Arsenal 4-0 PSV: Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard all on target with Gunners off to FLYING start on theirChampions League return
Well, it was worth the wait. Arsenal are back in the Champions League – and they are returning with the biggest explosion.
Finally, it was four o’clock. It should have been at least double that as the Gunners mercilessly familiarized themselves with European football’s elite club tournament with this efficient dismantling of PSV Eindhoven.
It was the first time Arsenal had returned to the Champions League since 2016. Damn, they made up for lost time.
After such a long break, fans would be forgiven for just being grateful to be back in the deep end.
Based on this evidence, it would be selling yourself short. If this superb performance is to be believed, Arsenal will be in this tournament for a long time.
Bukayo Saka opens the scoring and assists Leandro Trossard in a sublime first half
Trossard curled home a well-placed shot from the edge of the box to double Arsenal’s lead early on.
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This will all become clearer with time. For now, it is only fair to heap praise on a night that will live long in the memories of those with connections to Arsenal.
The Champions League anthem was greeted with a euphoric roar from the Emirates faithful. The club even printed the lyrics of this inimitable anthem in the match day programme.
The heavy rain could not dampen morale here. They were back in their places and shouting it from the rooftops: PSV was their sad victim.
There was some emotion about the goalscorer; Bukayo Saka – the player who best represents the club’s tremendous transformation under Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal’s undisputed “starboy”; Saka has already accomplished a lot but this was a night he dreamed of. Dream about.
To hear the anthem. Feeling the anticipation. And there he is, on his Champions League debut, taking it all in his stride with inimitable swagger.
Every time Saka has been asked to take things to the next level, he has unequivocally found the answers. Did anyone really doubt he would do it again last night? What a player this 22 year old is.
The goal was relatively simple, with Saka heading past Walter Benitez who could only parry Martin Odegaard’s effort from the edge of the box towards the Arsenal striker.
The stadium erupted. It’s been six and a half years. The last player to score a Champions League goal for the Gunners was Theo Walcott. He retired this summer.
Gabriel Jesus put Arsenal in seventh heaven when he added a third to their first-half rout
Martin Odegaard produced a stunning performance to lead Arsenal to a 4-0 victory over PSV, scoring the fourth goal with a brilliant strike.
Arteta raised his arms in the air in celebration. It was also a new experience for him.
Of course, he’s already been placed on the Champions League bench as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City.
But it was different. It was his team. His time. His plan. And it worked wonderfully.
It wasn’t long before Arsenal clawed their way to a second goal. Who was at the center of all this? Correct.
Saka was terrorizing PSV left-back Sergino Dest to the point where we started to feel sorry for him.
Not that the Arsenal striker was prepared to repay his rival before placing a perfect pass into the path of Leandro Trossard.
As he did in Sunday’s 1-0 win at Everton, the Belgian striker’s first time was foolproof – heading past an overworked Benitez to double Arsenal’s advantage.
Arsenal were obliterating a team that got off to a 100% start to their Eredvisie campaign. A team that scored 13 goals in its first four matches in the Netherlands’ top league, conceding just once.
PSV is not a mouth. Indeed, during their first half, the Dutch troubled the Arsenal defense on several occasions.
Midfielder Jerry Schouten, in particular, attracts attention with his work rate and quality of possession.
But they simply had no answer to Arsenal’s searing attacks.
They had no answer to Saka. No response to Trossard. No response to Gabriel Jesus, who scored Arsenal’s third goal in the 37th minute.
This time, it’s Trossard who acts as passer, his deep cross locating Jesus at the far post.
Declan Rice showed why he should be considered one of the best midfielders in Europe
Kai Havertz produced his best performance in an Arsenal shirt and led the counter-attack for his fourth
Mikel Arteta chose David Raya for this match and the Spaniard distributed the ball well
The less said about PSV’s defense the better – although Jesus didn’t care one iota as he hit a merciless far post beyond Benitez.
PSV couldn’t intervene quickly enough. Arsenal didn’t want the first half to end.
But it wasn’t just about Arsenal’s breathtaking attack. On his Champions League debut, Declan Rice showed precisely why he should be considered one of the best midfielders in European football.
William Saliba, at the heart of Arsenal’s defence, was dominant in tackling and cultured in possession – a Rolls Royce.
Kai Havertz, much criticized since his arrival from Chelsea, had his best game for the club.
But that said, it is Arteta who inspires this team. Lead them. Their beating heart.
The Spaniard’s mantra of ‘trust the process’ was manifested before everyone’s eyes here, on one of the most euphoric nights of his reign.
Odegaard scored a fourth goal from the edge of the area in the 70th minute, but by then the damage was done.
Europe, you have been warned!