Arsene Wenger paid tribute to the impacts made by Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky as they said farewell to the Arsenal fans after the 4-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday.
Arteta came on as a late substitute and it was his shot that forced goalkeeper Mark Bunn into an own goal for the Gunners' fourth goal, with he and Rosicky - who was not in the squad - given a rapturous reception after the match as the midfield duo prepare to leave the club as their contracts expire.
A positive day for Arsenal saw them finish second in the Premier League for the first time since 2005 after Tottenham's shock 5-1 defeat at relegated Newcastle United, and the manager was keen to praise the departing stars.
"They are extremely respected in the dressing room and it shows that in football there are still positive emotions," Wenger said at his post-match media conference.
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The players are out - and are wearing 'Rosicky 7' shirts. Watch the lap of appreciation LIVE May 15, 2016
"Tomas Rosicky was first an exceptional football player and highly respected in our dressing room. It was a very sad day for me not being able to pick him to be in the squad because there was something at stake. We lose him.
"We lose Arteta – two exceptional football players but also two leaders in the dressing room. I am convinced that in the bad periods they were a positive influence on the squad and we will miss them next season.
"So I would like to thank them for what they have done and wish them the best of luck."
Rosicky, 35, joined Arsenal in 2006 and received an award for 10 years of service, while 34-year-old captain Arteta spent five seasons with the club after signing from Everton in 2011.
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