As soon as Arsenal heard the Champions League anthem echo throughout the Emirates Stadium, it marked an historic occasion–their return to European football after six-and-a-half-years away. Anticipation ran high, and Mikel Arteta’s squad certainly lived up to it by seizing and owning every momentous moment that presented itself.
Gunners showed their dominance against an enthusiastic yet inexperienced PSV Eindhoven side in a match that felt more like a stroll in the park for them. The final scoreline, 3-0 in favor of Arsenal, didn’t fully capture their dominance, as they dictated the tempo from the outset.
Bukayo Saka, a beacon of hope during Arsenal’s European absence, wasted no time in making his mark. A fortunate spill from PSV’s goalkeeper, Walter Benítez, presented Saka with an opportunity, and he clinically converted from a tight angle to open the scoring.
The second goal came courtesy of Leandro Trossard, who netted his second in as many games with a sublime finish from the edge of the box. Gabriel Jesus, a constant threat on the night, set up the chance after a swift counter-attack orchestrated by Saka.
Jordan Teze’s defensive woes led to Arsenal’s third, as Jesus capitalized on a delivery from Trossard to put the tie to bed. Arteta praised their ruthlessness, saying, “In the box, we were exceptional today; we took our chances. It was top.”
The second half saw Arsenal in cruise control, and it offered Arteta the luxury of resting key players ahead of the North London derby. Emile Smith Rowe, greeted with a thunderous ovation from the fans, injected fresh energy into the game. He played a pivotal role in setting up Martin Ødegaard for a sublime 20-yard strike that put the icing on the cake.
Arteta couldn’t contain his excitement as the night belonged to Arsenal, with an emphatic victory signaling their intention of making a deep run in the Champions League.
With their emphatic win, Arsenal sent a signal about their intent. In a relatively weak group, their path to the last 16 appears promising. As the Champions League anthem played once more, it was clear that Arsenal was ready to dance to their own tune in Europe once again.