4 standout Arsenal players from emphatic Champions League victory over Lens

Arsenal ran riot against RC Lens at the Emirates, scoring a whopping five first-half goals. A late Jorginho penalty secured a 6-0 win, ensuring that the Gunners will finish top of Group B.

Arsenal FC v RC Lens: Group B - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Arsenal FC v RC Lens: Group B - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Arsenal ran riot against RC Lens at the Emirates, scoring a whopping five first-half goals. A late Jorginho penalty secured a 6-0 win, ensuring that the Gunners will finish top of Group B.

For the first time this season, Mikel Arteta had his desired front five, with Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli leading the line and Martin Odegaard and Kai Havertz pulling the strings from midfield.

Within the first 45 minutes, each and every one of those five players had scored a goal. Havertz tapped in from close range thanks to a Jesus header before the Brazilian scored himself with a great fake shot before a tidy finish.

Saka was lucky when a Martinelli shot was parried by the keeper right into his path. Martinelli was involved again afterwards, finishing a fine solo run with a bending, far corner effort. Odegaard then finished off Arsenal's best half this season with a bullet volley from a Takehiro Tomiyasu cross.

It was an idyllic Champions League night for the Emirates faithful, with RC Lens unlucky to be met with such lethal finishers. In all honesty, they did not perform badly, Arsenal were just firing on all cylinders.

There was a wide variety of great performances to choose from. Extremely uncharacteristically, William Saliba was a bit poor, getting spun twice in the first half (full credit to Elye Wahi who looks a real player) and losing possession sloppily.

4 standout layers from Arsenal's emphatic Champions League Victory

Let's go through the 4 best performers from Arsenal's most emphatic performance of the season.

1. Takehiro Tomiyasu

Takehiro Tomiyasu
Tomiyasu recorded two first-half assists / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Tomiyasu has been one of Arsenal's best players in the last ten or so Arsenal games. Always solid defensively, he is offering more and more going forward, and he managed two assists against Lens.

The first came after a clearance that fell to Gabriel Martinelli, who then went and did his thing. If Tomiyasu meant to pass that to the Brazilian, it is one of the best assists I've ever seen but I don't think he did.

He definitely meant the second one, chipping in a ball from the by-line after a fantastic overlap for Odegaard to smack in.

Tomi keeps going from strength to strength anywhere in the defence. He is a Swiss army knife, willing to slot in anywhere and he reassures me massively. He was subbed off at half-time, presumably to rest him for the upcoming Premier League game.

2. Gabriel Jesus

Gabriel Jesus
Jesus was a thorn in the Lens defence / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Gabriel Jesus and Champions League nights. Some things are just meant to be.

Arsenal's goal avalanche kicked off thanks to Gabriel Jesus winning a header deep into the RC Lens box. He is so smart with how he behaves on a football pitch, and without that intervention, it may have been a very different story.

His goal showed his composure and intelligence beautifully. It looked certain the striker was going to shoot, but instead he shifted the ball to his preferred right foot and slotted it coolly in the bottom corner.

As usual, he was dropping deep to get the ball, causing havoc with his dribbling and generally contributing to every dimension of Arsenal. He is such a pleasure to watch and if he can start finishing like that regularly, then there is no limit to what he can achieve.

3. Kai Havertz

Kai Havertz
Havertz opened the floodgates / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Fresh off the high of getting the winner against Brentford, this felt like a game that Kai Havertz needed to perform in to push on for the future. Thankfully, he did, coming up with Arsenal's first goal and demonstrating a delectable amount of swagger.

Now, the first goal was admittedly from about four yards out, but it is his instinct and movement that puts him into such a position. While the Lens defenders are static, Havertz senses that the ball might end up in his path and is then rewarded for it.

In general, though, I thought Havertz performed really well. He put in three tackles and almost scored earlier with a great header that went inches wide.

He then performed some skill moves a couple of times that show his confidence is higher than some rival fans may think. A thriving Kai Havertz can only be a good thing for Arsenal, so long may his form continue.

4. Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka
Saka continued his productive start to the Champions League campaign / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Of course, Arsenal's starboy was a large part for Arsenal's success too.

A jinxing run led to the Gabriel Jesus goal and Saka showed his passing capabilities against the French opposition. He found Tomiyasu on the overlap whenever he ventured forward and he attracted two RC Lens players every time he had the ball it seemed.

A goal and an assist now brings his tally to three goals and four assists in five games. The Hale End graduate has taken no time at all to get used to the biggest stage in Europe and leads the competition in assists.

To think that Saka isn't having the best start of the season!

All in all, that was one of the most enjoyable Arsenal games I have watched in a long time. We are now through to the round of 16 and there aren't many teams who will scare the Gunners in the draw.