Arsenal and Cardiff both played a touching tribute to missing striker Emiliano Sala as Arsenal's matchday programme featured Sala's name accompanied by a daffodil.

The matchday programme was handed out along with yellow daffodils in what was an emotional matchday for both sides.

 

A message in the programme read: "Everyone at Arsenal FC would like to reiterate our deep shock and sadness at the disappearance of Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson last week and there will be a period of silence for quiet reflection ahead of tonight's game."

"As the first match for Cardiff since this very distressing event, tonight will be an extremely poignant and difficult occasion for the club, as well as the family and friends of Emiliano.

"There are a number of events taking place to show respect for the Argentinian, including the laying of flowers pitchside by both teams' captains. 

"Despite never having seen him play in a Cardiff shirt, the club and their supporters have taken Emiliano to their hearts and we have included him on the team's page of tonight's programme, representing his place as a beloved member of the Cardiff family. 

"His name and national flag is accompanied by a yellow daffodil, as a symbol to the tributes that have been made in both Cardiff and Nantes." 

 

Sala's family had asked for neither side to wear black armbands nor wear daffodils out to the field as they continue to hope that Cardiff's record signing is still to be found.

However, Cardiff's Sol Bamba laid a bouquet of daffodils in the centre circle, while Ozil laid tulips. 

The two teams also took part in a minutes reflection before kick-off as the rain bucketed down and both sets of supporters applauded in hopes that the Argentine and pilot David Ibbotson have survived. 

Cardiff supporters also showed their respects by holding yellow placards in the air before kickoff, while messages of support were seen throughout the away end. 

A banner was held with the message: "We never say you play and never saw you score, but Emiliano, our beautiful Bluebird, we will love you forever more." 

 

Sala's family have continued to raise money, reaching close to $A600,000 for a private search after no trace of the plane was found and the official search was called off. 

While both sides showed professionalism and class prior to the game, the competitive edge soon kicked in, in what was a hotly contested game, finishing 2-1 in favour of the Gunners. 

© FTBL