Arsenal returned to the Champions League after a lengthy spell away from the competition with a 4-0 win at home to PSV.
It was the Gunners’ first appearance in the competition in over six years, and with that in mind, it was a real possibility that the occasion may have gotten the better of some players, particularly given that for many, this was their first ever taste of Champions League football.
But, Bukayo Saka fired home from close range in the eighth minute ensuring that any first-night nerves were eradicated early on. Two more goals from Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus saw Mikel Arteta’s side establish a three-goal lead inside the first half.
The impressive performance was capped by an equally impressive long-range strike from captain Martin Odegaard who scored Arsenal’s fourth and final goal of the night. The result sees the Gunners make a near-perfect return to the competition that’s eluded them for far too long.
3 positives and negatives from opening day PSV win
Positive #1: Winning in style
By far the biggest positive from this match was the fact that we secured the three points. After six long years away from Europe’s most elite competition, we needed to mark our return with a win, particularly given the fact that we were at home against a far weaker side.
Speaking after the match, Arteta himself branded the occasion a “beautiful night”, saying:
"“It was a beautiful night. Obviously, after such a long time, we wanted to produce the right performance to try to win the game, and it was great to see the atmosphere, the Champions League music, everyone was getting a bit emotional before it. We showed especially in both boxes today we were exceptional and that was the difference in the game I think.”"
Ultimately, there will be far bigger tests to come than PSV, but getting off to a winning start, especially with a 4-0 victory, sends a statement to the rest of the clubs in the tournament.
Negative #1: Moments of sloppiness
As there were against Everton, there were still moments of sloppiness in our defensive third in this game – a recurring issue which must be resolved if we are to be successful in this tournament.
In truth, these moments were few and far between, but as we progress in this tournament, one mistake can be the difference between winning and losing.
Of course, mistakes will always happen when a team attempts to play out from the back as we do, and those few moments went unpunished in this match, but that may not always be the case and therefore, is still a cause for concern in my opinion.
Continued on the next slide…