Rodgers’ side did not let their heads drop after falling behind, with Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy both going close to equalising before Pereira’s strike midway through the second half.
Just as the game appeared destined to end in a draw, Maddison collected Hamza Choudhury’s pass before firing low into the bottom corner from a central position – all in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate.
The result was no less than Maddison and his team-mates deserve and lifts the Foxes – temporarily at least – to second in the Premier League.
Man of the match – James Maddison (Leicester)
VAR takes centre stage – the stats
- There were two goals disallowed by VAR in this match, while no other game in the Premier League in 2019-20 has had more than one chalked off.
- Tottenham have failed to win three consecutive away Premier League games when they were leading at half-time for the first time since March 2008.
- Leicester have suffered just one defeat in their last nine Premier League home games (W6 D2), after losing four in a row directly before that.
- Tottenham are without a win in their last nine away games in the Premier League (W0 D2 L7) – they last had a longer winless away run between April and December 2006 (10).
- Leicester’s Ricardo Pereira scored his third goal in 41 Premier League appearances – all three have come at the King Power Stadium.
- Tottenham striker Harry Kane has scored 14 goals in 13 games in all competitions against Leicester, four more than he has versus any other side in his professional career.
- Since the start of last season, Kane has scored 13 Premier League away goals, more than any other player in this period.
- Leicester’s James Maddison ended a run of 31 shots in the Premier League without a goal, since netting versus Huddersfield in April.
- Spurs’ Son Heung-min has been directly involved in seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances versus Leicester (4 goals, 3 assists).
‘A wonderful performance’ – what the managers said
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers on BBC Sport: “It was a wonderful performance. I thought the players were outstanding. We started the game with a great tempo, which sets the emotion in the stadium.
“It was just a case of preparing the players mentally for the second half. We had to adapt the system at half-time. The players deserve huge credit. The quality we showed was top-class against an outstanding team.”
“Some of the offside decisions – it’s fine margins. Whatever the decision, you have to adapt and keep your focus on the game. The players did that very well.”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino on BBC Sport: “We dominated the game and we deserved more but that’s football. It can change quickly. We need to keep working. We have a lot of games coming and we need to be ready.
“I’m always saying that sometimes it (VAR) benefits you and sometimes it goes against you. You can’t complain afterwards. You have to accept it.
“Today, we were the better side but I hope they (Leicester) have a very good season. I admire Brendan Rodgers and wish them the best.”
Leicester travel to Luton Town in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, 24 September (19:45 BST), while Spurs visit Colchester United at the same time.
Goals from academy gradates Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka helped Arsenal overcome a difficult test against Eintracht Frankfurt and begin their Europa League campaign with a victory.
Willock put the Gunners in front with a deflected shot in the first half before Saka smashed in his first senior goal for the club in the 85th minute.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added a third two minutes later as Arsenal ended their three-game winless run.
The Gunners had created further chances but also relied on goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to come to the aid of their fragile defence.
The Argentine produced excellent low saves to deny Filip Kostic and Andre Silva in the first half.
The second period was frantic in front of a vociferous home crowd with Arsenal’s late goals only coming after Dominik Kohr was shown a second yellow card for a cynical foul.
The Gunners, beaten finalists in last year’s Europa League, are top of the early Group F table on goal difference after Standard Liege beat Vitoria in the night’s other game.
Youngsters star in attack
Manager Unai Emery opted for a mix of youth and experience for the game in Germany, despite it arguably being Arsenal’s toughest test in Group F, and it was their young players who stood out.
Eighteen-year-old Saka, playing for the first team for the first time this season and fifth time in total, was excellent on the left flank, scoring once and setting up the other two goals.
He created Willock’s goal by beating his marker with fine skill in midfield and was the main threat for the Gunners in the first half.
The only criticism was he spurned a number of chances to increase Arsenal’s lead but he silenced those doubts with an emphatic finish from the edge of the area late on.
Willock played as the Gunners most advanced central midfielder and offered a goal threat but also linked play well, notably with a fine driving run in the second half which ended with Martin Hinteregger excellently blocking an Aubameyang shot.
The scoreline flattered Arsenal in the end but the game will be most memorable for the performance of their youngsters.
Defensive issues remain
The Gunners came into the game on the back of their disappointing 2-2 draw against Watford, after which their defensive display was heavily criticised as they spurned a two-goal lead.
Although Arsenal kept a second clean sheet of the season, they still looked uncertain at the back and allowed Eintracht 24 shots on goal – seven fewer than the Hornets’ 31 on Sunday.
Arsenal’s deeper midfielders Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira failed to control proceedings with the second half end-to-end until Kohr was dismissed.
Eintracht, who reached the semi-finals of the Europa League last season before losing on penalties to Chelsea, lost strikers Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic to West Ham and Real Madrid respectively in the summer and had either been in their line-up on Thursday, Arsenal’s slack defence may have been punished.
Kostic caused right-back Calum Chambers significant problems but was wasteful, as was AC Milan loanee Silva, who shot well wide in the second half when given another good opportunity.
That said, Martinez, brought in for first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno, impressed with key saves in the first half and assured handling when called upon.
Man of the match – Bukayo Saka
‘A dream come true’ – reaction
Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka: “I’m so happy to score for Arsenal, it’s a dream come true – I have been dreaming of this moment since I was a kid.
“I just want to keep working hard to make sure I can feel this feeling again.”
Arsenal manager Unai Emery: “We knew tonight was going to be difficult, they fell back very deep and caused us problems early on.
“We recovered the ball well and the young players showed the confidence to take their chances.
“Everybody can be happy and continuing in this competition is important, so it was good to get a good win, especially away from home.”
Eintracht coach Adi Hutter: “It’s a bitter defeat for us, because the performance does not reflect that result.
“When it was still 1-0 for Arsenal, we tried to score the equaliser but then conceded another one.
“The important thing is for us to create chances, I have seen enough of those. A goal can help open some doors, give you a boost, that did not happen today.”
Aubameyang’s goal-scoring run – the best stats
- Arsenal have only lost one of their 13 group stage games in the Europa League (W10 D2), while this was their sixth consecutive clean sheet in the group stage of the competition.
- Arsenal picked up their first European away win against German opposition since November 2013 (1-0 v Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League), having failed to win on any of their previous five trips (D1 L4).
- Eintracht Frankfurt suffered their heaviest home defeat across European competitions – in what was their 74th such game on home soil.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has netted seven goals in his last seven Europa League appearances for Arsenal, with four of those coming away from home.
- Bukayo Saka is the youngest player to score for Arsenal in the Europa League/Champions League since October 2008, when Aaron Ramsey (17y 300d) netted against Fenerbahce.