Arsenal's Commanding 4-0 Champions League Return Against PSV
Arsenal marked their return to the Champions League in style with a resounding 4-0 victory over PSV Eindhoven in Group B, continuing their impressive start to the season on Wednesday.
Six years after their last appearance in Europe's premier club competition, Arsenal's dominance was evident as they raced to a comfortable win. Goals from Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Jesus, and captain Martin Odegaard highlighted their superiority.
Saka, among several Arsenal players making their Champions League debuts, opened the scoring from close range just eight minutes into the match. Trossard doubled the lead with a low shot 12 minutes later, and Jesus hammered home Arsenal's third, effectively sealing the victory before halftime.
Arsenal, who have accumulated 13 points from their first five Premier League games, will travel to Lens for their next fixture, while PSV will attempt to recover at home against Sevilla.
For Arsenal, their last foray into the Champions League ended in a sobering 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich. Since then, their consistent presence among the Premier League's top four had faded into memory. However, finishing as runners-up to Manchester City last season earned them a return to Europe's elite competition, and PSV proved to be the ideal opponents on a rainy night in North London.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta expressed his satisfaction with the performance, stating, "It was a beautiful night. In both boxes today, we were exceptional, and that was the difference. I was really excited before the game. Our journey started last year, and we earned the right to be in this competition."
Arsenal had encountered deep-lying defenses in the Premier League this season, forcing them to grind out victories. However, PSV, currently leading the Dutch league, left themselves vulnerable, allowing Arsenal to dictate the proceedings.
The visitors did test Arsenal's David Raya, chosen over England's Aaron Ramsdale, in the opening minute, with Noa Lang forcing a comfortable save from the Spaniard. However, after that early scare, Arsenal took control.
The opening goal came as Saka combined with Odegaard, and when Odegaard's shot was parried by Walter Benitez, Saka was alert to slot the rebound home.
For Arsenal's second goal, PSV's mistake in possession led to a rapid counter-attack, culminating in Saka squaring the ball for Trossard, who calmly slotted a low shot into the corner of the net.
Trossard then turned provider, setting up Jesus, who took a sublime touch before firing a shot into the net.
With a North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur approaching on Sunday, Arteta made several substitutions in the second half to rest key players like Saka, Jesus, and Declan Rice. However, Arsenal's dominance remained unchallenged, with captain Odegaard delivering the final blow with a clinical fourth goal in the 70th minute.
Although more challenging opponents lie ahead, Odegaard expressed confidence in Arsenal's ability to make a deep run in the competition, saying, "You saw the motivation and energy right from the start. To be back in this competition is huge for this club. We are in this competition to compete and fight to go all the way."