Aubameyang dons Black Panther mask to celebrate goal

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took his heroics for the club to a new level on Thursday, donning a Black Panther mask after netting his second goal against Rennes in the Europa League.

The Gunners had trailed 3-1 going in to the second leg at the Emirates, but the Gabon international’s 71st minute tap-in sealed a 4-3 aggregate victory for the north London side.

Aubameyang pulled the mask from a bag tucked behind the advertising hoardings and celebrated with team-mates before giving the film’s famous crossed-arm salute to cameras.

Speaking to BT Sport after the match, he said: “You know, I needed the mask who represents me, so it’s a black panther.

“In Africa, in Gabon, we call the national team the panthers of Gabon so it represents me. That’s it.”

Marvel’s Black Panther film, largely centred around the fictional and futuristic African nation of Wakanda, was hailed as a critical and commercial success on its release in early 2018.

Players and fans were overjoyed by the occasion.

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright posted a picture of the moment to his Instagram account captioned: “My guy! WAKANDA FOREVER”

And Gunners team-mate Sead Kolasinac tweeted: “Get in! Big effort on both ends of the pitch tonight, quarter-finals here we are! 👊🏼 #BlackPanther aka @Aubameyang7 is there when you need him”

Aubameyang’s brace on Thursday night took his goal tally for the season to 22 in all competitions.

The 29-year-old has a history of wearing masks to celebrate, having worn Spiderman and Batman masks after scoring while at previous club Borussia Dortmund.

Arsenal join Chelsea in the draw for the Europa League quarter-finals, which will take place on Friday.